i run 11.04. i have a pdf file with an embedded logo (png file) and a few lines. The image has white background (really it is white, i checked with gimp and the color picker).

when i print the pdf file with the embedded printing gui from the "Document Viewer" the result is:

  • image background is white
  • lines are thicker than with lpr

when i print with lpr myfile.pdf i get

  • image background is not white (its more like bisque (#FFE4C4))
  • lines are as thin as they should be

As the P in PDF means "portable" i would like to know who things like this can happen? I always use the same printer.

  • You could try printing in Adobe Acrobat Reader for a third variation of output :-)
    – Steve-o
    Commented Aug 29, 2011 at 8:46

1 Answer 1


Using lpr send the file to the print server, which should be CUPS which has it's own mechanism for converting PDFs suitable for the printer, but can be different to Evince and Adobe Acrobat Reader as they are three separate implementations.

You may be able to influence the CUPS engine via the CUPS website: http://localhost:631/

Adobe Acrobat Reader is likely to be the most accurate and you can force it to send a completely rasterized image to the printer.

Evince has pretty much no tweaking available.

edit: CUPS uses pdftops and friends to print PDF documents, this is based on Xpdf which is the same ancestry as Evince.

Adobe Acrobat Reader includes additional options to attempt fixing background colours and an option that hints that it is your printer messing up the final copy:

enter image description here

  • I'd like to plug a note here that adobe acrobat reader would probably be most accurate if you work with PDFs created by it. Especially if weird features are used. Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 9:14

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