Very slow printing to default Adobe PDF printer

Participant ,
Nov 25, 2010 Nov 25, 2010

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I have a 150 page FrameMaker document (with lots of linked Illustrator CS4 files) that is taking 7 MINUTES to print to the default Adobe PDF printer. In contrast, an old QuickSilver / Interleaf document that is 200 pages long and contains even more graphics embedded as huge TIF files, takes 20 seconds to print to the same default Adobe PDF printer.

I have tried all the suggestions I can find on the web, including Adobe forums, but nothing works. Can anyone suggest why printing from FrameMaker 9 to Adobe PDF is taking such a long time? It would appear to be a FrameMaker problem, since every other application can print to the Adobe PDF printer without any problems, and so can FrameMaker... but only at a snail's pace!

I am using TS2 (FrameMaker 9 and Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro Extended) on a 3.0 GHz Quad Core PC running Windows XP Pro.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 25, 2010 Nov 25, 2010

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Hi,

I have had similar problems; you might check out:

http://forums.adobe.com/thread/540379

It contains several tips you might try.

--- Derek

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Participant ,
Nov 25, 2010 Nov 25, 2010

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Derek,

Thanks for replying. The thread you mentioned was one of the many I tried, but none of the suggestions worked. It seems the only solution you found was to install a very old driver, is that correct? I don't want to do that when every other program on my PC, Adobe or not, can print perfectly fast to the default, uncustomized Adobe PDF printer.

That points the blame at FrameMaker, or perhaps using linked Illustrator files within FrameMaker. The reason I say this is because when printing, the little FrameMaker print output window clearly shows the process is slowing on the graphics-heavy pages. I'd expect that a bit with any program, but should sending a single page with a little 1.2 MB linked AI file really lock up a 3.0GHz PC for 25 seconds?

Some further tests are necessary. I'll have to waste some time taking one chapter from my book and replacing all the linked AI files with linked SVGs to see if the problem is Illustrator based. If that doesn't work, I'll try TIFs or JPGs...

EDIT:  Since writing the above I have tried using a CS3 Illustrator file, an SVG and a TIFF. The CS3 file and the SVG still took 20 seconds to print a single page, but using a TIFF instead caused the page to print almost instantaneously!  How can it be that using a vector based file can cause printing to Adobe PDF to be about 20x slower than using a TIF file?

EDIT: Using FrameMaker's Save As PDF... menu option to write the complete book takes around 4m 30s, an improvement over the 7 minutes printing it to the Adobe PDF printer, but still far too slow.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 25, 2010 Nov 25, 2010

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What do you mean by "linked" when you refer to graphics? OLE type linking? I didn't think that was "best practices" anymore due to security tightening.

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Participant ,
Nov 25, 2010 Nov 25, 2010

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I mean choosing File > Import... > File, then selecting an AI file and using the Import By Reference option. Is this bad practice? I assumed it was the slickest way to insert a picture in FrameMaker, so that double-clicking opens it immediately in Illustrator for modifications, and there's only one AI file rather than an AI source file + SVG pair for every graphic...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 26, 2010 Nov 26, 2010

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I've read that best practice these days is to import graphics by reference so that file sizes don't get bloated. OLE linking got impaired due to security in some O/S's, so I don't think it's much used anymore.

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Participant ,
Nov 26, 2010 Nov 26, 2010

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Good, I was hoping I wasn't doing something stupid!  But if using "Import By Reference" AI files in a FrameMaker document makes output to PDF so ridiculously slow, it rather defeats the object doesn't it? It's going to be silly having to take a coffee break while my all-Adobe pipeline crawls along for 7 minutes making a PDF for me. I might as well be creating TIF exports of every Illustrator file, and linking the TIFs into the FM document - but that's a messy route that I wanted to avoid.

Since reading some other posts, it seems I'm not the only one with this problem, so I do hope somebody in Adobe has looked into this problem and found the cause. Adobe's R Jacquez has recently been posting about the forthcoming FM10, showing us its "rich-media" facilities, but I dread to think how long it's going to take FM to produce a PDF loaded with video and 3D models.

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Advocate ,
Nov 26, 2010 Nov 26, 2010

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But if using "Import By Reference" AI files in a FrameMaker document makes

output to PDF so ridiculously slow, it rather defeats the object doesn't

it?

>

If I recall correctly, FrameMaker doesn't directly support AI files. It does

manage to use them by reading internal PDF structures and then converting

them to EPS. There's a good explanation at the bottom of this thread:

http://forums.adobe.com/thread/435883. In any case, you might try converting

your files to EPS or PDF first and importing those to see if it makes a

difference for you.

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Participant ,
Nov 29, 2010 Nov 29, 2010

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Many thanks Mike, that is extremely helpful. Now I know the cause of the problem, I realise I'll have to go back to the age old method of exporting every AI file as some other format. As ever I am surprised (but shouldn't be) that everything doesn't just work together in the world of Adobe software, despite paying £x000 for the privelege and £x000 more for every "upgrade".

