5 Replies Latest reply on Aug 25, 2009 9:21 PM by jay fresno

    Printing large files chokes plotter

    jay fresno Level 2

      In printing memory intensive Illustrator CS3 and CS4 files with photos to a large HP plotter, sometimes the files don't print. So as not to choke the plotter, is there a way to print the Illustrator file a little at a time to the same piece of paper? The parts would all need to line up perfectly. I seem to remember that in older versions of Illustrator there was a setting called something like 'split long paths' when printing, or some such thing, but I can't find it in the print dialog.

        • 1. Re: Printing large files chokes plotter
          jay fresno Level 2

          I found the setting to split long paths. It might help, but I think the main problem is with the photos.

          • 2. Re: Printing large files chokes plotter
            Larry G. Schneider Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            What is the resolution of the photos and what is the physical size of the file being printed? You may be able to drop the resolution of the photos to make things go easier.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Printing large files chokes plotter
              jay fresno Level 2

              Posters are F size, and they are viewed from a close distance. I'll try dropping the resolution. Thanks for your suggestion.

              • 4. Re: Printing large files chokes plotter
                D. Fraser-1eqWmH Level 2

                If you have Acrobat and Distiller, I have found printing out of Acrobat to be a lot faster at printing large files. I work with very large maps that have >50,000 objects in them and I have found printing directly out of Illustrator to be excruciatingly slow. I usually save a copy as an EPS (typically v.8) and distill the EPS to PDF and print from Acrobat. The reason I save as an old version EPS is that the time it takes to save the file is very short. I have tried to print the largest map I have directly from Illustrator and aborted the print after an hour of spooling. The same file, back-saved as a Version 8 EPS, takes ~45 seconds to save, ~1 minute to Distill and ~5 minutes to spool and start to print on our HPs. In this way you can maintain the integrity of the images placed or embedded in your original AI file without having to do adjust or re-rasterize images. You can also use Acrobat to fine-tune your optimization without destroying your original files. It can also help you find if you have a problem with a font, bad graphic or bad style quicker than if you were to wait an hour for it to spool and then the printer telling you it had a postscript error.


                If your Illustrator document raster effects are set to High and use one of the Distiller Press setting defaults, you should be able to get good results and the quickest spooling time possible. This is also beneficial in that anything that you have in a mask will be cropped (images) or stripped out (paths that aren't visible. This also flattens any transparency effects that you might have.


                This has just been my experience and has been an extremely reliable way for me to print anything that I have, be it A size or tiled to make a 18'x9' map. (One of my clients wanted to wallpaper a wall with a highly-detailed, satellite relief world map. The satellite image was 200 dpi at 100% tile scale and it started printing after about 15 minutes of spooling.)


                Hope this helps,


                • 5. Re: Printing large files chokes plotter
                  jay fresno Level 2

                  D. Fraser,


                  Thanks -- this is exactly the type of advice I was looking for, and I believe it will solve the print problems.