Managed Print Services, Service and Support

Why Can't I Print a PDF? Untangling the Mystery

October 5, 2023
Why Can't I Print A PDF Untangling The Mystery Why Can't I Print A PDF Untangling The Mystery

Ah, the moment when you're trying to print a PDF file, and it just won’t cooperate! We've all been there. PDFs are a popular format for their ability to maintain document design and layout across all devices, but sometimes they can be tricky to print. 

Let's dive into some common reasons why your PDF might be resisting the printer and how you can fix them. ManagedPrint is here to help you solve all of your printing challenges!

1. PDF File is Corrupted

Sometimes, a PDF won't print because the file itself has some damage or corruption. This can occur if there was an issue when downloading the PDF or if it was created improperly.

Fix: Try downloading the PDF again or ask the sender to resend it. If you created it, try saving the file again or using a different program to generate the PDF.

2. Protected PDFs

Certain PDFs come with security features that prevent them from being printed. This is often the case with copyrighted or confidential materials.

Fix: You'll need the password or proper permissions to unlock and print the file. If you believe you should have access, contact the document's creator or distributor.

3. Printer Driver Issues

Your printer requires specific software (known as a driver) to communicate with your computer. If this software is outdated or incompatible, it might struggle with certain tasks, including printing PDFs.

Fix: Update your printer drivers. Visit the printer manufacturer's website, find the latest driver for your printer model, and follow their installation instructions.

4. Problems with the PDF Reader

Software glitches in the PDF reader can also prevent printing. Most people use Adobe Acrobat Reader, but there are many other PDF reading software options available.

Fix: First, ensure you're using the latest version of your PDF reader. If updating doesn’t help, consider trying a different reader to see if it resolves the issue.

5. Printer Settings Conflicts

There might be a mismatch between the settings in your PDF reader and those of your printer.

Fix: Open the print dialog in your PDF reader. Ensure that settings like paper size, orientation, and scale match your printer's capabilities and the paper you're using.

6. Hardware Concerns

Occasionally, the problem isn't with the PDF or software – it's the printer itself. The printer could be offline, out of paper, out of ink, or facing some other hardware issue.

Fix: Check for error messages on your printer. Make sure it's turned on, properly connected (whether wirelessly or via a cable), stocked with paper, and has enough ink or toner. Also, ensure no other print jobs are stuck in the queue.

7. PDF Contains Non-Printable Elements

Certain elements in a PDF, like multimedia content or dynamic forms, might not be printable.

Fix: If you suspect your document contains non-printable items, you might try converting it into another format (like a JPEG or Word document) and printing from there.

ManagedPrint is Here to Help!

PDFs are an incredibly useful format, but like all technology, they can occasionally throw us for a loop. If you’re facing trouble printing a PDF, don’t despair! By methodically troubleshooting using the steps above, you're likely to pinpoint the problem and get that document printed in no time. If all else fails, don’t hesitate to seek help from ManagedPrint. We help clients print and maintain their printer fleets through our Managed Print Services offerings. Happy printing!