Why use CutePDF at all? Why not just use "save as PDF". I'm curious as to your reasons.
From before FM (and others) offered the option to save as PDF, I always installed a PDF writer (Printer) on every machine. (Though I don't use CutePDF.)
The whole shebang is so simple, seamless, flawless, and easily understood by the users, that I just still keep on doing it. Yes, we have scripts that drive out natively to a PDF, but the flexible option to print (in the language and methods the user is familiar with) are so attractive that we just keep on using them. Kinda in the mould of 'If it ain't broke, etc'.
That's my rationale, anyway.
Have you tried, for purposes of comparison, other PDF "printers"?
Have you tried comparing save as PDF to printing using CutePDF?
The results might help narrow down the causes to being FileMaker or PDF Utility centered.
Is the printer connection using WiFi perhaps? I ask this because I had an issue recently with a new printer which has WiFi capability, but is also connected via ethernet. On one print job (not from FM) it ran horribly slowly (something like a page every 2 or 3 minutes instead of 20 pages per minute) and the problem turned out to be that it had defaulted to WiFi.
How much time is spent calculating the report?
In my experience all the time in generating a report is spent during the sort process while the summary fields are calculated.
See if you can differentiate the time taken to sort and calculate, from the time taken to render the page for printing.
Thanks for the input everybody.
@Phil - The cutePDF thing is one of those 'users have it and like to use it' kind of things, a bit like AlanGodfrey has said above. On other reports it's fine, this report it does suffer though
@Vaughan - Yes, the report does a heck of a lot of sorting and sub summarising, taking a time to get to the screen initially and then to print, so in that respect I expect some delays printing. 6 minutes was a killer! It feels like it's doing it all again for each page as it spools (that's a total guess and holds no water!)
I've taken a further look and I've not tried this yet, but I think I can script something like:
Enter Preview Mode
Save Records as PDF [Options as required such as a $$ClientID in the filename]
Hopefully this will automate the steps I've discovered and result in something quicker