Can't print to 100% size

Community Beginner ,
Mar 04, 2022 Mar 04, 2022

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Hello,

 

For some bizarre reason, InDesign is unable to print at 100% size. It's just throwing an error when I try to print. The only thing I can do is "Scale to Fit" which causes the layout to shrink to 96%, completely screwing up everything.

 

I have gone through every possible setting I could find in the Print dialog, in the printer driver dialog, in the Document Setup dialog, and in the Margins and Columns dialog. Nothing I have done makes any difference. All I want to do is print a letter size document to a letter size page. I have no idea why this is not possible, it should be dead simple.

 

My only theory is that InDesign refuses to print unless the layout fits within the printable area. But this makes no sense because, as far as I know, no desktop printer in the world is capable of a full bleed. It just doesn't work that way.

 

Now, if I export to PDF, and then use Acrobat to print, it's totally fine. Acrobat doesn't care that the printer can't actually print to the bleeding edge of the paper. It just prints what it can, like every other desktop publishing and word processing program in the world. So what is wrong with InDesign? Why is this super advanced page layout program unable to accomplish the most simple job imaginable... print at 100% size regardless of the printable area of the page!

 

I'm using InDesign 2020. Maybe this is a bug in this version? My printer is nothing fancy, a Brother HL-L2390DW monochrome laser printer. I'm not going to bother updating the printer drivers unless there's a compelling reason to do so. The problem is with InDesign, and only InDesign. All other applications, including Acrobat, MS Word, web browsers, etc. all work as expected.

 

Any clues would be deeply appreciated.

 

Thank you

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 04, 2022 Mar 04, 2022

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What size is the live area for the document page you're trying to print? Not the sheet size, but the height/width of the content within the letter-sized page?

 

You have to pull the page up from the paper tray, roll it through the output device and toss it into the output tray. All those transport mechanisms take up space where you can't print on the page — on a printing press, that would be called the gripper space, so let's use that term for describing what you can print on a page from your Brother laser printer.

 

Before you go further, you want to try this experiment.

 

  • Create a one-page letter-sized InDesign document.
  • Get your rectangle tool, and drag a rectangle from the upper-left corner of the page trim, down to the lower-right corner of that same page trim. You want to cover the entire sheet trim area of your InDesign layout.
  • Fill the page with [Black] from your Swatches panel, then change the tint to 50% to turn the fill to a medium gray halftone.
  • Print that document at 100% actual size from InDesign.
  • If that job doesn't print either, export it to Acrobat and print the resulting PDF at 100% size. Double-check to make absolutely sure that you're printing from Acrobat at 100% actual size, because the default output option with Acrobat is to Fit to Page.

 

Where you don't see printing on your resulting gray sheet is where the gripper area doesn't allow you to print your job. That's an absolute. Then print your trouble job from InDesign at Fit to Page and see where it falls within the experimental gray sheet's live area.

 

It may not be so much that the page is too big/small for your intentions, but that the content is too big for the live area of your output device page. And if that's the case, I don't imagine that swapping print drivers is going to help you either. This isn't a flaw of InDesign per se, but it's in the way that InDesign interacts with your printer driver.

 

This is admittedly a fine distinction, but it's nonetheless a significant difference.

 

And it's also a limitation that you're going to have to address with either a larger sheet and/or a different output device that can process said larger sheet. I'm pretty sure that you're not going to be happy with this answer, but it's one you're going to have to address outside of InDesign. InDesign may be introducing the issue you're experiencing, but it's your Brother laser printer that's producing it.

 

Sorry I haven't got better news for you,

 

Randy

 

 

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 05, 2022 Mar 05, 2022

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It may not be so much that the page is too big/small for your intentions, but that the content is too big for the live area of your output device page.

I appreciate you trying to help, but you're barking up the wrong tree. I already made sure that there was no content in the gripper area, no need to go through a whole rigamarole to test what area is actually printable.

InDesign will not print a ****BLANK*** LETTER PAGE at 100% size. I am talking about a default letter size page with NO CONTENT AT ALL.
 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 05, 2022 Mar 05, 2022

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Hey, you can do whatever you want. It doesn't bother me.

