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If you’ve ever tried and ultimately failed to print a PDF document, we understand your frustration. While the majority of PDF documents can be easily printed direct from Adobe Acrobat Reader without any hiccoughs, there are a number of instances in which sending a PDF to print can result in poor page quality, missing fonts or discolouration of images, text and graphics.

Here, we provide some helpful tips on how to troubleshoot common PDF printing problems.


One issue many Adobe users encounter when sending PDFs to print is the discolouration of specific features on the page, such as images, graphics and text. This problem often occurs when trying to print a coloured PDF document from a mono printer, as the black and white printer struggles to reproduce the desired nuance of tone — ultimately resulting in defects and colour inaccuracy.

There is a way to troubleshoot this problem, however. Start by adjusting the contrast of your printer; this can be done easily using the printer’s interface settings or alternatively via your computer. Occasionally, this can also be done via Adobe, but not if the document is locked for editing. With a little trial and error, it’s possible to adjust the colour intensity of the printer so that all elements of the PDF are eligible.

Missing Text

Another annoying issue to arise when printing PDFs is when text is missing from the printed page. This occurs as a result of the PDF containing a font not supported/installed on the device you’re printing from. Occasionally the font in question may be replaced by an alternative, but more often than not the printer simply doesn’t reproduce the text on the page.

One of the easiest ways to prevent this problem is to locate the correct font and download it on to your PC or Mac. To do this, you can either contact the PDF’s publisher and request details of the font used, or else try to identify the correct font yourself using a site like or

Once you’ve identified the correct font, download the relevant file and install it on your computer. The following guides can show you how to do this:

Installing a new font on Windows

Installing a new font on Mac

Transparency Issues

Unlike standard text documents, PDF files contain different layers of text, images, graphics and colours. This type of layering gives the creator more freedom to create visual effects such as feathering and opacity variation; however, problems can arise when sending a multi-layered PDF document to print.

To prevent transparency issues when printing a layered PDF file, it’s a good idea to ‘flatten’ the PDF — a simple process that transforms the PDF into a single layered image that can be printed with ease.

Follow these steps to flatten a PDF in Windows:

  1. Open the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader
  2. Go to File, Print and select Adobe PDF
  3. Save the PDF as a different file type
  4. Print as normal

Follow these steps to flatten a PDF on Mac:

  1. Open the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader
  2. Go to File, Save As
  3. Save the PDF as a Postscript File
  4. Open Acrobat Distiller and drag the Postscript File into the application window to create a flattened PDF
  5. Print as normal

For more top printing tips and advice, be sure to check out the rest of the TonerGiant blog, here.

Alternatively, if you’re interested in browsing our range of affordable printers and consumables, visit the TonerGiant homepage or call us on 0845 365 3605.

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