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General Printing Tips and Troubleshooting

Deleting Old Printers 

Flattening an Image 

Printer/Plotter Error Message 


File Names
There are certain special characters that you can use in file names on a Mac that are not compatible with Windows file systems or the Uniprint processing systems. Because of this, you should avoid any character that is not a letter, number, underscore or dash. Periods are a bad idea as it can confuse the file identification because a period denotes the start of the file extension. Slashes (forward and back) are interpreted as directory breaks in some cases and should not be used. Other characters such as %, #, @, &, etc can cause a variety of issues, not the least of which is crashing the local Uniprint processes. If you do not get a popup box when printing, make sure you are not using characters like this in the file name or any file that you have used in your document (i.e. An image file with a % in the name linked in an InDesign file used to make a PDF could cause the PDF to crash the print service). You will need to reboot the computer to restart the print processes.

GIF Images
There is a known problem with GIF and other indexed image formats with the Apple print system. If you use a GIF image (or something like an indexed TIFF) in your InDesign document for example, it can cause a printer failure. In most cases this takes the form of a severe crash that only an IT staff member can correct, or spitting out reams of code. The same issue will occur if you create a PDF file from said InDesign document because PDF preserves layer data.  Avoid using GIF images for this reason.

Safari and other Mac Applications
Related to the GIF issue above, and for issues specific to the Mac OS, you may experience failed print jobs from any Mac application in the form of printer crashes, jobs that just never print once sent to the printer, or code spitting.  For example, it's hard to tell when there is a GIF image on a web page you're trying to print.  It's also known that Mac systems have more issues printing large images to lower end printers.  In some cases creating a PDF and following the note below on PDF files will help.  In other cases seek out a Windows system to print from to work around the OS issue.

PDF Files
Unfortunately there is no way to know if a PDF contains excessive layer information or a GIF image that could cause the above print issues. The best advice to avoid this however is never print a PDF file from Preview (if on a Mac), always use Adobe Reader. When printing, there is an advanced option to Print as Image which should be used.  This makes the computer process the file rather than relying on the printer to do it, resulting in the printer receiving a simpler file which avoids issues.

Other Tips

  • Do not print large files from Preview on the Mac, it will not handle large or custom sizes in many cases
  • JPG images are smaller on your disk/ flash drive/ server than TIFF, but a TIFF is a lossless format and will preserve the image quality better. The print will go no faster if you save a JPG vs TIFF vs PSD as the decompressed data is the same regardless of format.
  • If you need to cancel a print job on a Designjet printer for some reason, you must do so AFTER it has printed at least an inch before hitting the cancel button.