[A WHILE LATER...  So in Illustrator I re-saved all my AI files as "Illustrator EPS" files. In FrameMaker, I then laboriously replaced all my Import By Reference'd AI files with Import By Reference'd EPS files instead. The result? Instead of taking 7 minutes to print my 150 page book, it now takes "only" 5.5 minutes!  Does Adobe think that is acceptable, when ancient 10 year old QuickSilver / Interleaf program could print a 200 page book in 20 seconds to the very same Adobe PDF printer?]

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Explorer ,
Jan 12, 2011 Jan 12, 2011

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Has this been answered anywhere??? I have soooo many problems with this. I have separted sections of one book into 7 books because it takes so long to make a pdf. ....and I mean....15 to 20 minutes for a large doc...maybe 400 pages...that seems crazy to me. ....but I have many illustrator file. Is this still an issue?

Thanks,

ls

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Participant ,
Jan 13, 2011 Jan 13, 2011

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I have no answer to this problem. Naturally, you'd expect FrameMaker to fully support Adobe's own flagship vector drawing program, otherwise how are technical writers supposed to include complex diagrams in their work? Do we really have to go through the time-wasting annoyance of using an intermediate format such as .eps, when we've committed to an all-Adobe software route? Did anyone at Adobe ever try printing a large document with lots of AI files imported by reference (typical of many customers' documents) to check if it worked?

There seems to be something very wrong with FrameMaker if it can reduce my high-spec PC to a 20 minute crawl, whereas an archaic program such as Interleaf / QuickSilver running on the same PC can print a longer document (heavily laden with embedded bitmaps) in 20 seconds to the same Acrobat PDF printer.

Would anyone from Adobe like to comment?

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Guide ,
Jan 13, 2011 Jan 13, 2011

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For what it is worth, saving an Illustrator file to eps is just as good as saving to ai. Both formats are completely editable with Illustrator. Furthermore, double-clicking an imported by reference eps file in a FrameMaker file opens it in Illustrator. There is no need to keep both versions for each illustration. We use eps for almost all illustrations, pdf for others.

I am not sure about AI files, but when one imports an eps file, it is always the size of the bounding box, not the page size.

My PDF creations times are on the order of 20 to 30 minutes for a 300 to 400 page manual. I have always assumed that the long time has to do with the fact that the illustrations are stored on a network drive, there are lost of illustrations, and each illustration includes all the fonts used in it. There may be ways to reduce these times, but I usually use that time to check email, etc.

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Participant ,
Jan 13, 2011 Jan 13, 2011

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Van Kurtz: It's interesting to note that you get hopelessly slow PDF creation times too!  In my response above, on 29th November, I mentioned trying EPS files instead of AI. They were also extremely slow to print, so I maintain there is a serious problem with printing vector art from FrameMaker to Acrobat. Nobody from Adobe seems to want to supply an answer....

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Explorer ,
Jan 13, 2011 Jan 13, 2011

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Is there a way to show that this question has not been answered in the forum? Maybe there are other ideas on this.

Thanks,

ls

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Guide ,
Jan 13, 2011 Jan 13, 2011

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Reaction,

In our case, most of the illustrations are in the 1 to 10 MB range; and there are many illustrations per manual. The illustrations are stored on a network drive, as well as the Frame files themselves. When I create a PDF or a ps file, it is created on the network drive. So, I have always assumed that the time was spent transferring all those files back and forth between the network drive and my computer. The resulting ps file is 300 to 500 MB. Most of the time is spent creating the ps file; the distillation goes rather quickly.

When we had FrameMaker 7.2, the PDF creation times were on the order of 40 to 45 minutes. We got the Archive plugin, which could be used to copy all the files, Frame and eps, to the local computer. This took about 5 minutes or more. Then we could create a PDF without all the network traffic. It still took 10 to 15 minutes. When we upgraded to FrameMaker 9, the PDF creation times went down to 20 minutes or so, which seemed good compared to 45 minutes. So, we just live with it.

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Enthusiast ,
Jan 13, 2011 Jan 13, 2011

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LS:

If you want some help trouble shooting, it'd be good to supply your

system specs: OS, RAM, FM and Acrobat versions (make sure they're

fully patched), where the files are (net / local), how graphics are

referenced by Frame, and what method you use to create the PDF.

Art Campbell

              art.campbell@gmail.com

  "... In my opinion, there's nothing in this world beats a '52

Vincent and a redheaded girl." -- Richard Thompson

                                                      No disclaimers apply.

                                                               DoD 358

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Explorer ,
Jan 13, 2011 Jan 13, 2011

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Thanks Art, but it seems to be a FM problem. As the others have said, they have the same problems....and I have seen others posting over the months. I was just hoping that maybe someone had found an answer. I can't move all my files back and forth from the network to my desktop to make a pdf. We are talking about100's of vector and image files for just one book and we are printing highlight color. So, I have a color and grayscale version of every image that I have in my manuals. Plus, from what Van said, it seems it doesn't save that much time. Guess I will just wait on the pdf's until this is corrected or just live with it if Adobe can't come up with a solution.

Thanks again....

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Enthusiast ,
Jan 13, 2011 Jan 13, 2011

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It may be a FM problem, but there are thousands of users who aren't

experiencing it....

