Basic printing tasks

Print a PDF

If the desired printing option is in the Print dialog box, set it there rather than through the printer driver. The computer you wish to print an Adobe® PDF from must be connected either to a local, shared, or network printer and be configured to use that printer.

  1. Make sure that you’ve installed the correct printer driver for your printer.
  2. To print comments, such as sticky notes, in the Preferences dialog box, choose Commenting and select Print Notes And Pop-ups.
  3. Click the Print button , or choose File > Print.
  4. Choose a printer from the menu at the top of the Print dialog box.
  5. Click the Page Setup button to choose a paper size, page orientation (Acrobat 10.1.1 and earlier), and other general printing options. The options vary with different printers and drivers. See your printer driver documentation for details.
  6. Set additional printer driver options in your operating system.
  7. To print comments or forms, select an option from the Comments & Forms pop-up menu.
  8. Indicate which pages you want to print, and then click OK.
For tips on basic printing tasks, click the Help button  in the upper-right corner of the Print dialog box.

Options in the Print dialog box

Most of the options in the Adobe Acrobat Print dialog box are the same for other applications, however there will be some minor variations that are operating system specific.

Important: Acrobat 10.1.2 provides an easier to use Print dialog box. Option names for Acrobat 10.1.1 or ealier appear in parenthesis if the option name has changed.
Comments And Forms
Specifies which visible content prints.
Document
Prints the document contents and form fields.

Document And Markups
Prints document contents, form fields, and comments.

Document And Stamps
Prints the document, form fields, and stamps, but no other markups, such as note comments and pencil lines.

Form Fields Only
Prints interactive form fields but doesn’t print document contents.

Current View/Selected Graphic
Prints the page area (including text, comments, and so on) that is visible in the current view. The option name changes depending on whether you have no pages selected (Current View), a page or pages selected (Selected Pages), or an area on a page selected using the Snapshot tool (Selected Graphic).

Current Page
Prints the page that is visible in the current view.

Pages
Specifies the range of pages to print in the open PDF. Separate numbers in a range by using a hyphen, and separate multiple pages or ranges by using commas or spaces. If the Use Logical Page Numbers option is selected in Page Display Preferences, you can enter numbers that match the numbering printed on the pages using roman numerals or actual page numbers. For example, if the first page of a document is numbered iii, you can enter iii or 1 to print that page. Selecting Odd Pages Only or Even Pages Only affects which pages in a range print. For example, in a range that includes 2, 7–10 with Even Pages Only selected, only pages 2, 8, and 10 will print.
To print from a specific page to the end of the document, enter the page with a hyphen. For example, “11-” prints page 11 to the last page of the document.

Subset
Choose All Pages In Range, or choose Odd Pages Only or Even Pages Only to print only those pages within the specified range.

Reverse Pages
Prints pages in reverse order. If page ranges are entered, the pages print opposite of the order in which they were entered. For example, if the Pages box shows 3–5, 7–10, selecting Reverse Pages prints pages 10–7, and then 5–3.

Page Scaling
Reduces, enlarges, or divides pages when printing.
Actual Size (None)
Prints the upper left or center of a page (if auto-rotated and centered) without scaling. Pages or selections that don’t fit on the paper are cropped. You can set this option as the default using the None print preset. See Create print presets.

Fit (or Fit To Printable Area)
Reduces or enlarges each page to fit the printable area of the currently selected paper size. For PostScript® printers, the PPD determines the printable area of the paper.

Shrink Oversize Pages (or Shrink To Printable Area)
Shrinks large pages to fit the currently selected paper size but doesn’t enlarge small pages. If an area is selected and is larger than the printable area of the currently selected paper, it’s scaled to fit the printable area. This option is always active during N-up printing. You can set this option as the default using the Default print preset. See Create print presets.

Tile Only Large Page (Tile Large Pages)
Applies tiling to pages that are larger than the selected paper size at the specified scale. These pages are mapped to multiple sheets of paper. If this option is selected, you can also specify settings for Tile Scale, Overlap, Cut Marks, and Labels.

Poster (Tile All Pages)
Applies tiling to all pages, regardless of size. However, only the pages that are larger than the selected paper size at the specified scale are mapped to multiple sheets of paper. If this option is selected, you can also specify settings for Tile Scale, Overlap, Cut Marks, and Labels.

Multiple (or Multiple Pages Per Sheet)
Enables N-up printing, where multiple pages print on the same sheet of paper. If this option is selected, you can also specify settings for Pages Per Sheet, Page Order, Print Page Border, and Auto-Rotate Pages.
Note: N-up printing in Acrobat is independent of the N-up printing features of printer drivers. The Acrobat print settings don’t reflect the N-up settings of the printer drivers. Select N-up printing either in Acrobat or in the printer driver, but not both.

Booklet (or Booklet Printing)
Prints multiple pages on the same sheet of paper in the order required to read correctly when folded. The printer must support duplex printing (printing on both sides of the sheet). Acrobat automatically enables duplex printing, if available, for booklet printing.

Pages Per Sheet
Prints a predefined number of pages, or a custom number (up to 99), horizontally and vertically during N-up printing. If you select a predefined number from the menu, Acrobat automatically selects the best paper orientation.

Page Order
Defines how the pages are ordered on paper during N-up printing. Horizontal places pages from left to right, top to bottom. Horizontal Reversed places pages from right to left, top to bottom. Vertical places pages top to bottom, left to right. Vertical Reversed places pages top to bottom, right to left. Both reversed options are suitable for Asian-language documents.

