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HEengineering

Print to PDF oddity

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We have started to use print to PDF to streamline some of our internal workflow.  These look great when the electronic PDF is produced.  

 

However if you print that PDF, anywhere where we have used a black fill behind text, it shows up as a lightly greyed out box on the real life print.  Certainly not a a major issue, however thinking this may be a quick fix resolved with some export settings or drawing settings? Have a look. Maybe someone can test this or confirm the issue?

 

Now if I print to the printer directly from VW(which was our old workflow, this does not appear on the print?) 

Screen Shot 2017-09-20 at 3.16.55 PM.png

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The simplest solution is to disable coloured background fill for text or make the background colour white. I have seen this happen before and the aforementioned solution made it go away. The light grey also appears between the two vertical lines on the left side just underneath the red ellipse.

What happens if you publish to PDF instead of print to PDF and then print the PDF to the printer?

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Seems a few adjustments in the pdf export settings resolved this after some testing.  Rasterize text w pdf A-1 export option for any others that may run into this on occasion.  @Art Vthat is exactly what caused this, doing a publish to PDF and then printing that PDF was showing this.  A direct print from the VW program did not.  

Screen Shot 2017-09-20 at 3.33.59 PM.png

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I guess I take that back.  It appears now that any text that is a group wont export?? Seems like there really isnt a great solution for this after all.  Im not going to go thru and ungroup each items for reasons I wont explain.

 

I dont understand why a black fill would show up like this, a black filled box  acts that same way?  Blocking out behind text is a pretty standard operation.

Edited by HEengineering

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Even just a box filled with black shows the slight greyscale.  If I set it to white that will show as black.  Have a look.  Even tho we send a digital copy out that doesnt show this, its showing up when clients print.  Not exactly what you want.  Hoping someone still might have solution. 

 


@JimWyou ever see anything  like this before?  I thought maybe it had to do with the font we use, but a simple box with a black fill shows the same issue.

 

The alternative PDF export A-1b options wont export text that is in a group but seems to resolve the issue with text that is not in a group, I also have to have rasterize text and subset font on when I tried this.  Problem is I have many grouped details, that by ungrouping could cause further issues for the package.

IMG_1970.JPG

Screen Shot 2017-09-21 at 9.10.09 AM.png

Edited by HEengineering

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File > Print > Print PDF is doing this? Does the regular File > Export PDF do this as well?

When you're doing the actual physical print, what application are you opening the PDF in? Acrobat, Adobe Reader, Preview?

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@JimWWell we typically to a publish to PDF.

 

 

Doesn't matter if I export to pdf or publish to pdf.  The digital copy is fine.  Its once you send the digital copy to the printer, the hard copy is where it shows.  

 

Now I just did a File>print>save as pdf(see screenshot).  The issue with this is it only saves the page Im on.  It will not print all sheets.  Maybe this has to do with the fact we used saved views not sheet views?  I have several pages in this package, doing the 1 by 1 isn't really an option. 

Screen Shot 2017-09-21 at 9.29.25 AM.png

Edited by HEengineering

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What happens if you remove the background from text boxes? Does it then still show the issue? It's been quite a while since I had this issue, but it is definitely related to using backgrounds for text boxes in some way.

When you mention direct printing, is that printing to PDF through the PDF printer or directly printing to a paper printer?

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@Art Vremoving the txt fill boxes arent really an option either.  And it does not appear to be text related.  Any object with black fill, such as the box above show this same issue ONLY when the digital PDF is printed to a hard copy.

 

 

Prior to this we printed and scanned.  However our scanner quality was going downhill, so publish to pdf appeared to be superior with this one exception.

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In that case I am a bit stumped for now, as that part of the problem is something I didn't have.


What happens if you disable the export/print patterns at on-screen resolution?
You may also want to check the printer settings for dither options and see if changing those make a differences.

Also, does it happen with a normal PDF as well, i.e. not a PDF/A file, as PDF/A has some specific requirements that do not apply to regular PDFs and those requirements could have some undesired side effects.

Edited by Art V

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It happens with the standard publish to PDF export . I will look at those other settings you referred to, but they didnt sound like they would be associated with the problem. Ill give it a go and report back.

 

Test it yourself.  Open a black file draw a box and fill it to black.  then publish pdf.  Than print that PDF you published.  

Edited by HEengineering

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Checking and unchecking export patterns at on screen resolution made no difference.  Why does a regular print not show this? It has to be something in the process when the PDF is created, seems to make no difference when its a box fill or a text fill

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@Art VSo I attempted to print to another printer and it appears the issue has gone away.  Maybe your onto something with dither settings? Or the printer itself has an issue. Where could I find this dither setting??

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9 minutes ago, HEengineering said:

@Art VSo I attempted to print to another printer and it appears the issue has gone away.  Maybe your onto something with dither settings? Or the printer itself has an issue. Where could I find this dither setting??

That sounds like it could be a printer settings issue. The dither setting should be available in the printer properties settings. I no longer have a HP laserprinter so can't tell you exactly where to look, but you may have to look in the advanced tab/part of the printer properties.

You also may want to check the printer quality setting, if it is set to draft/toner save mode or to hiqh quality. Draft/toner save mode could cause dithering in some situations.

Edited by Art V

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I guess at this point it will have to be lived with.  

 

I also notice that line wt thickness regardless of which printer, looks quite a bit different when digital pdf is create vs hard print.  A line wt 1 prints to PDF differently than how it prints to a hard copy.

 

I had hoped to use this to improve quality, but what good is it if the line weight isnt represented the same?  All seems pretty printer dependent.

 

At least when I was scanning items in it was consistent.

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12 minutes ago, HEengineering said:

I guess at this point it will have to be lived with.  

 

I also notice that line wt thickness regardless of which printer, looks quite a bit different when digital pdf is create vs hard print.  A line wt 1 prints to PDF differently than how it prints to a hard copy.

 

I had hoped to use this to improve quality, but what good is it if the line weight isnt represented the same?  All seems pretty printer dependent.

 

At least when I was scanning items in it was consistent.

Regarding line width in PDF vs direct print, I have the same experience with especially HP printers and usually the PDF prints thicker lines than a direct print. In that case I use one line width lower (e.g. .15mm instead of .18 mm) for creating PDF files and that usually solves the issue.

This is where AutoCAD's color table plot styles come in really handy as you don't have to set up separate sheets and viewports for direct printing and PDF exports in such cases.

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