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I have an issue when printing pdf documents exported from Pages. The pdf looks fine in Preview but when printing, the printer (Xerox 3260 with latest drivers) just spits out almost empty pages with some garbage characters in the top. Printing directly from Pages works fine as well as printing pdf documents from other sources. Bug?

  • macOS Big Sur (11.1)
  • Pages 10.3.9
  • Printing over AirPrint
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  • What if you export it to a PDF first and then print it? Sounds counter-intuitive but I have seen it work... Yeah it doesn't solve the problem but it could get you printing till you do solve it. – Steve Chambers Jan 26 at 14:00
  • This is actually what I do, export to pdf from Pages, then printing it from Preview – ihatetoregister Jan 26 at 14:01
  • OK so then it is likely the driver for that printer. You could try a generic postscript driver, or an equivalent driver for a similar printer (earlier version, etc.) from Xerox or an OEM version of the same printer. For example Dell printers are usually thinly disguised Lexmark printers, so using a Dell printer driver for a Lexmark printer can yield different results. – Steve Chambers Jan 26 at 14:08
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Printing out loads of blank pages (along with some random chars) usually means that the printer is taking in the incoming print job as raw data, rather than as a PostScript file to be interpreted.

Check the printer's manual for the name of the print queue to which the job should be sent (usually one of AUTO, PS, PCL or RAW -- so choose PS), or make sure it's configured to use PostScript as a higher priority than raw data.

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Apple’s troubleshooting guide has a helpful tidbit on disabling Print Dialog Extensions (PDEs) and using generic drivers towards the middle of all the steps.

Options & Supplies button, select the Use Generic Printer Features checkbox, then click OK.

If that fails, does a test page print correctly?

If that fails, you may have to do each step in order from the guide above on solving printing problems from Apple Support.

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I found a possible workaround. Symptom: Multiple applications such as Pages, Notes, Preview print "UNIRAST" followed by garbage and many pages. Updating printer firmware and re-installing drivers did not help.

  • Reset printer system
  • Re-added the printer as AirPrint
  • Then added it again, so it gives it the same name followed by "2", but this time I set it as Generic PCL Laser Printer.

So far, prints from Notes, Pages, Preview are going okay, as I've set this PCL version to my default. I found the idea here: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/250857812 where someone describes this same workaround, and also another useful link that didn't quite solve it was here: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/252484142 - there's a theory the drivers from HP aren't 64-bit, thus causing the problem, but I am not sure about that.

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