Print Page Border
Draws the crop box (the page boundary of PDF pages) during N-up printing.

Auto Portrait/Landscapte (Auto-Rotate And Center)
Automatically selects the page orientation that best matches the content and paper. For example, a spreadsheet could print horizontally, while a newsletter could print vertically. The Auto-Rotate And Center option overrides the orientation selected in Page Setup.

Choose Paper Source By PDF Page Size (Windows)
Uses the PDF page size to determine the output tray rather than the page setup option. This option is useful for printing PDFs that contain multiple page sizes on printers that have different-sized output trays.

Print To File (Windows)
Creates a device-dependent PostScript file of the document. The resulting file contains code for enabling and controlling specific device features, making it less compatible with devices other than the target device. For better results when creating PostScript files, use the Save As PostScript command. The Save As PostScript command isn’t available in Adobe Reader®.
Note: You don’t need to have a PostScript printer to create a PostScript file.

Print Color As Black (Windows)
Forces all nonwhite color to print as black. This option is useful for printing engineering drawings that have lightly colored lines. This option does not change the settings for print preview, but it does affect the color settings in the Advanced Print Setup dialog box.

Printing Tips
If you’re connected to the Internet, this option connects to the Adobe website for information on how to troubleshoot printing problems.

Advanced
Opens one or more panels for setting additional printing options.

Summarize Comments
Creates a separate, printable PDF of the comments in a document. This option is unavailable when you print from a web browser or print multiple documents in PDF Portfolios. See Print a comment summary.

Additional resources

For more information on printing, see these resources:

Print a portion of a page

  1. Choose Edit > Take a snapshot.
  2. Drag around the area you want to print.

    Acrobat copies the selected area to the clipboard.

  3. Choose File > Print, and choose Selected Graphic option.

Print Layers

Normally, when you print a PDF that contains layers, just the content that is visible on-screen is printed. However, the creator of a layered PDF can specify that some layered content, such as watermarks or confidential information, must (or must not) print, regardless of its visibility on-screen. If the document is designed to print differently from how it currently appears on-screen, a message may appear in the Print dialog box. The Preview image in the Print dialog box always shows the page as it will print.

Note: To work with layers in Acrobat, convert the source document to PDF using a preset that preserves layers, such as Acrobat 6 (PDF 1.5) or later.

View how layers print

  1. Click the layers icon  in the navigation panel.
  2. Choose Apply Print Overrides from the Options menu.
    Note: Depending on the visibility settings specified when the PDF was created, Apply Print Overrides may be unavailable in the Options menu.

Change print settings for a layer

  1. Click the layers icon  in the navigation panel.
  2. Expand the layers area, select a layer, and then select Layer Properties from the Options menu.
  3. In the Layer Properties dialog box, choose one of the following from the Print pop-up menu:
    Always Prints
    Forces the layer to print.

    Never Prints
    Forces the layer not to print.

    Prints When Visible
    Matches printed output to on-screen visibility.
    Note: In Reader, you can open the Layer Properties dialog box, but you cannot change the settings.

Create print presets

A PDF can contain a set of print presets, a group of document-specific values that is used to set basic print options. By creating a print preset for a document, you can avoid manually setting certain options in the Print dialog box each time you print the document. It’s best to define print settings for a PDF at the time that you create it, but print presets provide a means to add basic print settings to a PDF at any time.

  1. Choose File > Properties, and click the Advanced tab.
  2. In the Print Dialog Presets section, set options and click OK.

The next time you open the Print dialog box, the values will be set to the print preset values. These settings are also used when you print individual PDFs in a PDF Portfolio.

Note: To retain a print preset for a PDF, you must save the PDF after creating the print preset.

Print Dialog Presets

Page Scaling
Prepopulates the Page Scaling menu in the Print dialog box with the option you choose:
Default
Uses the application default setting, which is Shrink To Printable Area.

None
Prevents automatic scaling to fit the printable area. This setting is useful for preserving the scale of page content in engineering documents, or for ensuring that documents print at a particular point size to be legal.

Note: The Page Scaling menu in the Print dialog box shows additional options, but you cannot prepopulate the dialog box with any of those options. Choose one of those options when you print.

DuplexMode
For best results, the selected printer should support duplex printing if you select a duplex option.
Simplex
Prints on one side of the paper.

Duplex Flip Long Edge
Prints on both sides of the paper; the paper flips along the long edge.

Duplex Flip Short Edge
Prints on both sides of the paper; the paper flips along the short edge.

Paper Source By Page Size
Selects the option by the same name in the Print dialog box. Uses the PDF page size to determine the output tray rather than the page setup option. This option is useful for printing PDFs that contain multiple page sizes on printers that have different-sized output trays.

Print Page Range
Prepopulates the Pages box in the Print Range section of the Print dialog box with the page ranges you enter here. This setting is useful in a workflow where documents include both instruction pages and legal pages. For example, if pages 1–2 represent instructions for filling out a form, and pages 3–5 represent the form, you can set up your print job to print multiple copies of only the form.

Number Of Copies
Prepopulates the Copies box in the Print dialog box. Choose a number from 2 to 5, or choose Default to use the application default, which is one copy. This limitation prevents multiple unwanted copies from being printed.