There are many problems with printing — in fact as a consultant, I have more calls about printing problems than any other aspect of desktop publishing — but the most common problem can easily be solved using the Binary Chop.
This problem is that a file just refuses to print.
Firstly, check that a known good file will still print. If it does, then it is almost certain that the problem is with the non-printing file, and not with your printer or network. You could also try creating a PDF of the file. And, if that works, try printing from the PDF.
Here are a series of other steps to take:
- Make a copy of the file under a new name and check whether this prints (sometimes the process of re-ordering and compression in file size which occurs from a Save as… command will solve the problem).
- If you are on a network, try printing the file from the computer to which the printer is attached (which may also enable you to check whether the printer begins to accept information and whether this continues for some time before the printer returns to Idle mode. You can also check this on networks by following the progress of the job from your computer using the network software).
- Using the copy of the file, try printing without graphics by using the Omit graphics selection under print Options if this exists. If the file prints then selectively delete and restore graphics files until you isolate the one causing the problem.
- If the file has multiple pages, send half the pages, then the other half. This is the first application of the Binary Chop; by halving the non-printing pages each time, until you can isolate, hopefully, a single non-printing page. If you have more than one non-printing page, look for typefaces or graphics which they have in common.
- Take one non printing page and cut and paste half the objects to a new file. Try both halves. If one half prints, you know your problem is almost certainly in the other half. Either way, continue halving the number of objects until you isolate a single object which will not print. See below for a solution if both halves print but not the whole.
- If everything else prints, go back to the original page, make another copy, delete just the offending item, and, hopefully, your page will print.
- Replace the offending object, which may be a graphic or a piece of type.