I have 884 copies of a document that have to be printed soon. Each document has a QR identity code on each page, so it is not as simple as print 884 copies of a single document. We are using an canon image runner advanced 6255. The problem is that if I print any one of the documents from preview, it prints correctly. I have set the defaults for the printer using print using last setting, and also set the settings for the driver using the cups browser interface.

If I select several in the finder and use cmd p, the top of the QR code gets clipped off. I tried an automator script using three blocks (get finder specific item [folder] -> get folder contents -> print finder items) prints the QR codes correctly, but for some reason all of the ligatures (fi, …, etc) are dropped leaving blank spaces in the document. I also tried from the command line using lpr. This produces identical results to automator (QR codes are ok, but all ligatures are missing).

Any ideas on a way to print the documents other than opening each one individually and typing cmd p and Enter?


  • How many pages in the document? Nov 4, 2017 at 3:09

2 Answers 2


Since you're saying it prints from Preview correctly, then I'd actually combine all the PDFs into one single PDF and print the one document.

To do this in Preview:

  1. Launch Preview
  2. Navigate to and select all of the PDFs
  3. Go to View > Thumbnails
  4. Click on one of the thumbnails
  5. Use commandA (or just go to Edit > Select All) to select all of them
  6. Now drag all thumbnails onto the first one (you'll see a green plus symbol) and let go of your mouse
  7. The first PDF now becomes a single PDF with 884 pages
  8. Select the first PDF
  9. Now hold the Option key down and go to File > Save As to save your PDF as a different name

Once you've done the above, I would quit Preview and reopen it again, but only to open up your newly combined PDF. Then do a test print, say for pages 1 - 5 to see if it's going to do what you want. If so, then proceed to print the entire document (or perhaps in batches of 50 or 100 pages at a time).

NOTE: If you have trouble combining 884 pages into a single PDF, then maybe create 8 PDFs of 100 odd pages each.

  • It was originally one document (which we still have). We split it. The documents have to be stapled. If you know of a way to staple every 16 pages, that would help. But we could not find a way to tell the printer to staple ever 16 pages separately. Hence the split into separate documents.
    – codegen
    Nov 4, 2017 at 15:35
  • In your question you don't mention the stapling consideration, so I'm not sure how what you've already tried (i.e. selecting several items in Finder, or using Automator) gets around having to staple every 16 pages? Is that something you can clarify? I know it's not ideal, but I suppose you could just print pages 1-16 and set it to staple, and then print pages 17-32 and staple, and so on. Or you could produce separate documents of 16 pages each. Or you decide to cut your losses and staple them manually (rather than through the Image Runner).
    – Monomeeth
    Nov 5, 2017 at 2:24
  • We did split the document into separate documents of 16 pages each. I was originally trying to find a way to print 1-16, 17-32, etc. but not having to do it manually. I tried using lpr -o page-ranges 1-16, etc. But it was dropping ligatures and special characters. I ended up using PDF-professional from automator. It was able to print each document. It was a bit surreal watching each document open and print and then close. I printed them about 50 at a time.
    – codegen
    Nov 6, 2017 at 2:38

you can try printing from the terminal using the lp command. This would also allow you to use wildcards to print many files with one command. I print pdf's and they come out fine. You could check one to see if it prints properly.

  • The problem with the command line print is that it drops the ligatures. I made sure all the options on the driver (using the cups web interface) were defaulted to the same as what I use when printing with preview. So I get phrases like "uses linear search to nd the row" instead of "uses linear search to find the row". Same with using automator. The command I'm using is "lpr -P printername -o CNStaple=true -o PageSize=Letter -o sides=two-sided-long-edge -o page-ranges=1-161StYearExam.pdf".
    – codegen
    Nov 4, 2017 at 15:39
  • Have you tried another App like PDF-Professional from the app store? It's a free app. Maybe it will help.
    – Natsfan
    Nov 4, 2017 at 15:50
  • I had acrobat pro, but it cuts the top off. PDF-Professional did work.
    – codegen
    Nov 6, 2017 at 2:34

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