9 Replies Latest reply on Jul 13, 2012 5:28 PM by groove25

    Printing a PDF in Illustrator on Mac

    groove25 Level 4

      Could someone show me what a healthy Illustrator CS5 or CS6 Print dialog looks like on a Mac?


      I recently purged a bunch of outdated "Adobe PDF 7.0"-related printer files from my computer and several weeks later discovered that significant portions of my Illustrator Print dialog were now disabled. It's weird because these files don't actually work on Mac OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard), and yet they seem essential to accessing the various Print dialog features (including layout preview) as well as the OS-related Page Setup... and Printer... options.


      Thes screenshots show the Print dialog first with the Adobe PDF 7.0 files installed and then without—note the many disabled features in the second screenshot.


      CS5 Print dialog.pngCS5 print dialog.png


      I now feel trapped into keeping this vintage, dysfunctional printer driver. I'm wondering whether something went missing from my CS5 or CS6 installations—an Acrobat component that would replace Adobe PDF 7.0 and allow for a full range of printing options in Illustrator.


      I've also spent a ridiculous amount of time dealing with this problem and seem to be getting nowhere.

        • 1. Re: Printing a PDF in Illustrator on Mac
          [scott] Level 6

          Why are you printing to PDF rather than simply saving to PDF? Is there some specific reason?


          The Adobe PDF print driver is no longer installed. I think it was discontinued at Acrobat 8 or 9, because the Mac OS has PDF saving built into it's print dialog.

          • 2. Re: Printing a PDF in Illustrator on Mac
            groove25 Level 4

            In this case, I'm starting with an oversize PDF (e.g. 15" x 20") and taking advantage of Illustrator's page tiling features to print this large image across multiple 8.5" x 11" pages. (And when I say printing, I really mean converting to a new PDF, to be printed elsewhere.)


            In the past, I might have used the Print button to create this new PDF, which relied on the Adobe PDF 7.0 printer. As this stopped working with Snow Leopard, I believe I was using the Printer button (at the bottom of the dialog) to Save As PDF under the Mac OS, which still respected all the Illustrator Print dialog settings.


            Once I removed the Adobe PDF 7.0 printer, I lost the ability to save a PDF. And in particular, the Page Setup and Printer buttons are deactivated.

            • 4. Re: Printing a PDF in Illustrator on Mac
              groove25 Level 4

              @Larry: Thanks very much for the link! I need to make some time to look into this.


              I'm still wondering: Is the second screenshot above representative of the natural, default state of the Illustrator Print dialog on a Mac? The Mac OS options for Printer and Page Setup (at the bottom left) are disabled, and the Print button is replaced by a Save button (which generates a PostScript file instead of a PDF).

              • 5. Re: Printing a PDF in Illustrator on Mac
                Larry G. Schneider Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                Notice the PPD line in the second window. It says Device Independent so it is the most generic printer description without any printer specific options.

                • 6. Re: Printing a PDF in Illustrator on Mac
                  groove25 Level 4

                  Right. And after I removed the Adobe PDF 7.0 files, "Device Independent" is the only option that appears there.


                  In addition, if I open the PPD dropdown menu, choose Other..., and navigate to a specific printer PPD (e.g., Brother DCP-145C), the thumbnail preview and other print options appear, but the Mac OS Page Setup and Printer options remain disabled.


                  I'm wondering if this is the default user experience on a Mac, or if I removed one file too many somehow. (Incidentally, this is the list of files I removed: http://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/kb/manually-remove-acrobat-6-x.html)

                  • 7. Re: Printing a PDF in Illustrator on Mac
                    Larry G. Schneider Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    On my MBP I have used the above reinstalled Acrobat 9 PPD file to enable saving a PDF file to my desktop without problems.

                    • 8. Re: Printing a PDF in Illustrator on Mac
                      groove25 Level 4

                      Alright, I've now taken a closer look at the recommended link.


                      I downloaded the Acrobat 9 PPD file and placed it in the Illustrator CS5 Presets folder. Then, in the Print dialog, I had to navigate to that PPDs folder to actually load the file; however, once chosen, it remains the default option. (From what I understand, the Acrobat 9 PPD file is analogous to the specific printer PPD option that I was choosing before—e.g., Brother DCP-145C—but allows for custom page sizes.)


                      Once my job is ready, I can click Save to save a PostScript file to my chosen location. From there, I can convert that PostScript file to a PDF using Preview. (This latter part was news to me, and is helpful to know.)


                      So this works... But I'm still not saving a PDF directly from the Print dialog, and I still have no access to the Mac OS's Printer or Page Setup options (which were enabled prior to my removing all the Adobe PDF 7.0 stuff).


                      So is this it? Or am I missing something? The recommended link is rather vague about support for the 'Create Adobe PDF' command from the PDF menu in the Mac OS print dialog box, saying that "InDesign and Illustrator sometimes don't support this feature, depending on the version you are using". In my case, it was clearly supported, until I removed the Adobe PDF 7.0 files.

                      • 9. Re: Printing a PDF in Illustrator on Mac
                        groove25 Level 4

                        Looks like I need to correct myself.


                        When I run Illustrator CS5 using a backup of my hard drive—made prior to the removal of the Adobe PDF 7.0 files—I discover that, although the Printer and Page Setup options appear to be enabled within the Print dialog, the Save As PDF options don't actually work. This seems to match what's documented in the recommended Help link.


                        SaveAsPDF not supported.png


                        This means, I guess, that it doesn't really matter whether the buttons appear to be enabled or not—if they don't work either way.


                        Larry, thanks very much for your help with this issue. If you could confirm what I described in my previous post (#8)—that the Print dialog generates a PostScript file not a PDF, and that the Mac OS options are disabled or non-functioning—that would help me to close the lid on this and move on.