11 December 2007

Stupid printing tricks

Why do so many people send Adobe PDF files? Especially if it's just text. Why not just send text? Why should I have to open another application to read your precious newsletter?!

Ugh. Anyway, sometimes PDF's are useful. Maybe they've got maps and directions or whatever. Then maybe you'll want to print them out. Well, I don't know what's going on with my Adobe Reader (port "print/acroread7"). I know I've printed from it in the past. But, today it's telling me that "/usr/bin/lp" doesn't exist. It bloody well does exist. It doesn't work though, :) , I'm using CUPS and a network printer, so what I want is to use "/usr/local/bin/lp" -- but, sure enough, old acroread is telling me it doesn't exist either. It does.

OK, I'm not going to argue with a broken application. I need a hard copy, fast. So, on to the stupid trick. When you choose "Print" and get that dialog box, down near the bottom is the "Print to file" check box. Check that, choose a filename, click OK, then just pipe the resulting file to "/usr/local/bin/lp" (in my case, anyway) and you're in business. My actual command was something like this: "cat outfile.ps | /usr/local/bin/lp" and Adobe Reader had appended the '.ps' itself. (Not sure if this trick will work with a non-PostScript printer. Might need a little Ghostscript "glue".)



At 10/9/08 17:14, Anonymous Anonymous said...

adobe acroread can also be used as a reverse distiller. IE- you can convert a pdf to postScript and then use lp to send to ps file to printer.

in tcsh I typically use something like:

acroread -toPostScript < [somefile].pdf > [somefile].ps

This can also be useful for printing out posters with the scaling options [assuming you have access to a plotter].


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