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.
The pdf producer is PDFlib+PDI 6.0.0p2 (Win32) and the PDF version is 1.5 (Acrobat 6.x)
It's a teensy bit frustrating that nobody who might know is chipping in here to tell me if that might be a problem.
Your not alone. I have experienced this issue as well. The only workaround that I have come up with is to give your local account admin rights "Allow user to administer this computer".
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.
One more thought. On occasion I used to save PDF as .eps from Acrobat, then run that through distiller to get it to behave (mostly for cropping off the marks and page info and the huge empty borders when designers would send me two-inch ads on lettersize pages). You might give that a try.
Thanks - I just crop in InDesign :) Still and all, next time one of these abominations turns up I will indeed try that - can't be worse than my planned next move. (You wouldn't want to know but black candles feature ;) )
I normally crop in ID, too, but the school paper is manned by low-skill students who have a lot of trouble getting things cropped and positioned correctly, so I like to give them as much of a chance as I can. :)
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
I got the same issue and I narrowed it down to an image in one of the pages. What worked for me was exporting the document (click on file; click on export) that was able to override the error.
Hope this helps someone