Fix: PDF files not printing properly on Windows 10

By: Milan Stanojevic
9 minute read

PDF is one of the most popular file formats for documents due to its features. Unfortunately, some users reported that PDF files aren’t printing properly on Windows 10, so let’s see how to fix this problem.

PDF files not printing properly, how to fix it?

As we already mentioned, PDF file format is used for all sorts of documents, but sometimes it can happen that the PDF document isn’t printed properly. Users reported missing text and fields on a printed document, but there’s a way to fix this problem.

Fix – PDF files not printing properly

Solution 1 – Check if PDF file is corrupted

One of the most common causes for printing problems with PDF files is the corruption of the PDF file. PDF file can become corrupted during the file transfer process, and if that’s the case, you need to download the file again. If the PDF file is stored on your PC, it can be corrupted due to bad disk sector on your hard drive. To fix this problem, be sure to recreate the PDF file from the original source and save it to a different location. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open the problematic PDF file in the PDF editor.
  2. Choose File > Print and choose the option to save the file as PDF.
  3. Open the new PDF file and try to print it again.

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Solution 2 – Reload the fonts

Sometimes PDF files aren’t printed properly if there’s a problem with fonts. If you are the creator of the PDF document, try reloading fonts and check if that fixes the problem with printing.

Solution 3 – Keep your printer drivers up to date

Your printer relies heavily on drivers in order to work properly, but sometimes driver issues can occur. If that’s the case, you should install the latest drivers for your printer. To do that, simply visit your printer manufacturer’s website and download the latest drivers for your model. We also recommend this third-party tool (100% safe and tested by us) to automatically download all the outdated drivers on your PC.

Some users are also suggesting to remove your old printer drivers from your PC before installing new ones. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + X to open Win + X menu and choose Device Manager from the list.
  2. When Device Manager opens, look for your printer. If you don’t see it in Device Manager, go to View tab and check Show hidden devices option.
  3. Locate your printer, right click it and choose Uninstall.
  4. Confirm Device Uninstall window will now appear. Check Delete the driver software for this device and click OK.

After the driver is completely removed, restart your PC and install the new driver that you downloaded. Although it’s not necessary that you uninstall your old driver, it’s a good practice, so you might want to do it. Few users reported that using Postscript driver instead of a regular driver fixed this issue on their PC, so you might want to try that as well.

Solution 4 – Print PDF as image

If your PDF files aren’t printed properly, there might be an issue with rendering PDF files. To fix this problem, you need to check Print As Image option. This option is available from the Print window so be sure to check it. If you can’t find this option, be sure look for it in the Advanced menu. By using this option your PDF file will be converted into image before printing and all problems with rendering will be avoided.

Solution 5 – Try to print another document

Sometimes these problems can be caused by your printer, and if that’s the case, you should check if your printer is working properly. To do that, try to print any other PDF document. If the issue persists, try printing another type of file. This will help you determine if the problem is caused only by PDF files. If you can, you can also try using a different printer and check if that solves the problem.

Solution 6 – Create a copy of the PDF file

According to users, you might be able to fix this problem simply by creating a copy of the PDF file. To do that, open your PDF editor and choose File > Save as. Enter the new name for the PDF file but be sure not to use any special characters or symbols. After creating a copy of the PDF file, try to print the new file and check if the same problem appears.

Solution 7 – Restart your PC

Few users suggested that you might be able to fix this problem simply by restarting your computer. This problem can be caused by your cache, but it should be removed when you restart your PC. After restarting your PC, check if the issue is resolved.

Solution 8 – Make sure that your PDF tool is up to date

Issues with printing can occur if your PDF tool is outdated, so be sure to download and install the latest version. Older versions might have some issues regarding printing, and in order to ensure that everything is working, be sure to update your PDF tool to the latest version. After updating the tool, try to print the PDF file again.

Solution 9 – Force printer to use TrueType fonts

Users reported that text isn’t being printer while printing a PDF file, and instead of letters users are getting empty boxes. According to users, this issue is caused by TrueType fonts. Sometimes printers can use their own fonts instead of TrueType fonts and that can cause this error to appear. To fix this issue you need to force the printer to download TrueType fonts for printing. To do that, make sure to change TrueType font option to Download as Softfont. Save changes and try to print again.

