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Perhaps this isn't a good ServerFault question, but here goes:

We've got some Canon ImageRunner copiers, and the performance is terrible for printing PDF files. For instance I just sent a job that's 11 pages, and it's taking some twenty minutes to print. A page comes out...then it sits there processing...another page comes out...and it sits there processing...and so on. This particular machine is an ir6020.

Some PDFs don't take as long as others, but for the most part they all take a very long time. I've tried the latest drivers, both PCL and PS3. Currently I'm trying the 4.62 drivers from Canon Canada (the latest from Canon USA is 4.55). Our Canon rep hasn't been very helpful. Thankfully we don't print a lot of PDFs...other documents come flying out of the machines nice & quick.

Any suggestions?

Update: I was able to print the current document I'm having trouble with by using the latest 6.62 version of the PCL driver. I don't believe this problem is gone, however, since I've been battling it for a long time, and sometimes the PS3 driver is faster, sometimes the PCL driver is faster. I can't find a pattern.

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Sometimes going back to an earlier postscript version, if available, can help.

Mainly, since some PDFs take longer, it could be an issue with rastering (rasterizing?) the graphics of the PDF. You can try enabling or disabling "Print as image" to see if that helps. Also, if a text-only PDF prints quickly, that may be the whole issue. I know in older printers, this could be helped by upgrading memory, but this doesn't appear to be the problem here.

Try printing an image with the Photo and Fax printing wizard of Windows, or something like Gwenview if on Linux, and see if that takes a long time.

It could also be the version of Acrobat you are using. There may be updates available.

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I assume you're printing from a Windows machine.

  • Are you using a print server or are you sending jobs directly to the printer? If you're sending jobs directly to the printer, is it spooling other jobs at the same time?
  • Have you tried changing the "Start printing after last page has spooled" setting in printer properties (this will need to be changed on the server if you're printing to a server.)
  • Does the slowness happen with all PDFs or only PDFs with images in them? Are 1 page, text-only PDFs slow? (See Joshua Nurczyk's comment above about "Print as image").

I've used a similar Canon and didn't see that problem, so I imagine it's fixable. Try to narrow the problem down a bit and troubleshoot from there.

  • Directly to the printer, and the job is completely spooled at the printer while it's "processing". It happens with all PDFs, although the problem can sometimes be "corrected" by choosing the PS3 driver over the PCL driver or vice-versa. It's annoying. Anyhow, I noticed my PCL driver was a few months out of data and updated it...and suddenly I've been able to print PDFs very quickly. Nothing conclusive yet, but I've got my fingers crossed that it's just a driver issue. – Boden Jun 16 '09 at 16:02
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So I noticed over the past couple of months that my copier is taking hours to print a report that is 20 pages long. So I spent hours and hours of time, deleting print drivers re-installing and rinse and repeat. Finally I deleted all print drivers removed everything from windows cleared spoolers and everything else I could manage to do. downloaded the latest drivers available for Windows 10 etc. I let it install 3 different versions of the driver from PCL, PS3 etc. I still had all of the issues. I check everything when I send it to print and finally I made 2 changes in my PDF print settings. #1. Fit to Page. #2. Print Both Sides. Once I removed those 2 settings everything started working properly again.

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It's a old question, but to give you a detail not told by anyone else, for optimizing PDF printing you need the PostScript's module inside your printer and memory upgrade too from the formater board, possibly with a HDD for the temporary cache.

Windows will not give you an error if you use a PostScript driver or not even if the pritner does not have the module, BUT, the formatting inside the printer will not change, as a simple 2 meg PDF can finish 2 gig inside the spooler easily.. The difference with the PostScript module is; the printer will receive raw files and after it will cache it and make the work on it.

To see it by yourself, check a PDF that is long to print, check the size, and start to print it, and validate in the spooler how much size now it's. You might be surprised.

To circumvent the problem, like other said, it's mostly to use Acrobat and make it send as an image, that way the printer just print the output without dealing with the output, but you loose a lot of DPI.

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