How to deal with black printing PDFs?

Have you also been a victim of Black Printing PDFs? 😛

Let’s just quickly print out the PDF and go to bed. That was my initial plan. However, the task turned out to be significantly more difficult. I started the printing job and did some other stuff, until the job was done. Times where one had to sit next to the 9-needle printer connected to one’s C64 to make sure not to end up having a paper-jam we have definitively left behind.

I was wrong – in fact the PDF turned out to be printed almost onto completly black background, where as the original only showed completely white background. Most part of the PDF was not readable at all.

I encountered that problem on my Windows machine using Adobe Acrobat DC 2019.021.20047 PDF viewer, trying to print PDFs generated on a Mac. I already experienced this behaviour with other PDFs, generated on a mac.


After some googling I found other desperate users trying to find help in Adobe’s forums. The official solution of Adobe can be read here. I didn’t try that out, since it did not make sense to me. It’s not the printers fault, when a white PDF-background is printed black. SoI found another alternative.

Use another PDF reader

Since I was annoyed by the performance problems and non-responsiveness of the Adobe Reader some weeks ago, I installed the XpdfReader. Now, of course I was wondering, whether printing that same PDF would also print the wrong way, when printed from XpdfReader. So I gave it a try. And guess what:

With XpdfReader the PDF printed completely normal!

So in future I’ll now print my PDFs using this reader instead. And I hope you’ll have less troubles with printing after having read this post.

Print them on a Mac

Another alternative which worked for me was printing the PDFs, generated on a Mac, on a Mac. There is the preview App which currently is the default viewer on macs to display PDFs. I did not test the outcome when printing the same PDF on Acrobat Reader on a Mac.