Mathematica has a strange behavior with respect to printing and saving to PDF. It remembers the print settings, such as page range and number of copies along with the file. So if I print 50 copies of a file for a large class, and six months later open the file to print a copy for myself, the default is 50 copies. If instead I export the file as PDF, the PDF file will contain 50 copies of the content of notebook. I have been using software since 1974. I have worked extensively with dozens of software packages, word processors, spreadsheets, program editors, software development environments, and computer algebra systems. In my experience, Mathematica is the only software package with this frustrating behavior. Is there a setting or edit of initialization files that will cause Mathematica to default to all pages and 1 copy each time a notebook is opened?

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    $\begingroup$ SetOptions[EvaluationNotebook[], PrintingCopies -> 1] $\endgroup$ – Mike Honeychurch Jan 25 '15 at 22:21
  • $\begingroup$ @Mike I've never seen/noticed that before. It doesn't seem "easily found in the documentation" -- would you post an answer? $\endgroup$ – Mr.Wizard Jan 26 '15 at 22:52
  • $\begingroup$ @Mr.Wizard ok. but it look like it is about to get closed?? $\endgroup$ – Mike Honeychurch Jan 26 '15 at 23:18
  • $\begingroup$ @Mike I voted to leave it open. I think it's a good question. Do you disagree? $\endgroup$ – Mr.Wizard Jan 26 '15 at 23:19
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe printing is not regarded as important by WRI? But of course it is and will be and it is possible to produce good and not to large PDF's with Mathematica and also fiddle with all the options, like PrintingCopies, but it is not really fun (e.g.: try to programatically add headers and footers: only possible by inspection and trial and error and luck). $\endgroup$ – Rolf Mertig Jan 26 '15 at 23:35

A wide variety of print settings can be stored within a given notebook. If you are observing print settings that appear to differ from the default settings then my guess is that inadvertently some unwanted settings have been localized to the notebook. You can check this via the Options Inspector. For your specific problem you can ensure that the notebook will print only one copy by setting the PrintingCopies option for that notebook. You can do this via the Options Inspector:

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or programmatically:

SetOptions[EvaluationNotebook[], PrintingCopies -> 1]


I just noticed that PrintingCopies -> 1 is stored in my FrontEnd init.m file so it may also be worth you checking that and modifying the setting if it exists, or deleting it altogether.

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    $\begingroup$ +1 of course. I believe the OP is asserting that PrintingCopies is set every time he prints. I did not confirm this yet but if it is the case then it is not simply "inadvertently some settings have been localized" but an ongoing problem. $\endgroup$ – Mr.Wizard Jan 26 '15 at 23:29
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    $\begingroup$ Yes indeed, in 10.0.2 printing (to file) three copies of a Notebook resulted in {PrintingCopies -> 3}. $\endgroup$ – Mr.Wizard Jan 26 '15 at 23:32
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    $\begingroup$ @Mr.Wizard the setting of that option when you print must be a Windows thing. On my Mac with 10.0.2 I just queued 50 copies and then again 5 copies with my printer off, the printing task is showing in the printer window but no change was made to the notebook options. I didn't go all the way to let the print job complete to see if that results in the local notebook options being changed. $\endgroup$ – Mike Honeychurch Jan 26 '15 at 23:40
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    $\begingroup$ It seems as though once the Option has been set for the Notebook it is not changed again, so setting SetOptions[EvaluationNotebook[], PrintingCopies -> 1] should "inoculate" it against automatic changes. $\endgroup$ – Mr.Wizard Jan 26 '15 at 23:41
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you so much, I had been fighting with this problem for a long time. $\endgroup$ – Virgo Aug 15 '17 at 1:31

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