OK, maybe no-one has experienced this. If it's OK I'm going to report what I find, in case anyone later has the issue and does a search in here.
Google led me to a knowledgebase article http://kb.adobe.com/selfservice/viewContent.do?externalId=332622 (search the kb appears to be broken), and the following reasons are offered:
*Printing to a non PostScript printer immediately after printing to a PostScript printer with Scale To Fit selected.
*Cancelling a print job during the printing or spooling process.
*Printing with damaged preference files.
The first two don't apply to me, I tend to put off recreating preferences if I can, and other documents with placed pdfs are printing just fine.
Other possible causes:
*Printing a PDF file that contains OPI 2.0 comments.
*Printing a gradient that contains spot colors from different color spaces.
*Printing a tagged text file that uses out-of-range colors.
*Printing without having selected a printer in the Chooser .
*Printing with the Chooser open after making a printer selection.
Possible solutions include a bunch that I can't try, such as issues with fonts or colour spaces, as it's a supplied pdf. Given the resolution of exported jpegs, exporting as such won't do. I suppose I could try converting to eps via Photoshop.
This is weird one:
>Solution 3: Change print options in the Print dialog box.
>Make the following change in the Print dialog box:
>If you print a section that contains only one odd page, deselect Even Pages Only.
If you print a section that contains only one even page, deselect Odd Pages Only.
Umm, if I was printing only an odd page, I wouldn't get very far printing even pages only, now would I?
If I ever get to work through the snow, I'm going to look at this one first:
>Solution 6: Remove OPI 2.0 comments from the PDF file.
>Remove OPI 2.0 comments from the PDF file, place the PDF file into InDesign, and then print the document.
>To remove OPI 2.0 comments, do one of the following tasks:
>In Adobe Acrobat, manually remove the OPI 2.0 comments and then re-create the PDF file.
It doesn't mean much to me, but it might be a plan. As I said, for this document it doesn't really matter, I can print from Acrobat, but if a placed pdf is only part of a document I could be in trouble.
It's weird, one problem, all kinds of possible causes. If I'm being a pest, someone please say, otherwise I'll report back on which solution/workaround succeeds.
Ah ha! (I realise I'm talking to myself, but I'm still thinking about future enquiries that might come up.)
I did something very stupid - when I said where the pdf was made, I've just realised I was talking about my second generation one and assuming Windows because of the fonts.
The original was created in Serif Page Plus. I vaguely remember previous troublesome ones being from that source too, I don't know if anyone knows if these are problematic for Indesign.
No more progress today as I didn't make it through the snow and I don't have ID or Acrobat at home, although I can get to the pdf and find out some info. in Reader.
b Adobe Print Engine Failure Error
I have been trying to work around this and/or cure the problem since November. I don't mind creating a new preferences file, if that solves the problem. And, I suspect that that is my problem. I'm sure that I aborted a job on at least one occasion, and I'm quite sure that
I have committed most of the sins outlined in the causes and effects
list. However, I haven't figured out where to type in the commands that will get me to the preferences file. One set of instructions suggested that I go into the library file and delete a file within, but can't remember which file it is. Guess I'm not savvy enough to figure it all out.
I can't see that deleting prefs will help me - I've paid more attention and established that it's currently only pdfs from this one customer, who makes them from Page Plus. I can't remember where earlier ones came from, I get so many. I suspect I'll have to live with it and just print his files from Acrobat.
Pdfs can be a mixed blessing by the way, at the dealing-with-cash-poor-amateurs end of the market where I spend a lot of my time, I get proudly presented with god-awful scanned-to-pdf efforts that I'm supposed to separate to black + Pantone :(
For what it's worth, which isn't much, I don't think this is an OPI comments problem. I've seen that with a lot of Quark generated PDFs because Quark enables OPI by default. On those files the page has printed, but random images will be missing from the placed PDFs.
I don't know much about Page Plus, other than it is a low-budget solution. I suspect one way they cut costs is to use some open-source PDF clone engine to produce the PDF and it isn't adhering to the spec perfectly.
In my case I have managed to narrow this error down to bullets set up with paragraph and character style. I had been using a paragraph bullet style and then settting the look of the bullet as a character style (a zapf dingbat solid circle)(as described in the manual). This causes the print engine failure if I take the bullet style off - no problem