Addressing Common Problems When Printing PDFs

The main goal of the PDF file format was to create the means for presenting documents in a “manner independent of application software, hardware and operating system.” One notable function that’s missing? Printing the document.

This is not to say that it isn’t as easy to print a paper copy of a PDF document, as it is to print a file from a word processor such as Microsoft Office. Printing a PDF file is as simple as clicking on the print button. However like any other type of document there are things that might go wrong when printing a PDF. Luckily, these issues are rather simple to address.

Missing fonts in a PDF file

One of the biggest problems that you may face when opening shared documents is the fact that if the font used in the document is not installed on your Computer. When that’s the case, the software application will simply change the font type to its default. This could alter the layout and the typography.

PDF editor software allows you to embed the fonts you’ve used in your document. Using the process defined by the PDF software application, you have the ability to embed all fonts, non-standard fonts or even no fonts at all. You may decide to embed only some of the fonts due to size restrictions, as each embedded font causes the file size to increase, or due to licensing issues with the fonts used. If you do not embed the required fonts in the file, there is a high likelihood that there will be problems printing the PDF as well.

Colors in a PDF file

When you create a document using PDF software, or any other application for that matter, you may face a problem with the printed document looking different from how it appears onscreen. While resolution, monitor quality, printer quality and other variables may play a part, the biggest culprit is often that colors presented on a monitor are in RGB (red, green and blue) while the file will use CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) when printed. The conversion from one to another may cause degradation issues resulting in a printed document that does not look the same as its on-screen counterpart.

You can overcome this issue with a well-designed document. Choosing clear images and using image-editing tools within the application will help you minimize problems that can happen in the color conversion process.

Layering your PDF document

When creating PDF files, you have the option to use layers to help protect your work. If you make a mistake, or need to remove something, you can delete the layer that the offending content exists on without altering any other part of the document.

While the layer feature of PDF software aids you in creating a document, it may cause issues when it comes to printing since you have to flatten the layers, which can lead to mistakes being made in the final output.

Flattening layers as you complete certain elements is one way to help alleviate this problem, however, each time you flatten layers, be sure to save a new version of the document. Store the original file, with all of the layers intact, as a separate file in case you ever need it.

PDF software rarely presents display problems when files are opened on a computer or device, or even when they’re printed. It’s always good to be aware of the issues you may run into, however, and understand how to fix common problems.

62 thoughts on “Addressing Common Problems When Printing PDFs

  1. Duncan

    The only print setting that seems to work for me without cutting off or compressing bottom border is printing with custom scale at 85% which is obviously not great for proofing artwork. Can you advise please…

  2. Brian D Sobotta

    phantom pdx does not print my pdf document, only prints out some kind of code.
    when printing same pdf in reader, works just fine.
    ver. business

  3. anand

    when i install foxit reader then my printer not working and not dispaly printer folder any printer, also i not use in tally and other software

  4. Chris H

    I’ve noticed recently that printing to PDF has slowed down considerably – almost overnight it seems. I’d print a webpage or an online PDF to my FoxIt Phantom and it could take 20-30 seconds sometimes for even a 1-page document. Before, it was printing almost immediately.

    Any tips on how to resolve this?


  5. Michael

    Despite my printer being set up to print in colour, foxit pdf document will only print in black and white. How can I set up foxit to print in colour

      1. Graeme Pearman

        I am searching the internet for a solution as I have emailed “support” and not received a response!!! can you help?

  6. lloyd

    Great programme but are finding recipients are receiving garble text and numbering to some pages. Anything I can do about this. Operating windows 7 .
    I have been importing scanned drawings,amending and saving

  7. Tori Chambers

    Is there any way of stopping FoxIt Phantom PDF opening when I print an internet page as a pdf, this is something I have to do regularly and I don’t need the pdf document right after I print to pdf but I can’t find a way to stop it from coming up in a the viewer. It’s time consuming and alot of the information I’m saving is time sensitive and occasionally massive so I really would rather have it not open straight after saving.

    1. FOXITBLOG Post author

      Please go to the Foxit PhantomPDF- Select File Print- Select the Foxit PhantomPDF Printer- Properties- Go to the General Tab- Uncheck View PDF results- Then select Save as Default.

      1. Graeme Pearman

        Thanks for the suggestion. But after doing this I find that the headers are not recognized so I can not edit them. Any suggestions?


  8. foxit33713

    I thought there was a time that I was able to print from Foxit Mobile. I have it on my Windows 8 laptop for about 2 years now. I just now tried to print a doc and there’s no Print option available. The current Foxit Mobile app in Windows store does not support Windows 8 OS. “This app does not work on your device.” It only support Windows 10.

    1. FOXITBLOG Post author

      Sorry but the latest mobile reader only works OS Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile. Please download our standard windows reader and you will be able to print.

  9. George R

    When I print a pdf file with watermarks and/or icons, the watermarks are a lot more visible than usual and the icon area printed black. Same with table boxes, light gray printed as almost dark.
    This started when I press by mistake Ctrl+A or something similar. I try to uninstall and reinstal foxit but nothing change.

    Please, help!

    P.S If i try to print another type document, it prints normally.


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