Why won't Acrobat/Distiller save my file?
May 31, 2010 6:42 AM   Subscribe

Adobe Acrobat/Distiller query: I choose Adobe PDF 9.0 from the print dialog of Word 2008 on my Mac, and choose PDF/X-1a:2001 from the PDF Options. I click Print, am asked for a filename/location, the printing queue window opens, but NO FILE IS SAVED! What am I doing wrong? If I try and open the Word doc from within Acrobat, to output it there, it tells me it can't be outputted as a PDF/X-1a file.
posted by humblepigeon to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
Instead of clicking Print in the print dialog box in Word, click PDF (bottom left), then Save as PDF (or postscript, if you'll be distilling it). Then choose the location to save the PDF.
posted by Uncle Glendinning at 8:10 AM on May 31, 2010

I've used PDF Creator for years as my print to PDF solution. It works well enough that my large corporate employer has it as their business solution.
posted by arcticseal at 9:38 AM on May 31, 2010

Alas, I have to use that particular PDF profile (PDF/X-1a:2001) for outputting. The printer won't accept anything else. I don't think other PDF creators are as specific as this. (For what it's worth, the printer also won't accept anything that hasn't come via Acrobat/Distiller anyway.)

A solution seems to be, as Uncle hinted, to output a PDF using OS X's built-in PDF tool, and then load it into Acrobat Pro, and then export it as a postscript file, and then use Distiller to create a PDF from the postscript file with the PDF/X-1a:2001 profile set as default.

I've no idea if this will be acceptable to the printer, and will have to wait and see.
posted by humblepigeon at 10:00 AM on May 31, 2010

You don't need to go view Preview or Acrobat Pro. Just go to print from Word, choose "Save as Postscript" from the PDF popup at the bottom left of the print window, and save the .ps into your Distiller's watched folder. Result should be one pdf.
posted by bonaldi at 10:45 AM on May 31, 2010

I recently encountered a bug with Acrobat Pro (9.0.1?) and network drives -- are you by any chance attempting to save to a network drive? If so, save to a local drive and then move it. (I saw this on Windows, but still worth a shot)
posted by misterbrandt at 1:25 PM on May 31, 2010

Seconding bonaldi's: Make a .ps and then distill the postscript - 2-step-workflow.
I've always found that process generally was far less buggy for printing, and often made smaller, cleaner files, and was less prone to errors than 'printing' direct to pdf.
posted by metaphorical at 7:41 PM on May 31, 2010

Thanks everybody. I need to delete the first page from the PDF before sending it off, however, and this is impossible to do beforehand. Any idea how I can do this cleanly and safely, staying within the ps --> pdf workflow?
posted by humblepigeon at 2:24 AM on June 1, 2010

Why is it impossible to do beforehand? What prevents you?
posted by bonaldi at 4:44 AM on June 1, 2010

Word 2008 insists on starting all documents with a LH page, but I'm outputting interior book files for POD printing, which need to start on a RH page.
posted by humblepigeon at 5:43 AM on June 1, 2010

Ah, just use the "page range" bit of the print panel, and choose to print page 2 - [how ever many pages you have]. When you save as PS it'll respect those settings.
posted by bonaldi at 6:08 AM on June 1, 2010

Excellent idea! Thanks! Can't believe I didn't realise myself.
posted by humblepigeon at 6:11 AM on June 1, 2010

Hmm, just tried it and it doesn't work. The problem seems to be that I have various section breaks in the file (I have to do so in order to suppress page numbering), and Word 2008 isn't quite sure which page numbers I'm referring to. I would have though the print dialog would refer to the literal page numbering (i.e. the one at the bottom of the Word program window in the status display) but apparently it doesn't, or there's a bug.
posted by humblepigeon at 6:22 AM on June 1, 2010

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