In this post: Have you found yourself getting frustrated trying to print PDF classroom resources? These pdf printing tips and tricks for teachers might help!
Did you know that my job in college was to help troubleshoot the giant printers and copiers in the school library? I knew almost nothing about computers (I answered unplug it to every question in my interview), but for some reason they still hired me!
Thankfully, i’m a little more tech savvy now and I’ve learned some helpful pdf printing tips and tricks that can actually solve your printing problems – not just restarting!
We’ve all been there. You’re trying to print PDF classroom resources and your computer tells you it just can’t do it. Or you print a page full of clip art and black boxes print all over the page. Talk about frustrating!
But don’t worry, the solution to your teacher printing problems is most likely found in this comprehensive list of pdf printing tips and tricks!
Table of Contents
How do I open a zip folder?
A zip folder has multiple files inside. In order to upload it, the teacher author had to zip the folder. This allows the files to be uploaded as one resource and helps compress the size.
However, if you try to open and print a file without extracting the zip folder, you will most likely run into issues!
Thankfully, extracting a zip folder is easy! Just follow these steps.
(PS: Make sure you are on a computer and NOT on your phone when trying to open a zip file!)
How to extract a zip folder on a PC
If you are using a PC, you will want to follow these steps to extract a zip folder:
- Right click on the zipped folder.
- Select “Extract All” from the list of options that appears.
- Choose where you want the file to be saved (If you don’t choose, your computer will most likely default to saving it in your downloads).
- Click “Extract” on the bottom right.
Here is a handy GIF from my friend Lisa at Gifted Guru to show you what these steps should look like! You’ll notice that once the folder has been extracted, another folder with the same name will appear. You can open the files from that new folder to print!
How to extract a zip folder on a Mac
The process for extracting a zip folder on a Mac is a little bit easier!
Just double clip the zipped file and the Archive Utility should extract the files for you. However, if that doesn’t happen right away, you can right click on the zip folder and choose “Open With” and “Archive Utility.”
How do I print a file from Google Drive?
If you are trying to print a PDF file from Google Drive, you have two options. The first option is to print directly from Google Drive.
You should see a tiny little printer button on the top right. You should be able to click that and it will give you the option to print directly from Google.
If the print button is missing or won’t appear, you will want to download the file before printing.
Just click the arrow button next to the printer icon to download it.
Help! Black boxes are printing on page.
Are you printing a PDF resource with clip art or real photos and, while everything looks fine on the screen, black boxes are appearing when you print?
This is frustrating because it not only makes that page unusable, but it also wastes A LOT of ink!
There seem to be two reasons why this happens when printing:
- You are not opening in Adobe Reader before you print
- You are trying to print from a phone
- You are trying to print from preview (in your internet browser)
Thankfully, this is an easy printing fix!
- First, make sure you ALWAYS download your PDF documents and then open in Adobe! If you use Adobe Acrobat Reader, it is a free program to install.
- If it is a zip file, unzip it before trying to print
Is it still happening?
Before you print, choose “Print As Image.” This will fix most PDF printing problems in Adobe!
How to print as an image:
- Open the PDF document in Adobe
- Click “print”
- If the option to print as image isn’t on this pop up, click “Advanced” at the top
- Click “Print As Image”
- Click “OK”
- Click “Print”
My pages print with a big white border
When you print your PDF document, are you noticing a big white border? Or are the pages appearing shrunk?
First, make sure you are opening in Adobe to print!
When you click print, you will want to go to the section of the pop up that is called Print Sizing & Handling.
This should make sure your PDF takes up the entire page when printing and doesn’t print with a big white border!
Adobe is asking me for a password to print
If Adobe is asking you for a password to open or print a PDF document, it is most likely because of a recent update within Adobe. This change requires secured PDF documents to open in the latest version of Adobe.
So how can you fix this printing problem?
First, update your Adobe Reader. Make sure that it is the latest version!
If that doesn’t work, reach out to the TpT seller. We’re human and there is always the chance they chose the wrong security setting!
If you are a TpT seller who is tired of getting the question, “Why is Adobe asking for a password to open or print?” then there is an easy fix:
- First, set your password security in Adobe as usual.
- Then, on the Protect bar click “More Options.”
- Choose “Security Properties” from the dropdown list.
- Click “Change Settings…”
- At the bottom, you will see a box that says Compatibility: Acrobat X and later
- Change this to Acrobat 7.0 and later
- You will need to enter your security password again right above that where it says “Change Permissions Password.”
I only want to print specific pages
If you only want to print specific pages in a PDF, Adobe makes it very easy!
How to print only certain pages in Adobe:
- Open your PDF document in Adobe
- On the left, click the triangle so that you can see the thumbnails
- Hold the Ctrl key as you click the thumbnails of the pages you want to print
- Click print! It should automatically choose only those pages as your print range
Printing is taking all my ink!
I feel you on this one! You want to print all the things, but it’s draining your ink supply quickly. If you print a lot and want to save money on ink, I highly recommend the HP Instant Ink program.
This program allows you to pay a monthly fee for an allotted amount of pages to print. You can use an unlimited amount of ink on those pages!
Running low on ink? Your HP printer will automatically alert HP and they will send you new cartridges. Beyond your monthly subscription cost, the ink doesn’t cost you a thing!
Help! I’m still have printing problems!
These pdf printing tips will solve most issues, but if you’re still struggling here are three ideas:
- If you purchased the resource on Teachers Pay Teachers, they have a great tech support desk! Check out their information to see if they’ve answered your question. If not, reach out to them for help. They’re quick to respond and have seen it all.
- If you didn’t purchase the resource on Teachers Pay Teachers and are still having problems, Google “trouble printing on [type of device] [operating system]” (so, “trouble printing on HP Spectre Windows 11”).
- If you still can’t find the answer, make a screen recording of what’s going on and reach out to where you obtained the file. They’ll need to see what’s happening because every operating system is different.