 

Good luck to you.

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 06, 2022 Mar 06, 2022

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My printer is nothing fancy, a Brother HL-L2390DW monochrome laser printer....

InDesign will not print a ****BLANK*** LETTER PAGE at 100% size. I am talking about a default letter size page with NO CONTENT AT ALL.

 

Hi @aaronfross , Can we see your Print settings?

 

There is the InDesign Print settings, which handles document specific settings (e.g. Print Blank Pages). And there is also the print diver settings  (Printer... or Print Setup...),which handles printer specific settings (e.g. Printer Resolution). I have no problem printing directly from InDesign to my Brother laser printer with either CC2020 or CC2021.

 

 

 

Screen Shot 14.pngScreen Shot 15.png

 

I think it is worth noting that InDesign has a reputation for print problems, but there are two applications at play—InDesign and the print driver software. For complex color pages with transparency, some lower end print drivers don’t do a very good job with flattening transparency, color managing, and RIP’ing the page—in those cases an exported PDF can perform better.

 

I use a third party Postscrpt RIP for printing complex color directly from InDesign without any color or transparency problems. For simple B&W laser printing the Brother driver should work fine.

 

 

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 06, 2022 Mar 06, 2022

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Thanks for your reply. As I mentioned in my first post, I have already gone through all of the settings in all of the dialogs. The solution was not to be found anywhere in any of the obvious places.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 06, 2022 Mar 06, 2022

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If printing to the Brother suddenly worked on the upgrade to 2022 it was likely a corrupt ID preferences file. I’ve never had problems printing to my Brother laser with any version of InDesign.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 06, 2022 Mar 06, 2022

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>>InDesign will not print a ****BLANK*** LETTER PAGE at 100% size. I am talking about a default letter size page with NO CONTENT AT ALL.

 

It's got to be a problem with the print drivers, I can print a blank page to my Canon at 100%. You may not have to update them anyway--or at least uninstall/reinstall. 

David Creamer
Adobe Certified Instructor, Adobe Certified Professional, and Adobe Certified Expert

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 07, 2022 Mar 07, 2022

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I've never had a problem printing from ID but normally I PDF and send to the client. 

 

As an afterthought, did you check the Page Setup and Printer buttons to see if any of their settings are overriding ID's?

David Creamer
Adobe Certified Instructor, Adobe Certified Professional, and Adobe Certified Expert

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 05, 2022 Mar 05, 2022

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Many users find printing direct from InDesign is less than wonderful and we long ago stopped trying. Export a PDF and print that.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 05, 2022 Mar 05, 2022

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Many users find printing direct from InDesign is less than wonderful and we long ago stopped trying. Export a PDF and print that.

 

That is completely ridiculous. What is going on here, how can Adobe release a product that does not perform the simplest, most essential function? I guess they just have total hegemony in desktop publishing, so there's no competition, and no need to actually serve the most basic needs of their customers.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 05, 2022 Mar 05, 2022

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Ridiculous or not, it's what works. It's actually faster, in many cases, too. Acrobat seems to process print jobs quicker than InDesign.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 06, 2022 Mar 06, 2022

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You are quite obviously a beginner. I've been using InDesign since 1999 and could probably count the times I've used the print command on one hand.

BTW, there's plenty to complain about, but printing from InDesign is not even close to the top of the list.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 06, 2022 Mar 06, 2022

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Wow, thanks for the hostility. For your information, I have laid out three 500+ page books in Indesign. It was a while ago, admittedly. But there's no way I'm a beginner.

 

I don't see why it's so unreasonable to say that exporting to PDF before printing is a stupid waste of time. Just because you have Stockholm Syndrome does not mean you get to judge me for questioning the status quo.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 05, 2022 Mar 05, 2022

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Let's start with you giving us some relative information.

What OS and version are you printing from?

Are you using the normal driver or BR-Script Driver or Airprint, or...?

 

"It's just throwing an error "

What's the error message?

"My only theory is that InDesign refuses to print unless the layout fits within the printable area"

Not so.

