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Cruciarius

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 18, 2013
109
17
Massachusetts
My dad has an issue printing PDF files. They print very faded and unable to be read. This is a big issue, since he needs to print a PDF for something to do with his life insurance, I think.

Anyway, the printer has fresh ink. He's tried printing XLSX files and those print fine. The same files, if saved as a PDF, print horribly. The PDF in question through isn't a PDF he made, so he can't just change it. I've tried adjusting settings, but nothing seems to be fixing the issue and I'm stumped as to why XLSX files print fine, but not PDF.

Attaching the example of a PDF vs XLSX files. Any ideas as to why this would be happening? Same results if printing with Excel, Adobe Acrobat Reader, or Preview.
 

MacGizmo

macrumors 68020
Apr 27, 2003
2,100
1,346
Arizona
Check the PDF app settings to make sure you're NOT: Printing in Grayscale (usually a checkbox for this), printing with ColorSync or other color profile settings.
 

hobowankenobi

macrumors 68000
Aug 27, 2015
1,776
690
on the land line mr. smith.
Since it is not the app as you have tried a few, I would guess OS or printer. OS updates, printer driver updates, and possibly printer configuration depending on what brand/model it is.

A good test would be to print PDFs from a different computer and see if the same thing happens.

Some printers have buried settings (that might be the culprit) only visible via a web GUI or CUPS configurations....stuff like: economy mode.
 

jamietshaw

macrumors member
Sep 25, 2009
96
25
UK
Weird! Just to check then – the PDF looks black enough on-screen, yes? Also, are you able to print your dad’s PDF on your printer so you can see if the printer itself is the problem or the PDF going to it?
 

Cruciarius

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 18, 2013
109
17
Massachusetts
Problem solved by him mailing the PDF to my sister and she says she printed it just fine. She has an iMac, but I'm unsure what OS she has it running.

I expect it's maybe an OS issue. He has a Mac Mini, which isn't on the latest OS X. Didn't update it for him because he has Microsoft Office 2011 and if I have him update the OS, he can't use the 2011 Excel anymore (gives a warning it's not compatible).

Looking into it, it appears newer versions of MS Office have gone to an Adobe-like monthly fee subscription. Lame. I'll see if I can get him to switch to Apple's Numbers.
 

hobowankenobi

macrumors 68000
Aug 27, 2015
1,776
690
on the land line mr. smith.
Yes, like an OS and/or printer driver issue.

As for Office...Apple Pages/Numbers/Keynote is good for most users. But there is a learning curve...due mostly to different menus and buttons.

If that is too much change, you might consider LibreOffice. Very similar user experience compared to older versions of MS Office.
 
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