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Curious Crandall
Currently Being Moderated

apparent page AREA limitation when printing to PDF?

Nov 6, 2012 6:34 PM

In the process of producing posters for technical presentations, I have many times "printed to PDF" - typically from CorelDraw - with  page sizes as large as 42" x 72". Until a couple of months ago, I was doing so with Acrobat 9 Pro under Windows XP.


Now I'm on a newer machine with Acrobat X Pro under Windows 7 64-bit. I tried to create such a PDF today at 42" x 72", using the same procedure as always, but without success - didn't ever see the usual dialog for selecting the PDF file name and destination. I tried it with a smaller page size - 36" x 72" - and it worked exactly as expected.


I embarked upon a little exploration to see, for a given page width, the maximum page length I could use before it wouldn't create a PDF. Here's what I observed:


  • 15" x 198.8" works, but 15" x 198.9" does not
  • 20" x 149.1" works, but 20" x 149.2" does not
  • 36" x 82.85" works, but 36" x 82.86" does not
  • 42" x 71.01" works, but 42" x 71.02" does not


Note that, for all of these cases, things cease to work when the area becomes just slightly greater than 2,982 square inches.


I tried some of the same page sizes for printing to PDF from a different application (Autodesk Inventor), and found the same results. It works when the page area is at or below 2,982 square inches, but fails when the area is slightly greater than that. When it fails when printing from Inventor, in addition to not seeing the usual dialog for selecting the PDF file name and destination, I'm also presented with the error message, "Could not start print job".


Does anyone have knowledge of this issue? I have searched and - so far - failed.

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 20, 2012 2:14 PM   in reply to Curious Crandall

    It may be a limitation of the printer driver. According to this reference from Acrobat 9 Help, a PDF can be much larger:


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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 11, 2012 7:14 PM   in reply to Curious Crandall

    Sounds as if that is a limitation of your printer.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 11, 2012 8:05 PM   in reply to Curious Crandall

    PDF are based on the Print Driver your computer uses. In my experience PDFs created based on the printer you system uses. Often you can change the maximum size by changing the Print driver used.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 12, 2012 12:15 AM   in reply to Phillip Jones

    I'd have to agree with Curious Crandall that if it's a problem with the printer driver, then presumably the printer driver he is using is Adobe PDF - can you confirm that?


    For what it's worth, in Windows XP, Acrobat X I just set up a custom page size in Adobe PDF of 80 x 80 inches.


    In Notepad, worked fine.

    In Excel, it ignored the size and used document size.


    I can't find any reference to the maximum print size being lower in Windows 7.

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