Printing Black Boxes | How to Fix Printing Problems

You’ve purchased and downloaded a beautiful resource, but are having a printing issue, because it is printing black boxes instead of images. This solid black box happens more often than you think. Don’t worry, I am here to try and help you fix the black block printing problem, so your document prints as expected.

**Tip: Bookmark this blog post for future reference. This way, you will have additional support options at your fingertips if the black squares happen again.

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Why is My Printer Printing a Black Square?

Nearly a year ago, I first heard of the recent issue on a popular teacher forum inside Teachers Pay Teachers. I thought the black box printing error would never happen to me. Then, BAM…it happened! Sadly…the black squares started happening time and time again. Why is my printer printing a black square?

It turns out, the problem is not coming from the creator, or author, of your document you are trying to print.

As an elementary teacher, I often purchased and downloaded resources the night before school starts, or the morning of a lesson, only to run into this printing problem of a black background – even after assuring I had the most current version of the resource. Ugh, it’s frustrated as all get out! And, as a teacher author on Teachers Pay Teachers, I have had feedback from amazing teachers like you who’ve also had problems printing, and were looking for the best solution.

 

If you are reading this, I am guessing you know exactly what I am talking about. If not, the screen shot below is an example of how pdf graphics are printing as black boxes. These Superhero Calendar card, downloaded as pdf files, have an image in the lower right corner that are printing as a black box. Let’s look at how you can easily fix the printing problem if this happens to you.

 

 

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Here are tips to fix the problem you may be having when printing a pdf with images. There are simple solutions to fix printing black boxes problem.

 

 

How to Fix the Printing Black Boxes Error

Over the past year, I have played around with doing a windows update, and switching the browser that I’m opening and printing from. For example, I would open and print from google chrome, then try from Explorer or Safari. Sometimes, this fixed the pdf printing problem sometimes, but not always.

With the help of the TPT staff, and their great service, I learned the best answer to solve the problem.

Fix Black Squares Issue with the following steps:

  1. Make sure you are using the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader – rather than a standard preview application on Macs or a web browser. Check adobe reader for recent updates. This is the most important step.
  2. If you already have the updated version of Adobe Acrobat Reader, open the resource using Adobe and do the following:
  • Choose File –> Print
  • Click on Advanced
  • Check the “Print as Image” box and click OK.
  • Click the Print button

 

 

Fixing Black Boxes When Printing From a Mac

Thankfully, Holly, has written in with a tip for mac users.

She said: “For those on a mac, there is no “advanced” box. Mac users need to click on the file, hold it down and press Command. Then, tell the file to open in Adobe.”

After doing so, you should be able to print as normal.

  1. Make sure you are using the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader – rather than a standard preview application on Macs or a web browser. Check adobe reader for recent updates. This is the most important step.
  2. If you already have the updated version of Adobe Acrobat Reader, open the resource using Adobe and do the following:
  • Choose File –> Hold it down and press Command.
  • Tell the File to Open in Adobe.
  • Print as normal.

 

It’s Not the Creator’s Fault

As frustrating as this problem is, please remember this is a technical issue, and not the seller’s, or creator’s, fault.

Too often, people because frustrated and immediately choose to leave negative feedback – assuming the seller made the mistakes when creating the content.  This is not the case.

 

Content creators and teacher bloggers work VERY hard to bring you high quality resources.  If there is a problem with the resource itself, and not just printing issues, then be sure to reach out the seller and let him/her know.  You can do this by contacting them via email, or on TPT you can contact them through the Q and A tab on their storefront.  Or, reach out to TPT’s customer service.  I’m sure they will be more than willing to make things right.

Once resolved, be sure to leave feedback on the sellers page.  Did you know you can earn credits towards free resources on TPT? Not sure how? You may want to check out my blog post, How To Get Free Resources on TPT.

 

Conclusion

We live in an a time where technology can be very useful.  Printing learning resources as needed is a valuable tool to have.  Unfortunately, the technology doesn’t always work as planned.  Try the above tips to solve the problem with printing black boxes, and your resources will be looking as beautiful as the seller intended.

 

Before you go, here are a few blog posts you may enjoy:

15 Amazing Teacher Discounts

Basics of a Kindergarten Classroom

4 Easy Steps to Start a Teacher Blog

115 Top Picks for Poem of the Day

 

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Printing Black Boxes