Thursday, 17 March 2011

Printing problems with Adobe Acrobat?

There are some reports of the Distiller printer in Acrobat X getting confused by the latest updates, and losing the connection to the virtual port. This results in PDF files being created properly, but Windows reporting a "This document failed to print" message each time:

Normally, Distiller is linked to a virtual PDF printer port that directs output to "My Documents" - you can of course choose where to save the PDF files you create, but that sets the default.

In some of the updates, this port has been lost so Distiller connects to COM1: instead (the serial port, which very few computers have these days). As Distiller doesn't actually care - since it asks the user where to save anyway - the PDF file is still created; however Windows will get annoyed that the port isn't "ready" and will throw an error.

The quickest solution is to remove the Adobe PDF printer by right-clicking it and choosing Delete, or selecting it and pressing the Delete button on the sidebar:

then opening Acrobat and choose Help > Repair Acrobat Installation

This will go through the installer manifest, notice that the virtual printer is missing, and recreate it - with the correct settings.