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When printing PDF, text comes out as strange random characters?

Sep 12, 2008 3:26 AM

Hi,
We have been having this with more and more of our users recently, but it's random and follows no particular pattern...

Sometimes, when printing a PDF to our networked HP laser printers, the PDF template comes out fine (eg any images/logos, the form template, any objects etc) but the text comes out as random ASCII characters?
It happens regularly, but you can print the same file out again and it will often work fine?

I guess its more likely a problem with the printers, but HP forums haven't helped me out. I've tried PCL5, 5e, and 6 drivers, they all do it occasionally.

I guess Im hoping the Adobe forum has seen this before, Any ideas?
Alan
 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 15, 2008 8:48 AM   in reply to (Alan_R_Thompson)
    I have the same problem. Of course "print as image" works fine. And everything displays perfectly well on the monitor running acrobat. When printing, however, I get lots of wingdings looking symbols instead of expected text. I've tried toggling the "use local fonts" checkbox.
     
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    Sep 19, 2008 2:14 AM   in reply to (Alan_R_Thompson)
    Can someone from Adobe answer this issue? I'm really desperate here!! Jonathan is right, but imagine printing 400 pages aaaaaaaaaah!!
     
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    Sep 23, 2008 7:18 PM   in reply to (Alan_R_Thompson)
    if you can't get adobe to work for you i suggest downloading a copy of pdf995 (it's free.

    it acts as a virtual printer and will turn pretty much any document into a pdf

    not a perfect solution i know, but a solution nonetheless :)
     
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    Sep 24, 2008 6:58 AM   in reply to (Alan_R_Thompson)
    Alan

    Just curious, what printer are you using?
    Im having somewhat of the same problem when I print a PDF I sometimes get Pages and Pages of one line of "windings symbols" at the top of the page. Im using a HP CP 1518ni laser jet. I called HP and they had me update my firmware but that didnt seem to help and since it is kind of random they could'nt do much for me at the time. I just posted on HP forum about this issue heres the link incase i get some kind of helpfull info

    http://forums12.itrc.hp.com/service/forums/bizsupport/questionanswer.d o?threadId=1272168

    Im also using Reader 8
     
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    Sep 24, 2008 10:56 PM   in reply to (Alan_R_Thompson)
    Hi,

    I've just the same problem with a brother 2070N laserprinter. Some characters are printed well, but even those parts in the documents, that have fields with variable contend in the printed form - might by another textstyle - are printed as hieroglyphes.
    Everything is all right except printing pdf-files. Problem occurs first after installing new adobe 7.
    Printer updates had no result, 4 hours of search later I've no idea what to do now.
     
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    Sep 25, 2008 12:21 AM   in reply to (Alan_R_Thompson)
    Seems to be a clearly defined problem within the printer sequences for variable input-data. I cannot believe, that it is so difficult to solve, because it occurs in certain areas of the documents.
    And it's a problem that exists since a couple of weeks, not only days - why is there no statement by adobe?
    I'm not able to print online shipping adresses or official tax documents. :-(

    Did anybody contact adobe directly? I didn't, cause I only use the license-free adobe reader.
     
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    Oct 2, 2008 10:58 PM   in reply to (Alan_R_Thompson)
    I also have this problem too. I have tried using an epson printer and now I am using a HP printer. I think Adobe is using some kind of font that Vista doesnt translate or support. Is anyone else, having this problem, also using Vista?
     
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    Oct 3, 2008 5:46 AM   in reply to (Alan_R_Thompson)
    Where is Adobe on this one? we are a 250 user envirorment using adobe standard 9, and having the same issues. randomly the documents fonts come out in wierd characters, pictures, graphics come out perfect.. no pattern as to when or what documents will do it. the only pattern is that is always a PDF. any help would be greatly appreciated!!
     
