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We have 12 iMacs in our computer lab at our college. Our students are having problems trying to print (to a black and white printer) their notebooks. Testing one students notebook (about 6 pages with 3D printing), we had to wait 6 minutes for it to start printing, then it only printed about 4 lines from the notebook and nothing else. At the top of the page are these remarks:

ERROR: limitcheck

OFFENDING COMMAND: image

I am going to call Wolfram support tomorrow, but in the meantime has anyone else experienced this before? If so, any thoughts for a cure?

I probably should have shared we tried saving to a pdf but that did not work.

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  • $\begingroup$ One possible workaround would be to print (or save) to pdf and then print the pdf from acrobat (or other pdf reader). $\endgroup$ – bill s Aug 27 '15 at 3:35
  • $\begingroup$ And make sure you check the size of the PDF file before you print it. If there is vector graphics, like a scatter plot with a million points in it, then the size is bound to blow up in a vector graphics format, and this would explain the 6 minutes delay. Rasterizing the graphics will solve the problem in this case. $\endgroup$ – C. E. Aug 27 '15 at 9:03
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I don't think that this is a problem with Mathematica, but rather with a combination of (possibly) HP printers and PostScript printer drivers on Macs. The error you see is a PostScript error; see this site for an explanation.

The short version is that the printer has reached some kind of internal limit, most commonly caused by a page that is too complex to render or that has too many elements. This seems in line with the fact that you had trouble printing 3-D graphics, and that the "offending command" was "image" in your case.

A quick session with Google led me to find the following thread on an HP support forum that reports essentially the same conclusion.

"Most common cause is a path too complicated: for instance a cutout, or a drawn outline; also outlined text. Using the 'magic wand' in Adobe Photoshop it is possible to get a very complicated clip path. [...]

The limitcheck error can also mean that there is not enough memory to render the page size and resolution requested. Typical RAM requirements for letter/a4 paper are 1 MB at 300 dpi; 4 MB at 600 dpi; 7 MB at 800 dpi. Double for A3/11x17 paper. Double for duplex (double sided). Quadruple for colour. This is just to hold the page; more will be needed (at least 1 MB) for fonts, paths, and other things."

Unfortunately this may not necessarily help you in your current predicament, but the following might:

  • Bill's idea to save to PDF may help you.
  • Setting a lower printing resolution using the printers own interface, if one is available, may also be very helpful.
  • Finally, printing one page at a time may not exhaust the printer's memory and get around the limitcheck issue.
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