Which probably means it only crops up under certain circumstances, and

also that it can be corrected.

Art Campbell

              art.campbell@gmail.com

  "... In my opinion, there's nothing in this world beats a '52

Vincent and a redheaded girl." -- Richard Thompson

                                                      No disclaimers apply.

                                                               DoD 358

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Participant ,
Jan 14, 2011 Jan 14, 2011

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Just for the record:

* I bought TS2 and therefore installed FrameMaker 9 and Acrobat 9 at the same time, on a new PC.

* That PC is an Intel Core2Quad 3.0GHz, 4GB RAM, Windows XP SP3. Everything including Windows is fully updated / patched as it should be.

* I was using Illustrator CS4, now CS5, but the same problem exists.

* My ancient QuickSilver / Interleaf program, and any other application, can print extremely fast to the Adobe PDF printer.

Conclusion: FrameMaker is the problem.

Using the same manufacturer's software should guarantee perfect integration and slick performance, which clearly isn't the case. I suspect it's due to FrameMaker having being overlooked for so many years, while Acrobat and others were being bloated with unnecessary features.

What concerns me most is that for FrameMaker 10, I have only seen boasting about new "rich media" capabilities. One wonders how FM10 could possibly deal with "rich media" if it can't even handle extremely lean media - pure vector artwork - written in a language (EPS) that Adobe also created!

Would anyone from Adobe like to comment?

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Explorer ,
Jan 14, 2011 Jan 14, 2011

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My computer

Windows XP Professional

Version2002

Service Pack 3

Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4CPU 3.00GHz

2.99GHz, 3.25GB of RAM

Using Acrobat 8.1 Professional. (Haven't upgraded because I saw too many posts with people having problems.)

Using Adobe Design Premium CS3 (I use AI files, we always have for any vector files and way to many to change over to EPS.)

We have also been changing over from Interleaf. I really like FM except for this problem. Very glad to get out of Interleaf.

We also used InDesign for a while and there are no problems printing to pdf.

ls

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Enthusiast ,
Jan 14, 2011 Jan 14, 2011

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Thanks for the additional info.

How do you create the PDF? SaveAs PDF or by printing to the (default)

Acrobat printer?

And are your graphic files copied into the FM files or imported by reference?

Art Campbell

              art.campbell@gmail.com

  "... In my opinion, there's nothing in this world beats a '52

Vincent and a redheaded girl." -- Richard Thompson

                                                      No disclaimers apply.

                                                               DoD 358

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Explorer ,
Jan 14, 2011 Jan 14, 2011

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Art,

I save to pdf. I would actually have to leave work if I printed to pdf...lol...doesn't work. Can't remember the problem and scared to try right now to find out cause I dont' want to crash...

I import by reference with all files, both AI and Tiff.

I have setup FM to default to Adobe PDF.

Not sure what you mean by "Acrobat printer?".

Thanks,

ls

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Enthusiast ,
Jan 14, 2011 Jan 14, 2011

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The Acrobat printer is the logical printer set up by the installation.

In Windows, it'll show up as if it were a physical printer; you can

direct any application to print to it.

Frame's SaveAs PDF tool is notoriously unrelaible (and slow) for most

people, so printing to the Acrobat Printer way to produce a PDF.

If there's something wrong with your setup so that you can't do that,

that would be an issue worth resolving both because it gives you an

additional, better, output option and because if the installation

isn't correct that may be the root cause of your slow printing

problem. Both SaveAs and Print use the same core Acrobat software, but

with different options and parameters.

          • Although you mention XP/SP3, you don't mention whether you've

installed the Microsoft Hotfix for all PostScript printers, including

Acrobat. If you haven't, this would be mandantory because fixes OS

bugs in the printer handling. http://support.microsoft.com/?id=952909

(Gives details on the Hotfix)

and

http://support.microsoft.com/Hotfix/KBHotfix.aspx?kbnum=952909&kbln=en-us

(Direct Download Link)

If you haven't installed this, do so before you try any other tweaking.....

Art

Art Campbell

              art.campbell@gmail.com

  "... In my opinion, there's nothing in this world beats a '52

Vincent and a redheaded girl." -- Richard Thompson

                                                      No disclaimers apply.

                                                               DoD 358

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jan 14, 2011 Jan 14, 2011

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The "Adobe PDF" is the Acrobat printer instance. Instead of using the Save As PDF route, try printing to this device and enable the print to file option. Then manually run the Distiller to convert the ps file (or print to a watched folder with Distiller enabled to look for ps files in the desired location).

If you need Bookmarks and interactive feature in the PDF, then check the "Generate Acrobat Data" option in the print window, otherwise for print leave this option unchecked.

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Explorer ,
Jan 14, 2011 Jan 14, 2011

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Wellll, I installed the hotfix. Still did a save as pdf that took 30 minutes. Was kind of scared to print to a pdf.

Saw Arnuis's comment, so did it anyway....I really knew better...lol.... It is still running very very slowly. Looks like it will take about the same time or more...lol...

Sooooo....what did yall say was the next thing to look at?

Thanks,

ls

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