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Hello again internets.
I've been working a bit in my free time on my family's ancestry using ancestry.com. One problem, as you can see in that last link, is that visualizing one's family tree can bee a challenge in hardcopy. And I really enjoy my Brother HL-2170W, which is a decent black-and-white laser printer that you can use over your wireless network (and the wireless stuff just works!). This interest in printing out my family tree has exacerbated a printing problem I've been living with. (and I've solved it, sort of... read on)
The problem was this: whenever I tried printing a PDF with an image in it from any Adobe product (Reader, Acrobat Pro, etc.) to my HL-2170W, the print job would fail and the error reported was:
Opening raster file failed!
Now, if you google that phrase you get a bunch of people who all seem to recommend some version of reinstalling the printer drivers (btw, I'm on Mac OS 10.5.6). I tried each of those options -- downloading from Brother website, downloading the 1.1 driver update from Apple, reinstalling the Brother printer drivers from the Leopard Install DVD -- and jack shit worked.
You might say, "Can't you print with a non-Adobe product?" and I would say, "Sure." And that's what I've been doing for the past few weeks. In fact, I'm now a Preview.app convert as it does most of what Adobe Reader does and does it in a way that I don't miss Reader (well, I do open PDFs in it to check document information and such).
However, there are some cool printing things that only tools like Adobe Acrobat Pro can do. Case in point: print tiling. "WTF?" you say? Well, Acrobat Pro has a print option that lets you "tile" a large document when you print so that you can assemble individual sheets into one large poster. Since Adobe products don't allow you to "save to PDF" from the print dialog, I can't use this feature on my HL-2170W. As danah says, "Le sigh".
Well, I remembered that when I installed it I told the installer not to set up a virtual PDF Printer, because macs can easily do PDFs. (right?) Why would I need another redundant way to print to a PDF? Well, because Adobe products can definitely print to a virtual PDF printer (actually Adobe Distiller) but they can't use the regular Mac "PDF" -> "Save as PDF..." print option.
How might one set up the Adobe PDF Printer? Open Acrobat Pro and navigate to the "Help" -> "Repair Acrobat Installation". One of the options is "Adobe PDF Printer" which can create the necessary "virtual" printer that will save to PDF when to print to it. This way, I can use Apple's "PDF" -> "Save as Postscript" print option to save anything to PS, resize/mess with the PS in something like Illustrator, save the PS as PDF and then open in Acrobat Pro to print a tiled version.