PDF Form Printing Error

How to avoid wasting paper?


Le Temple du Marais

Le Temple du Marais

"Eglise verte" means "green church".

My churches are going green.


I downloaded a PDF from Haute-Garonne’s government site, filled in the form and saved it on a USB key. Then I printed it at a Konica Minolta bizhub photocopier .

However, only the radio buttons and checkboxes were printed. The blanks were left blank! I opened my PDF and double-checked that I had input the text in .

PDF file printed

Printed output

Printed by a Konica Monilta bizhub photocopier

How can I get back the missing texts printed on paper?

Environmental impact

Before any technical discussions, let’s imagine that the form created by LibreOffice 5.0 contains a lot of pages.

PDF created by LibreOffice 5.0

Such an error would trash the majority of the printed pages, unless someone is willing to give a helping hand to our planet Earth by copying the text from to paper.


As the new term has already started, I’ve no interest to look into the cause of the error. Out of curiosity, I tried qpdf to extract the first three pages of the file.

$ qpdf --empty --pages input.pdf 1-3 -- output.pdf

In the output file, the ’s were missing! It seemed that qpdf could detect the aforementioned problem.


The actual solution sounds ridiculous, but trust me, it works!

Print the PDF file to file.

Evince print dialog

Verify the newly generated file by

  1. opening it with a PDF viewer
  2. extract some pages from it

    $ qpdf --empty --pages input.pdf 1-3 -- output.pdf
  3. open the extracted pages with a PDF viewer

Final remark

  1. Print from document viewer (e.g. Evince, Sumatra PDF). Don’t print from a web browser so that the fonts won’t be rendered in an odd way.
  2. If possible, preview the printing job.
  3. Print first few pages for testing.

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