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Behind the Scenes – PDF Challenges

17 Apr

Over the years there have been a number of updates to the PDF file format.  During that time, we have documented steps to improve PDF printing to your KIP device.

If you are using the Windows driver to print PDFs, you must use the KipScript part of the driver.

If you want to have this default to KipScript, you will have to change this option on the server under “Devices and Printers.”  Keep in mind that most of the time KIP defaults to KipGL after installation. This seems to be the prevailing issue with PDF printing and you should always check this first.

Basically, if you print from Adobe or any other PDF reader, use KipScript. Printing from AutoCAD Revit is when KipGL should be used.

Also, the port for the Windows driver must be set to 8421. If the driver is shared from a server, you need to check it there.

Follow these steps to check it.
1. Open the Start menu, then go to “Devices and Printers.”
2. Right click on the printer and select “Printer Properties.”
3. Click on the “Ports” tab and scroll down until you see the plotter IP address.
4. Click “Configure Port” and you should get a window like this.

5. Check the Port Number and make sure it’s set to 8421. Click OK to close once finished.

Make sure that the monpath1/Request folder is cleared of all old print jobs. Then, check the WinUntd.ini file and make sure that if you have a newer controller this line reads TRUE. MultiThreadPDF=True. Remember to close Unattend before you clear the queue and change any .ini settings.

Some things to consider to speed up PDF processing…
If you are using the Windows driver out of Adobe for most or all of your PDF printing, it is recommended to check the box “No Transparency” in Printnet’s Printer Config. This shuts off the controller’s “Flattening” process, which is used when a PDF file has layers. Think of layers as having multiple images layered on top of each other. In order to print the image, the software has to combine these images together to get the proper output. This greatly increases processing time for each PDF file that has layers enabled.

When printing through the Windows driver, the driver flattens the image out before it sends it off to the printer. As the raw print job is already flattened, it doesn’t need to go through the flattening process again on the controller, so having this box checked turns off that function, decreasing processing speed and increasing print speed.

However, if you are using Request or Printnet for most of your PDF printing, this box should be unchecked to keep the function turned on. The Request software DOES NOT flatten PDFs, so the controller has to do the flattening and must have this function enabled by having the box unchecked.

If you start seeing large black boxes on your prints, this means that you probably sent the PDF from Request and the “No Transparency” box was checked, turning off the flattening function. The controller cannot flatten the PDF so it turns some layers into black blocks. Because most people use a mix of Request and the Windows driver, this box usually should be left unchecked. It slows processing time down, but ensures you get the proper output. If you would like to see faster processing times, you can use the Windows driver and check mark the “No Transparency” box. Or you can always send flattened PDFs without layers.

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