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FAQ: Fix for Problem Printing PostScript "to file" Under Windows 2000


A number of Acrobat users under Windows 2000 have reported a 
problem in which printing via the PostScript driver fails when 
printing "to file" instead of to a standard printer port (such 
an LPT, USB, TCP/IP port, or even Acrobat's internal port). 
Printing "to file" refers to the ability to check an option in 
programs such as FrameMaker or Microsoft Word that causes the 
PostScript that would have gone to a "real" printer port, to go
to a specified file name, prompted for by the driver or application
itself. The symptom of the failure may be either (1) no file 
produced and/or (2) a nondescript error message about "unable to 

Although we have not yet heard of this problem occurring under 
Windows XP, we have no reason to believe it couldn't given the 
extreme similarity in architecture and software components. If you
are seeing this with Windows XP, please advise me of this via email
and simply substitute "Windows XP" for "Windows 2000" for your 
purposes in this posting.


The problem is caused by a missing printing port named "FILE:" used 
by the driver whenever it, guess what, prints "to file." This port 
is automatically created when Windows 2000 is installed and normally
would never disappear. What seems to be happening, based upon reports
that I have received from several end users, is that under some 
conditions yet unidentified, uninstalling one version of Acrobat in 
preparation for installation of another (newer) version of Acrobat 
causes the "FILE:" port to be deleted from the system. This printing 
port deletion does not appear to be caused by any end-user error.

Adobe's Acrobat Quality Assurance group has been alerted to the 
problem, but to date has been unable to internally reproduce the 
problem. We would appreciate any information from any user who 
encounters this problem in terms of exactly how the Acrobat Distiller
printer instance was being used prior to an uninstall of Acrobat 
(for example, were you printing a FrameMaker book "to file" with the
Acrobat Distiller printer instance for purposes of subsequently 
distilling the whole book manually?)


Fortunately, it is very easy to add the "FILE:" port back into the 
operating system:

(1) Logon to Windows 2000 as a user with Administrator privileges.

(2) Go to Start=>Settings=>Printers.

(3) Select File=>Server Properties.

(4) Click the "Ports" tab.

(5) Click "Add Port".

(6) Select "Local Port" and click "New Port".

(7) In response to "Enter a port name:" respond "FILE:" (without the
surrounding quote marks, of course) and click OK.

(8) The "FILE:" port should now be in the list of available ports. 
You may close the remaining dialogs.

At this point, printing "to file" should work correctly. Most likely,
you will not see the problem reoccur unless you do another round of 
uninstalls of Acrobat.

	- Dov 

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