Solution 10 – Install the missing fonts

If text is missing when printing a PDF file, that can be caused by missing fonts on your PC. When creating a PDF file users can embed custom fonts in the PDF which ensures that the PDF file will look the same on any PC. By embedding fonts into the PDF file the file will be larger in size, and that’s not what many users want. In order to reduce the size of a PDF file, users often don’t embed custom fonts into PDF documents which can create these types of problems. To fix this problem, you’ll need to find the fonts that are used by the PDF file and install them on your PC in order to print the PDF file properly.

Solution 11 – Embed the fonts in PDF files

If you created the problematic PDF file, you should be able to fix the problem with missing text simply by recreating the file and embedding the missing fonts. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. When you’re printing the document as a PDF, click the Printer Properties button.
  2. Now click on Adobe PDF Settings tab.
  3. Click the Edit button next to the Default Settings drop down menu.
  4. Click on Fonts and check Embed all fonts option.

After doing that, custom fonts will be embedded in a PDF file and the issue should be resolved. Keep in mind that embedding fonts will make the PDF file larger in size.

Solution 12 – Use PDF/X standard

You can avoid most of printing problems with PDF files simply by using PDF/X standard. Any document can easily be converted to PDF/X standard by using Adobe Acrobat or a third-party application. As for PDF/X standard, it requires that all fonts are embedded in the PDF documents. In addition, this standard requires bounding boxes to be specified. We have to mention that you need to define the color and disable all transparency for this standard. By using this standard you’ll ensure that your PDF file looks the same on your device and on paper. Keep in mind that the PDF file will be larger in size since you’re embedding fonts to it.

Solution 13 – Try printing the PDF document from Word

According to users, they found a workaround that allows them to print PDF documents. Users reported that text was missing after using certain fonts, but you can circumvent this issue by printing the document from Word. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Try to print the document in Word. Choose Adobe PDF.
  2. Now select Printer Properties > Paper / Quality Tab > Advanced.
  3. Change TrueType Font Download to Outline in Document and Postscript options.

After doing that, try to print the document and the issue should be resolved.

Solution 14 – Make sure that No Color option isn’t selected

Users reported that certain fields are visible on their PC when viewing the document, but the same fields are missing after the document is printed. This is a strange problem, but it seems that this issue is caused by No Color option. To fix this problem, do the following:

  1. Select field Properties.
  2. Navigate to Appearance.
  3. Now set Border Color to any color that you want.
  4. Set Fill Color to white.

After setting Fill and Border colors to anything other than No color, the issue should be completely resolved.

Solution 15 – Make sure that visibility isn’t set to Screen

If certain elements aren’t displayed when you print a PDF document, you need to check the visibility settings for that document. Few users reported that certain elements aren’t visible because their visibility was set to Screen. By using the Screen option your elements will be visible only on your screen but not when you print the document. After changing the visibility to something other than Screen, the issue should be resolved.

Solution 16 – Turn on Display PDF in browser option

According to users, sometimes PDF documents aren’t printed properly from the browser, and in order to fix that issue, you need to change few settings in Acrobat Reader. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open Acrobat Reader and go to Edit > Preferences.
  2. Select the Internet category.
  3. Locate Display PDF in browser option and check it.
  4. Save changes and try to print the document from the browser again.

Solution 17 – Downgrade your PDF tool

If your PDF documents aren’t printed properly, you might want to consider downgrading your PDF tool. Newer versions often introduce new features, but certain bugs can be present and cause printing problems. One suggested workaround is to downgrade your PDF tool to the older version until and use the older version until the issue is resolved. This might not be the most efficient solution, but it should allow you to print your documents without any problems.

Solution 18 – Use Export or Save as PDF feature

Many users reported that their PDF files aren’t printed properly while using Print as PDF option. To fix this problem, you are advised to use Export or Save as PDF feature. After using these features you should be able to print PDF documents without any problems.

Solution 19 – Disable Rely on system font only, don’t use document fonts option

As you know, you can embed fonts to PDF documents in order to avoid problems with viewing and printing, but some PCs don’t allow custom fonts to be displayed, and that can cause PDF documents to be improperly printed. To fix this issue, you just need to navigate to Adobe PDF Printer Preferences and uncheck Rely on system font only, don’t use document fonts option. After doing that, save changes and try to print the document again.

PDF documents are both portable and extremely useful, but sometimes issues with printing can occur. To fix problems with PDF files and printing, be sure to use some of our solutions.


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