Printing PDFs

For Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader, Adobe LeanPrint has defined an ideal print output. This output layout has been tested and has performed well in usability studies and paper and toner consumption tests. An ideal Adobe LeanPrint output is a 4-column landscape page or a 3-column portrait page.

A 4-column landscape page

Optimizing PDFs

Adobe LeanPrint analyses the document structure and based on the complexity, applies transformations to create a print-optimized layout. You can use Adobe LeanPrint in two modes: Super Saver and Toner Saver. In the Super Saver mode both paper and toner are saved.

Sometimes, it might not be possible to save paper: for example, in a single page document. In such cases, Super Saver mode defaults to the Toner Saver mode.

Super Saver

PDF files can be generated from a broad spectrum of applications, from word processing software, page layout software, drawing and illustration software, and many others.

Saving paper in PDF presents some peculiar challenges. PDF is designed to provide consistent output across devices and platforms, and does not contain information about the logical structure of a document. For practical purposes, most PDF documents can broadly be classified into the following broad categories:

  • Text rich documents: These documents mainly have textual content in a single flow of text, and are usually generated using word processing software. Adobe LeanPrint works best with such documents.

  • Placed content documents: These PDF files can contain images, text, diagrams etc. All the content is placed on a page. Such PDF files are usually generated using page layout software such as Adobe InDesign, Microsoft Publisher and so on. Brochures are a good example of this category. Such documents are treated as complex because it is difficult to recognize the relationships between various content pieces, and only toner Saving is done.

  • Graphics or others: These PDF files are generated using graphics software such as Adobe Illustrator and contain graphics that are not considered for paper savings. Similarly PDFs generated using MS PowerPoint and MS Excel are only considered for toner saving.

  • XFA Forms: Documents that are based on XML Forms Architecture, and other specializations of the PDF specification are not processed by Adobe LeanPrint.

For a PDF file that is eligible for paper saving, each page is analyzed. Depending on the layout of each page, Adobe LeanPrint weighs the complexity and takes intelligent decisions to optimize paper usage. All blank pages are removed. Each page's content is then analyzed and if the page is complex, it is not reflowed. For example, if a page contains a large image or a number of images, Adobe LeanPrint does not re-layout that page.

All the reflowed pages are then assembled and displayed in the preview window.

Toner Saver

In the Toner Saver mode, there are no changes to the layout, and the number of pages are the same as the original document. Empty pages, however, are removed. Toner Saver can be run in grayscale and color modes. In the color mode, all colors in the document are retained, but lightened to reduce toner consumption.

Example

An example of how Adobe LeanPrint works with PDF files.

View full size graphic
A few pages of a PDF document printed conventionally and then using Adobe LeanPrint.