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On both Mac and Windows when I print a document there is an advanced screen that allows me to select an option called Simulate Overprinting, however such an option doesn't appear on the Ubuntu version.

Wikipedia on overprinting:

Overprinting refers to the process of printing one colour on top of another in reprographics. This is closely linked to the reprographic technique of 'trapping'. Another use of overprinting is to create a rich black (often regarded as a colour that is "blacker than black") by printing black over another dark colour.

This is an issue for us, as we're trying to print documents that need flattening (this is what overprinting does).

Am I missing something here, is there a way to enable overprinting on printed PDFs?

Note: Please don't confuse simulate overprinting with overprint preview, of which doesn't apply when printing.

Just to show you what I'm looking for, this is the Print > Advanced screen... enter image description here

And this is what I see on the Ubuntu screen, not no option for overprinting enter image description here

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I don't understand your Question, Do you want to print outside the printable margin? – Prasad RD Apr 25 '12 at 11:31
There's an option called simulate overprinting on Mac and Windows... but not on Ubuntu, I want to enable that option. – Ben Everard Apr 25 '12 at 11:33
I added a small note about what overprinting is to reduce confusion. But, other than that - I'm afraid if option is not there then, well, it's not there. There's a small chance that some hidden config option exists somewhere, of course. – Sergey Apr 25 '12 at 11:41
Try installing adobe reader windows version via wine, maybe it may support overprinting. Ubuntu version of adobe doesn't support overprinting. – Faizan Mar 24 '15 at 4:18

To view this option try install original Adobe Reader for Windows or MacOS to their corresponding virtual machine (vm).

PDF format development depends on the proprietary library controlled by Adobe. Not surprising option do not exist. Look this comparison chart:
Comparison of OpenXPS and PDF
Most interesting moment here is two rows:
Alpha channel in color definitions - OpenXPS: Yes - PDF: Not
Support for multiple transparency blending modes - OpenXPS: ? - PDF: Yes

Many different ways exist to to view PDF and print it under Linux.

I count this question point to the problem around original PDF representation inside Ubuntu environments. You can try to use Scribus software for converting PDF to open formats, but latest fixes there also include "disabled overprint feature" due to buggy output.

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Our current work around is a Windows machine that people connect to (remote desktop) to print these problem PDFs... quite annoying if you ask me. – Ben Everard Apr 26 '12 at 9:15
i'm sorry, same feelings. Adobe strategic Portable Document Format. All for money. No difference what is a device where stored PDF source. – swift Apr 26 '12 at 13:24

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