You’ve spent a good while getting to know the ins and outs of Lightroom3 and find yourself wanting to layout a book, printing to an Adobe PDF file ready for sending to a lab.

You’ve bought and installed Acrobat, thrown some of the first photos that came to hand into a test page (In my case some of my 100Strangers shots and one of my fave images from Leeds photographer Mark Sayer, aka “..Goose..”), clicked Print.. and £%$£%”E”$%!!!!!  It takes *forever* and all you get is a blank page in the background colour or a page with only a few of the images from the layout. That’s how a good number of hours went Saturday night into Sunday morning. All possible software updates done and it was still doing the same!

The answer came from DebraNM on the Adobe Forums. She’d had the same sort of problems back in June. I posted a message to the forum asking if she’d got a solution, thankfully she was reading her email and quickly responded. She’d spent some months working with Adobe before getting the solution. Now we have it it’s quite simple. Spot the DPI setting in the Print Job section? We need to ensure Acrobat is using the same. After clicking Print..

Click Properties..

Click the Paper/Quality tab then Advanced..

Set the ICM Method to ICM Disabled and make sure the DPI matches what Lightroom is going to send, be it 240, 300 or 600 DPI.

Bingo!!! We have a PDF in the correct colours and including every image rendered in a reasonable time. By default Adobe Acrobat was resampling the images up to 1200 DPI, taking a lot of time to do so and no doubt running out of memory when working on some of the larger images, causing the blank background we see. Thanks for the update Debra, you’re a life saver! Now to revisit some wedding album layouts..

Far too much of Sunday was spent trying to debug this further. Some test runs would work fast, others eat CPU for ages. Almost an hour to print 4 pages to PDF. Same test data each time. SysInternals Process Explorer shows CPU running flat out for thread: “Print.lrmodule!AgLua_checkPrintInfo+0x1e20”. More after calls to Adobe on Monday. 🙁

[UPDATE2] I ran one last test Sunday evening, using the 100Strangers and Goose set again. It produced a good one page PDF but took 2.5 to 3 hours to do so, the laptop needing some extra external cooling to prevent a melt down!!

[UPDATE3] It looks to be an issue with Lr3.2 64bit. If you have these issues and can live with the 32bit version for a while I suggest you do so…