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PDFs Saved/Printed from FM Produce PostScript Font Errors on PS Printers

Question asked by Jack on Nov 26, 2013


PDFs Saved/Printed from FM Produce PostScript Font Errors on PS Printers


FileMaker Pro



Operating system version

Windows 7

Description of the issue

Printing PDF files using the Microsoft TrueType Cambria font generates a PostScript error on our PostScript-enabled printers (see below). These PDFs are created using a FileMaker script, saved to a shared network drive and then displayed in a container field enabled for interactive content.

Steps to reproduce the problem

  1. The PDF file is created using the Save Records as PDF script step, using the default option setting for that step, and saved on a network drive
  2. A record is created in our PDFs table in FileMaker, and a reference to the newly created file is stored in a container field using the Insert PDF script step
  3. The new record is then displayed using a layout for that table with the container field optimized for interactive content

  4. The PDF displays perfectly within the container field, with the Cambria font looking just like it should
  5. With the Adobe functions available in FileMaker, the user can then print the file or save it locally using the menu icons within the container field
  6. There is also a button on the layout configured to Export Field Contents for that field, if the user prefers to save the file that way

  7. Whether the user saves the file to print later (using Reader or a third-party PDF handler), or prints it directly from within FileMaker, the job is sent to one of two Dell 3330dn network printers

Expected result

Obviously, we expect a printed copy of what we see on the screen, a nicely render document using the Cambria font.

Actual result

The header image prints fine, along with the first few lines of text in the Cambria font, and then nothing. The rest of the document is blank. The printer produces a second page with the PS error described below.

Exact text of any error message(s) that appear

ERROR: invalidfont


(2/19/13) [<---- as far as I can tell, this is an actual date within the PDF text, as it changes depending on the file I try to print; it should be the next piece of data in line to be printed after the last piece of text that appears on the page]

(--pop-- --pop-- ct_strl --exch-- 0 --exch-- --put-- ct_strl --show-- {
_ct_na _ct_i --get-- }--stopped-- {--pop-- --pop-- } {_ct_x _ct_y --
moveto-- 0 --rmoveto-- }--ifelse-- /_ct_i 1 --add-- --def-- --
currentpoint-- /_ct_y --exch-- --def-- /_ct_x --exch-- --def-- }

Configuration information

Users experiencing this problem only have Adobe Reader, not Acrobat, installed on their machines. As Acrobat is ridiculously expensive, I’m the only one in the office with that installed, and I have no issues printing the PDFs to any printer on our network.

The rest of the machines do have a variety of third-party PDF handlers installed to manipulate the finished files, including PDF Creator, PDF Architect, and PrimoPDF.  I thought at first that settings within the drivers for these programs might be causing the problem, but absolutely no combination of settings or preferred program changes, or even the complete removal of these programs, made any difference.

I have reconfigured, and ultimately reset, all the settings for the printers themselves, a Dell 3330dn Laser Printer PS3 and a Dell 3330dn Laser Printer XL.

I have also checked and double-checked the specifications for the font we’re trying to use to make sure that it is compatible with our configuration of software and hardware. Distributed with Windows and MS Office, Cambria is a CID-keyed, Type 1 font packaged with Cambria Math as a TrueType Collection and is part of Microsoft’s ClearType Font Collection. When inspecting the properties of the PDF files, the Cambria font appears to be properly embedded in the file.


So far, I’ve found three ways to get the documents to print properly:
  1. Printing the file using the network printers from a machine with Adobe Acrobat installed
  2. In the print dialogue (on a machine with only Reader and some third-party PDF handler installed), selecting Print as Image circumvents the need to render the font
  3. Printing to a locally connected, non-PS laserjet printer