I have vector image which does not print well, unless I rasterize it. Image created in Inkscape. I have tried to save it as PDF and print using Acrobat Reader DC, also to print it directly in Inkscape. The solution I found - to print it rasterized: File > Print -> in Rendering tab checked Bitmap and set DPI to 600. However result is not as sharp as printed vector image (I have also other components in the image, which prints properly not rasterized). Also I tried to create PDF in AI, however printing produces another distorted result. See pictures below (first rasterized, second Inkscape and third AI). PDF in Acrobat Reader itself looks as expected in both versions.

Rasterized Inkscape AI

I am wondering if it is an issue with printer or image is too complex to print it properly. Link to PDF created in Inkscape. Printer I am using CLP-365. Toner saving is off.

  • Must be your printer, I just tried it on my Canon Pixma inkjet printer, and it prints fine. However the detail is so fine and some of the finer detail is filled in. A laser printer will probably perform worse than an inket. To be honest, this is probably about at the limit of what these home/office grade printers can manage. I don't think there's anything wrong as such.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Sep 27, 2020 at 18:03
  • Here's a close-up of the print.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Sep 27, 2020 at 18:07
  • @BillyKerr you realize a Pixma is printing the raster preview from a PDF, right? If there's no postscript RIP, a PDF ain't printing any vector data.
    – Scott
    Commented Sep 27, 2020 at 18:07
  • Yes, but that's what one would expect from consumer grade printers.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Sep 27, 2020 at 18:09

1 Answer 1


I downloaded the PDF, opened in Illustrator CS6, printed to my monochrome laser printer (which has a Postscript level 3 RIP). -- Looks as expected.

At the size you are trying to print, the detail is so small it merely gets plugged up. You're asking an end use printer to maintain a collection of hairlines below 0.25pts. In most instances, that is simply not going to happen.

Once the vector art is enlarged, you can actually see the detail in a print.

enter image description here

Same printer. All I did was enlarge the art roughly 200% in Illustrator before printing.

US currency is purposefully constructed of these fine engravings just for this reason -- to make them harder to reproduce on basic equipment. Then reducing these engravings to 25% or less is merely asking for things to get plugged. US currency detail is hard enough to maintain at 100%, let alone 25%. This is why most "fake" or "novelty" notes are simplified to a degree.

In short, the problem you are facing is not the printer, file format, or software in use.
The problem is the artwork itself.

Related: How can I legally design something which looks like US currency notes?

  • Damn, you mean I can't do counterfeit notes on my Pixma. LOL;)
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Sep 27, 2020 at 18:12
  • @BillyKerr Sure you can -- please feel free :) -- now being able to pass them may be another matter :)
    – Scott
    Commented Sep 27, 2020 at 18:13
  • In fact with rasterized image I get result pretty close to the wanted. I think it is an issue of printer, that it prints completely distorted image if it is not rasterized (although problem is only with this "frame" image). Printer can do 2400x600dpi. Regarding legislation I am creating game money, using design of notes which are not in circulation for many years :)
    – Creek Drop
    Commented Sep 27, 2020 at 19:01
  • 600/72/4/2 Is equal to 1 so that means that you would technically able to do a 1/4 point line if you can accpt a ~75 percent variability. A 2400 dpi printer has a much more confortable margin of ~20 percent variability
    – joojaa
    Commented Sep 28, 2020 at 5:54

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