Print Imp

Three-day word count: 2,500

My printer arrived ahead of the as-yet-unshipped mac, so I’ve been printing away merrily. Printers are evil incarnate. The PDF looks perfect in Acrobat Reader, but by the time it comes out of the printer, the margins are too big.

The first munge was page margins. My initial searches turned up several suggestions to uncheck the “fit to page” checkbox. However, there was no “fit to page” checkbox for me to uncheck. Extensive google research led me to upgrade to a newer version of Acrobat Reader (5.1) which did have the checkbox.

Acrobat Reader is huge, by the way, and takes an hour to download over dialup. But I did, and I unchecked the checkbox and printed my PDF. The margins came out too .

I suspected my homegrown PDF files, so I followed the instructions on the otherwise useless Adobe troubleshooting page. I tried printing an entirely different PDF, namely, the $99 rebate form for my printer. The margins were too . I’m still going to use it to get my rebate, for that you should be paying me for using this plastic paperweight of a printer effect.

Somewhere in google groups I’d read that the native OSX Preview program did this same margin munging, so I hadn’t bothered trying it. Now I was desperate, though, with a backlog of PDFs and no way to print them. So I ran one through Preview and presto–perfect margins!

Preview did have its own peculiarities, however. The font came out darker (perhaps because Adobe wasn’t shrinking the text down to increase the margins), and it was also missing all superscript numbers above 3. In some cases a little smudge showed up where the number was supposed to be. I figured this was a font problem, so I changed the font of all my superscripts. At long last, my file printed properly.

My little HP inkjet doesn’t compare to the big HP laser printer at school that required the user to sacrifice a text file before it would print a PS file. It’s more of a print imp than a print daemon, but I foresee hours of amusement in my printing future.

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