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    Oct 7, 2008 8:58 AM   in reply to (Alan_R_Thompson)
    What I have seen is in my users printing preferences via start button and in Adobe print properties path, true type fonts setting gets set to print as graphics, I switch back to download as bitmaps and all prints well. Not sure how it gets toggled.
     
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    Oct 11, 2008 4:44 PM   in reply to (Alan_R_Thompson)
    I experienced this same problem with Adobe 7, 8, and 9 using a Brother HL-5280. Using the Vista HL-5280DW BR-Script3 driver. Changed some interpretation settings and that seems to have fixed the problem. Start, Printers, rt clk Properties. Under the Advanced tab select Print Processor. My original settings were WinPrint on the left and RAW on the right. Changed to right to RAW (FF AUTO). Since making the change I've successfully printed multiple documents (forms, etc) that previously showed hieroglyphics. Don't know if my change has any impact in computer talk, perhaps it just cycled some hung up 'trons. Regardless, I can print everything I couldn't before.
     
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    Oct 29, 2008 5:51 AM   in reply to (Alan_R_Thompson)
    I am having a problem with Reader that *may* be related. For some pdf doc's I downloaded from HP, if I copy some characters from the text and then paste them into the Find box, the characters show up as hieroglyphs in the Find box. And then actually attempting to do a Find using those characters doesn't work, because it can't find the very word that I copied them from! On top of that, if I manually type a word into the Find box, it won't find it even though I can see it within the text on the page showing on the screen. Very strange!

    - Brad
     
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    Oct 30, 2008 2:12 PM   in reply to (Alan_R_Thompson)
    Has anyone gotten an answer to this? It is making me crazy.
    I have gotten only computer gibberish with a normal line
    here and there ever since I upgraded to Reader 7.1. I am
    running Windows XP which I thought might be the problem
    but reading these posts it seems not.
     
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    Oct 31, 2008 7:44 AM   in reply to (Alan_R_Thompson)
    Under the Advanced tab select Print Processor. My original settings were WinPrint on the left and RAW on the right. Changed to right to RAW (FF AUTO). I am currently testing this, i will post my results, thanks to joseph S. above for the thought, hopefully it works!!
     
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    Feb 17, 2011 9:30 PM   in reply to (Alan_R_Thompson)

    i might have similar issue, vista/hp printer/ adobe reader:  prints strange characters/text/font, looks like what i call 'alien language'.

     
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    Feb 22, 2011 2:55 AM   in reply to (Alan_R_Thompson)

    Hi, this issue was the hardest one I've ever worked on even after replacing PC with a new one which made it clear that it's an end user issue; very active users with loads of work usually open tens of PDFs and print then close(open-print-close-open-print-close), with Adobe PDF uploading to printer takes more time than you think or see in the uploade pop up window so you need to keep the PDF open for a while even after it goes to printer memory!!!

    some people modify printing to print as image to solve this issue but this isn't practical with those hard working users who print huge PDFs that will print in Gigas if printed as images.

     
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    Apr 13, 2011 7:41 PM   in reply to thabet muhsen

    I had the same problem and thabet's response was correct. Just wait for the pdf to print before closing the pdf.

     
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    Apr 14, 2011 6:59 AM   in reply to (Alan_R_Thompson)

    Has anyone had any help on the original question?? We are just starting the see the problem of the ramdom pages of strange character printing since we moved to Reader X. All systems having the issue are Dell Win XP sp3 but have had the issue on both HP and Samsung printers.

     
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    Apr 14, 2011 8:25 AM   in reply to (Alan_R_Thompson)

    I, too, have been having this problem since installing Adobe Reader X.  Here is some additional information about it:

     

    1) thabet's solution isn't it for me.  I still have the PDF open and it keeps doing it.  If I kill all reader processes and then reopen, then it works (for a while).

     

    2) The garbage is not random.  Each character is one more than the correct character: A-->B, 4-->5,  space-->! , etc.

     

    3) I have windows XP SP3, and HP Photosmart C309g printer with the most recent software/drivers that I can find.

