Taxcycle PDF Fonts - Reduced Quality

I have found that using the Taxcycle PDF printer (Adobe PDF - Bookmarks) for most applications within Taxcycle is excellent. I can print a pdf archived T2 return to a Xerox or HP laser printer and the output looks just as good as if I had printed directly from Taxcycle to the printer.

This morning I hard printed a couple of T4 slips that had been printed/saved as pdf files using the Taxcycle Adobe PDF printer. The output was nowhere near the quality of direct printing… and resembled something that would have been printed with an old 24 pin dot matrix printer. On the computer screen the fonts in the pdf file looked perfect.

I then tested using other PDF writers, such as the generic Adobe PDF printer, and printing a hard copy from that pdf file was perfect again.

So I thought the solution might be to configure my printing with a different PDF printer instead of the Taxcycle built in Adobe PDF printer. Unfortunately, the Catch 22 here is if you use a different pdf printer, you can’t select all the Taxcycle goodies such as saving to a specific file location, and being able to use Taxcycle to name the output file, password, pdf navigator etc.

If the PDF archive copies were just for my file, then I wouldn’t be bothered about the reduced quality if I ever had to print the file to a physical printer. However, I email many of the slips out in pdf format, so I would expect when the client prints from the pdf file they would also see this reduced quality in the output?

If anyone else might try printing a page (T4 slip) from your saved pdf file and confirm whether the quality looks lower than might have been expected. It’s possible this is just happening on my system.

Just tested one and printed fine for the employee and employer copy using the Taxcycle adobe printer :confused:

@James… and then you tried printing that PDF file that you generated with Taxcycle to a physical printer and the quality that came out on the piece of paper was still perfect? Very interesting… :confused:

Mine comes out “ok”… but if I compare a page of T4 slips printed directly to the printer with TC and a page printed to pdf and then printed to the physical printer the quality difference is night and day. Yet, if I spool the file use a different pdf printer, the quality is so good you can’t tell which page came directly from TC and which was printed from the pdf file.

I did now and yes, it printed just fine. How old is your printer? Driver issue? if you want to post a sample here (or send through the Taxboard) I will try printing a pdf from you if you like to see what I get

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Don’t know, my friend, but I have always printed to that PDF, and a paper copy printed from that printer has always been fine.

Do not know if that is because I also run Adobe on my computers (free with Scansnap)…

I do not have the free version of Adobe from my scansnaps on my computer. I use Foxit instead so I doubt that is the issue

I sent you a PM on this board James. I will email you a T4 pdf file and if the output quality is excellent when you print it then it must be my printer. If the output quality is not that great then the issue must be in the pdf generation. It only happens in the T4 module that I can see.

With James’ help I think we have it licked. James printed my file and the output quality was great. This prompted me to start messing around with printer settings. I ended up going into the advanced printer settings and changing one of the driver options. Under True Type Fonts I changed the default setting of “Substitute with Device Font” to “Download as Softfont”. This change appears to have dramatically increased the quality of the output for these T4 files printed from a pdf file to a physical printer.

I guess it must have something to do with the PCL or Postscript printer drivers.

I am Happy again…:slight_smile:

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After re-configuring my T4 printing yesterday, this issue started again; Printing a T4 slip to a physical printer from a Taxcycle generated PDF T4 file seemed to be of sub-standard quality.

I thought it was my printer, but this time I was able to locate and confirm the source of the issue. It has to do with the “Prevent Editing” option in Taxcycle’s Adobe PDF printer. If I use “Prevent Editing” in the PDF T4 build of a Print Set the quality is excellent on the screen, but not so great when subsequently printed to a physical printer. If I uncheck the “Prevent Editing” box for a PDF Print Set, and then print that PDF file to a local printer the image quality is excellent.

What I think likely happens is when the PDF file gets automatically built and secured, Taxcycle chooses the Adobe Security Permission for “editing and printing” that allows for printing, but with a “low resolution (150dpi)”. The 3 Adobe print choices normally available to the author while securing a PDF document are None (ie no printing not permitted), Low Resolution (150dpi), or High Resolution.

No big deal… I am happy being able to pinpoint the underlying reason behind the reduced quality.


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We’ve found the problem, and are removing the low resolution print restriction. For whatever reason, the PDF viewers we’re using in the office ignore that setting, so we’ve not seen the issue here, nor can we recreate it.

However, we’ll make a change. If we send you a build can you check it out for us??

~ Cameron

Sure, I am happy to check it out.

The PDF viewers that I use here also show excellent quality on the computer screen. The reduced resolution shows up for me on a piece of paper, when I actually print from that PDF file to a physical printer.

Update; Playing around with different PDF viewers…

Adobe Acrobat 10 definitely prints with reduced quality to a physical printer on my system
Foxit PDF Reader seems to ignore the low quality setting and prints beautifully to a physical printer

@Cameron I suppose it’s likely you can’t recreate from your end unless you try printing from Adobe Acrobat.
Not sure about Adobe Reader, as I don’t have it installed. Just the full version.

adobe reader DC is working fine for me

Creating and printing a secured PDF through Adobe Acrobat to a physical printer using the latest version of Taxcycle is now perfect quality. Removing the low resolution restriction seems to have done the trick.