A problem with printing from Microsoft office applications (Word, Outlook, Excel, Powerpoint) are printed out with jumbled or missing letters. The workstations all have different configurations (Windows XP and 7, Office 2007 and 2010.) They have release their jobs from different printers. If they print directly to the printer and bypass the print server, the documents come out fine. If the document is saved as a PDF and then printed through the Pharos queue, it comes out fine. We have already tried updating/reinstalling/ upgrading Office and the print driver of the affect computers, this does nothing.

 

A sample PDF is attached to this Knowledge Base document. Page 1 is a good print, Page 2 is a print with the problem. The problem gets considerably worse depending on the document and its formatting.

Clearing the "Enable Advanced Printing" option on the driver's properties (on the server queue) "Advanced" tab resolves this formatting problem. An example of this setting is attached to this document.


Prior to Windows XP, this feature was known as "Always Spool in RAW" ... it made more sense, but Microsoft decided that "Advanced Printing" was more applicable, as it enabled potentially more printing options in the WinPrint print processor (multi-sheet printing on one page, for example). In Windows Vista/7/2008 Server, the feature is now called "Client Side Rendering" and is normally enabled for that function.

 

So what does it do? Its fundamental purpose is to force rendering targets in print server-based queues. If checked, the client spools the print job as EMF (Enhanced MetaFile) to the server. At that point, the server has to convert the EMF to whatever PDL (Page Definition Language) the driver is using; normally this is either PCL or PostScript. Rendering to PDL at the server implies that some server resources (like fonts) may be used in the process. If there is a mismatch between any file version between the client and the server, the server's version will win, and this does not often produce desired results. When unchecked, the client does the processing into the PDL. This has several benefits:

 

1. Faster processing at the print server. As the job is already formatted for the PDL, the print server needs only relay the job to the print device (or, in our case, keep the job until it is requested for release).

2. Only local workstation resources are used. Text in documents remains intact without unexpected missing characters, different line breaks, or substitutions.
3. More accurate page counting and job attributes through the PServer service.
4. Improved customer experience.

 

One drawback is that some print drivers that use the WinPrint processor rely on the initial EMF file in order to support certain features like booklet-mode printing or other finishing tasks. Please validate whether your driver(s) are affected by this. If the driver uses a Print Processor that is not WinPrint (see Properties > Advanced > Print Processor), this should not be a problem. Note that some applications (like Adobe Acrobat/Acrobat Reader) send RAW to the print server anyway, regardless of the setting.