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Problems Printing Multiple Copies?

A number of InDesign CS3 users have reported a problem when printing multiple copies of their documents. Basically, each duplicate copy of a page appears to take just as long as the first — even if you’re not collating your pages. This is distinctly different than in earlier versions, where the first page to print might take a while, but subsequent pages are speedy.

I have it on good authority that Adobe is aware of the problem and is working on a fix. However, in the meantime, here are some thoughts on the subject:

It only appears to happen when running CS3 on an Intel-based Mac. And the slowdown doesn’t appear to happen on every printer. Some printers appear to work properly (the way it used to in CS2).

Several people have reported that you can solve the problem like this:

  1. Quit InDesign.
  2. Select the InDesign application in the Finder and choose File > Get Info (note that you can quickly jump to your application by Command-clicking on the icon in the Dock).
  3. Turn on the Open Using Rosetta checkbox in the Info dialog box.
  4. Relaunch InDesign, open the documents, and print duplicate copies.

Jeremy Schultz, an editor and contributor to Designorati and pointed out that when you switch between Rosetta and Universal Binary, InDesign appears to lose its Open Recent list, which is a pain. But eveyrthing else seems to work okay.

He also believes that this printing issue only kicks in when there is transparency (such as effects, transparent graphics, drop shadows, and so on) on a page in the printed document. He writes, “Non-transparent pages will queue normally, even when transparent pages are in the same document.”

David Blatner

David Blatner

David Blatner is the co-founder of the Creative Publishing Network, InDesign Magazine, and the author or co-author of 15 books, including Real World InDesign. His InDesign videos at are among the most watched InDesign training in the world. You can find more about David at
David Blatner

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16 Comments on “Problems Printing Multiple Copies?

  1. I’ve gotten some feedback from a technical specialist at Adobe, saying that this bug actually does not appear to have anything to do with transparency… except that you’ll likely notice it more if you have transparency, simply because of the overhead of the flattener. I’ve edited the post above to reflect that.

  2. The switch also cleared my print settings that were previously saved. It kept the names of the settings, but they are all set to default.
    I am so happy you shared this fix. I was getting very frustrated with my printer and the company that maintains it because I, too, thought it was the printer’s fault.

  3. I only have the CS3 demo so far but we will be upgrading soon. Is the behaviour the same if you make a pdf file and print multiple copies of the pdf file?

  4. Dennis: Good point! I think that exporting a PDF and printing from Acrobat will work properly (fast). Can someone confirm that?

  5. When the issue first came up, it appeared that exporting the file as a PDF and bringing it into Acrobat 8 Pro did not fix the problem. I’ve tried it again just now and the PDF does seem to take longer to print depending on how many copies are printed.

    However, I also tested out a Word document and Acrobat 8 Pro did the same thing. What does the group think that means?

  6. Well, perhaps they changed this in Acrobat 8? What about Acrobat 7? I don’t have a copy of that around anymore…

  7. I think we had this issue a while back after a service on our printing machine. It seemed to spool the whole file to the printer before commencing printing, rather than, what it did before, spool the job while it printed. There was a setting on our printer, or in our printer preferences to change this option. Perhaps this helps some people. But the same went for PDF’s from any Acrobat version. It went very slowly from the Application to the printer, so we changed the settings within Acrobat to spool the job as it printed, not print the job after it was spooled. If that makes sense?

  8. The problem is in Indesign 3 and Acrobat 8. If you try to print more than one copy and /or try to collate and duplex, you will get all of th page ones first, then the page twos.

    This is with every XEROX product I have tried from the DOC 250, and 3545 and Phaser 8550.

    IT can be solved by saving the file in pdf format and going back to version 7 then print vrom version 7 of Acrobat.

    Hope that helps.

  9. Thank you to Dick Hoenninger, We were experiencing the same collation problems with our Phaser 8400 as well as 8560 causing us some frustration. Would have never thought that the version of Acrobat 8 could be the potential problem. Using Acrobat 7 has resolved these issues.

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