"Scale to Fit" which causes the layout to shrink to 96%"

Yes, it would. In this situation, it is scaling your page to fit withing the printable area your Brother can do.

 

What is happening sounds unusual, so let's start here and we'll go from there.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 05, 2022 Mar 05, 2022

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I updated to InDesign 2022, and now I am able to print a blank page. Progress! Tomorrow I will test this more thoroughly, but it does appear to be a bug in InDesign 2020.

 

To be crystal clear, this is not my first rodeo. Every other application I have ever used since 1987, including other versions of InDesign, have no problem printing a letter sized layout to a piece of letter paper. This is basic, brain-dead simple stuff. If content on the layout is outside the printable area, the page still prints, but of course that content is cropped. Usually one will get a warning message, like in Photoshop. What I am experiencing is definitely a problem with the software.

 

I appreciate everyone trying to help. It's just infuriating that big companies like Adobe and Microsoft have long abandoned any attempt at supporting their users. The only help one can get anymore is from other users, who, despite best of intentions, often simply do not have the answers.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 06, 2022 Mar 06, 2022

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You're not looking for THE answers; you're looking for YOUR answer. You say you've been doing this for more than 30 years? I don't see how you can be so inflexible over something like this. How much time have you wasted?

 

Export the damn PDF and be done with it.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 06, 2022 Mar 06, 2022

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Please keep your insensitive judgments to yourself. I have no interest in a flame war. One more comment like that and I'm just going to delete the entire thread... if that's even allowed.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 06, 2022 Mar 06, 2022

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Nope, editing and deleting seems to be forbidden.

 

What I have learned today is that the Adobe community forum is a total waste of time. If I had just updated to InDesign 2022 in the first place, I wouldn't have had to deal with the non-helpful answers and outright insults.

 

Y'all can keep flaming in this thread, but I'm not going to participate, so you're on your own.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 07, 2022 Mar 07, 2022

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You can here looking for help. You refuse to accept what every InDesign veteran knows. Printing from InDesign sucks!

 

But you're free to keep wasting your time trying.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 07, 2022 Mar 07, 2022

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Printing from InDesign sucks!

 

Hi Bob, if it does I think it is a driver not InDesign problem.

 

I have three printers and they all print perfectly out of InDesign if the setup of the ID Print dialog and the OS printer specific Print dialog are correct, and the driver is up-to-date. One of my printers is basically the same Brother @aaronfross is having problems with, and I have never been forced to export a PDF in order to get an acceptable print.

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Contributor ,
Mar 07, 2022 Mar 07, 2022

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With all due respect Bob, you need to take a huge pill. You are assuming a lot about InDesign users - we don't all think the same way as you. I've been using InDesign since version 2.0 and can count the number of times on one hand that I've exported a file as a PDF in order to print it. It's just a waste of time and an unnecessary extra step. I've actually counselled a few new employees on the benefits of NOT doing it this way. There are also extra benefits in my print shop environment to print right from InDesign, because it can add extra details to my press setups and save these setups for each file as they change per job and per press (for example, printing to plates that are different sizes, adjusting the positioning etc).

 

Sorry Aaron, that so many so-called proessionals in this forum acted bitterly towards you. Glad that you found a solution.

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New Here ,
Jul 02, 2022 Jul 02, 2022

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Similar ridiculous problem.
There is a file with a piece of text that I change and print from time to time. After the last windows update (the only system change that comes to mind) the file stopped printing.
Reinstalled printer driver.
Reset InDesign settings.
This file throws an "unknown error" and you know what, a new file of the same size gives an unknown print error too.
It looks like the size of 3x4 cm has become banned for some reason.
A file of a different size with this text frame is printed. 3x4 size files are not printed in any form, neither with text, nor empty, nor with a simple square... Didn't find any solution except stupid pdf-conversation as middle procedure. Because 3x4 as PDF printed just fine.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 03, 2022 Jul 03, 2022

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LATEST

Similar ridiculous problem.

 

Hi @Maya22253560ah2d , are you also printing to a Brother laser printer? I’m not having any problems printing a 3cm x 4cm doc. Can you show us your Print>Setup tab?

 

Screen Shot 16.png

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