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How to print pdf files with windows

Last response: in Windows XP
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April 4, 2012 2:47:07 PM

Hello,

I print lots of advanced mathematics articles directly from the net (ie whilst online) or having downloaded them first. Many are pdf files. I operate under Windows XP

When I print these pdf files I am successful in about 60% of the cases (even with complicated mathematical notation) and garbage comes out in the other 40%. To complicate things, I might try to print a 10 page (say) article - the first 5 pages might go fine and suddenly something (printer, print driver, computer . . .??) has a nervous breakdown and the remaining 5 pages are garbage.

Whatever can be happening?

Neutron
April 4, 2012 2:57:17 PM

schroedinger said:
Hello,

I print lots of advanced mathematics articles directly from the net (ie whilst online) or having downloaded them first. Many are pdf files. I operate under Windows XP

When I print these pdf files I am successful in about 60% of the cases (even with complicated mathematical notation) and garbage comes out in the other 40%. To complicate things, I might try to print a 10 page (say) article - the first 5 pages might go fine and suddenly something (printer, print driver, computer . . .??) has a nervous breakdown and the remaining 5 pages are garbage.

Whatever can be happening?

Neutron

IMO, some mathematical notation is being interpreted as printer control characters. Don't know for sure, but a convert pdf to txt utility may help.
April 5, 2012 6:27:15 AM

what are you printing with? Program and printer?
Related resources
June 1, 2012 10:27:06 AM

ksiemb said:
IMO, some mathematical notation is being interpreted as printer control characters. Don't know for sure, but a convert pdf to txt utility may help.


I have browsed the web for pdf to word conversion packages but all the good ones are too costly for me. Could you please tell me more about pdf to txt - can you recommend anything

Thanks for your response
June 1, 2012 10:49:29 AM

FALC0N said:
what are you printing with? Program and printer?


Thanks for your response - sorry for the delay but I am not too well these days.

The mathematics articles I print usually come from two sources:

(1) Wiki (via Google) - using a Firefox browser; so, when "using" Wiki, I personally am not involved in any specific program or software such as Mathematica (I have no trouble with the latter). Wiki articles are not in pdf

(2) Directly from Google searches (via Firefox) - most of these articles are posted by universities and similar organizations who seem to love pdf (they must have shares in the company - why can Wiki manage without them?). A few come in either MS Word or Powerpoint - these do not cause problems

My printer is an old Lexmark Z25/35 inkjet

As I said in my original post, I operate under Windows XP
June 1, 2012 10:51:47 AM

ding_ding said:
Not sure about the problem, but in case of emergency, I think you can combine the PDF files to print. It saves time.


Hi,
Sorry for the delay in responding. I cannot print pdf files so how will combining two pdf files help - I don't understand
June 1, 2012 5:01:28 PM

Have you tried printing the articles one page at a time?

If you print them one page a time and have no issues the problem is probably your printer running out of memory when fed the whole document. There is no solution to this except to get a new printer or print one page at a time.

If you print them one page at a time and still get junk on certain pages, it's probably the issue ksiemb already mentioned. No real sure fix there except to try converting the PDFs to txt/word, upgrading printer drivers might work, or a new printer.

It could also be an issue with the .jpg compression of the PDF being screwy. This can sometimes be a printer driver issue, a printer issue or (most likely) a problem with the original PDF. This is nothing I've run into with a Windows system, though.

As to how wiki manages without .pdfs..it's all about preserving the format. Wiki provides the formatting. That's why Wiki pages all look pretty much alike. There is a standard format. However, depending on your browser/screen resolution/personal settings MY Wiki could look very different from YOUR Wiki.

.pdf is attractive because it preserves formatting of the document. It's a universal standard. A .pdf on my computer is going to look exactly the same as on your computer. It will be viewed as the original creator intended it to be viewed.

Word files can be opened by a lot of other programs and can get uglied up pretty quickly, or even between versions of Word, or affected by another user's preferences. An easy example would be if you used a font for a Word file that I don't have on my system. My computer is going to guess what font to use, and it could get pretty damn screwy really fast.
June 2, 2012 5:24:42 PM

wombat_tg said:
Have you tried printing the articles one page at a time?

If you print them one page a time and have no issues the problem is probably your printer running out of memory when fed the whole document. There is no solution to this except to get a new printer or print one page at a time.

If you print them one page at a time and still get junk on certain pages, it's probably the issue ksiemb already mentioned. No real sure fix there except to try converting the PDFs to txt/word, upgrading printer drivers might work, or a new printer.

It could also be an issue with the .jpg compression of the PDF being screwy. This can sometimes be a printer driver issue, a printer issue or (most likely) a problem with the original PDF. This is nothing I've run into with a Windows system, though.

As to how wiki manages without .pdfs..it's all about preserving the format. Wiki provides the formatting. That's why Wiki pages all look pretty much alike. There is a standard format. However, depending on your browser/screen resolution/personal settings MY Wiki could look very different from YOUR Wiki.

.pdf is attractive because it preserves formatting of the document. It's a universal standard. A .pdf on my computer is going to look exactly the same as on your computer. It will be viewed as the original creator intended it to be viewed.

Word files can be opened by a lot of other programs and can get uglied up pretty quickly, or even between versions of Word, or affected by another user's preferences. An easy example would be if you used a font for a Word file that I don't have on my system. My computer is going to guess what font to use, and it could get pretty damn screwy really fast.


To wombat_tg

Many many thanks for your well thought out suggestions and for your thorough explanation of pdf versus word, which I have suspected but you have now confirmed - all most appreciated. You have taken a lot of trouble to respond

When I print one page at a time I generally have no problem and this is usually so at five pages at a time. Beyond that printing becomes very doubtful. Unfortunately maths and other scientific stuff often runs to 40-50 pages - I avoid printing such lengthy material but some of the articles/lectures are so great/interesting that I am tempted!!

I know I should get a new printer such as the one I used at university (yes, in 2004) but cannot afford to do so (I'm an 82 year old retiree!!) - similarly with a pdf to word etc converter. I shall just have to win our national lottery here in the UK!!

One last point - some academics etc are thoughtful enough often to give the reader a choice of pdf, html and other formats - MIT and Stanford U are good examples. Perhaps we should start a movement to make this approach standard practice
!