     
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    Apr 27, 2011 6:33 AM   in reply to MQ3381

    I'm seeing something similar as your 2).  Well, not myself, the person I sent my PDF to ... an amount for 113,18 becomes 224-29, duh!

     

    I don't know if it's entirely related but printing the same PDF file from Adobe Reader X is far worse!  A lot of digits are simply not printed (replaced by a square), 0-6 are, 7, 8, and 9 are not; euro sign is not, first uppercase character of a string is not, etc ...  Don't tell me that's a font problem!

     

    Have you tried an alternative PDF viewer like PDF-XChange?  For me that one prints correctly but as said, I don't see your exact same problem.

     

    So I don't know yet if that would be the solution for your problem 2) or for the person I sent the PDF to but I'll keep you posted if/when I receive feedback.

     

    Kind regards

     

    Patrick

     
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    Apr 27, 2011 7:10 AM   in reply to MQ3381

    B.t.w. my problem in Adobe X (as previous comment in this thread: some digits printing and others replace by square) was solved by disabling Protected mode.

     
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    Sep 27, 2011 7:18 AM   in reply to (Alan_R_Thompson)

    I have a WORKAROUND solution / process . . . .

     

    MY issues with pdf printing have always been assoicated with trying to print to pdf from a website / article.

     

    For whatever reason, I have found if I highlight / COPY the article and PASTE it to a WORD document, it prints into a pdf or on my printer just fine.

     

    SAME information / different outcome.

     

    May not help ALL situations but it helps with most of mine.

     

    Good luck.

     
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    Mar 7, 2013 2:00 PM   in reply to (Alan_R_Thompson)

    I just called xerox as the printer we use is a xerox workcentre. I think what they got me to change actually worked. I did a test print and got no symbols so either it was a lucky print or it worked.

     

    Go to start - devices and printers and right click on the printer in question. Go to printer properties - advanced - printer default - advanced - image options - post-script pass through. Here it should say enabled. Change it to disabled. This will stop the printer from interpretting the information in the PDF (and thus stop it from getting confused and just putting a symbol in where it didn't interpret something correctly).

     

    I hope this helps!

     
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    May 23, 2013 3:51 PM   in reply to (Alan_R_Thompson)

    I'm going to try the various methods everyone else has mentioned, but in my situation, it seems to be happening when we print the entire document BUT it doesn't show up on screen, only the printed copy text (the graphics are fine) appears like this:

     

    M[_][_] Ne[_][_]ett ...

     

    And so on and so forth. Now we can print the questionable page on it's own and it's as happy as a clam, but will not work when the entire document is printed. (If you're curious, it's between 12 - 14 ledger size sheets, double-sided). We have two printers (DocuColour 250 and DocuColour 252) that both produce the exact same results when attempting to print. The files come to us as pdfs, and the most that we do is combine them into a single pdf (for bookleting purposes). Up to recently we've been lucky enough that it's been intermittent, but now it seems to be every other pdf.


    Any ideas?

     
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    May 24, 2013 8:04 AM   in reply to H.AlexHowell

    If what I suggested above didn't work, I have two other things I found and tried out so maybe they had an impact in fixing the problem (though you may have tried these as well):

     

    1.start menu - printer settings - right click on printer - printer preferences - advanced - type font - change to bitmap (not automatic).

      Then change these same settings in adobe (in printing preferences or options)

     

    2.start menu - printer settings - right click on printer - printer properties - advanced - print processor - change from RAW to RAW (FFauto).

     

    Our printer spontaneously starting printing symbols this one day a few weeks back and it seemed like that solution I posted above did the trick. However, other people said those other two solutions worked for them. I think the key here is to stop your printer or computer from reinterpretting the symbols in the PDF and just see the PDF as an image. All of these methods are trying to do just that so try them but if it doesn't work maybe check to see if there isn't some other setting you can change to get it to see the PDF as a flat image.

     

    Good luck.

     
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