Our documents are intended to be printed on a pre-printed form that our printer has set up as different paper medium. Forgetting to chose that is obviously rather annoying, but changing the printer's default medium would just invert the problem for the equally present non-form printouts.

In order to alleviate this, is there any way to have the PDF contain information on the required (or preferred) paper medium (in addition to the unchanged size)?

edit It seems at least in PostScript3, there exists Page Device Parameters which apparently can be used to achieve this, but as of yet I don't have a clue how to do this and whether this can be used in PDF as well. But I'm not stuck with PDF, hints on how to obtain a PS file using this via InDesign are as well welcome.

  • Hi, I am not 100% sure what you're trying to do accomplish but maybe one of these ideas might work. You can always use the InDesign feature to package (File -> Package) the design which creates a text file and you can put instructions in there. Another idea is to write comments on the PDF in Adobe Acrobat. Besides that you can also write important information about the graphic in the file name itself. I do not think you can have a PDF file contain information on what type of medium it will be printed on since that is handled by the printer.
    – AndrewH
    Feb 10, 2016 at 14:31
  • @AndrewH I was afraid someone would say so - the instructions are already clear, but sometimes a click on print just happens too quickly and an automatism would save some paper... I'm looking for an automated way to make sure this doesn't happen, so far my only idea would be adding some metadata that the printer driver would somehow have to interpret, which in turn would mean too much work... Feb 10, 2016 at 14:46
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    I like setting print information in the file name. I usually name files like: Project Name - Media Type - Graphic Size - Version # - (Proof or Print Ready).PDF. This way when I setup up all my graphics for rip I know how the file should be printed. You can set basic printer settings in the PDF metadata (Copies, page range, Duplex Mode) but I do not think media type is possible.
    – AndrewH
    Feb 10, 2016 at 14:53
  • @AndrewH That is basically our setup as well, but what with sending docs to the printer being a rather numb task, especially if it's a couple of thousand pages to be filed (is that even the correct English word?) this introduces a high potential for human error that I'd like to eliminate somehow. Feb 11, 2016 at 7:21
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    @TobiasKienzler Use the print to file feature of your printer driver
    – joojaa
    Mar 30, 2016 at 12:44

1 Answer 1


Based on Andrew's and joojaa's comments, the current work-around (since PDF seems to be incapable of this unless maybe one starts putting some clever JavaScript in it) consists of creating the PDF, then preparing the print job but using the print to file feature in order to generate a PS file containing the correct printer settings. Now whenever the printout is needed, one simply has to send that PS directly to the printer (e.g. via Linux' lp -d printername -o raw file.ps or Windows' copy /b file.ps \\hostname\printershare)

  • JavaScript most likely will not help ypu from a workflow perspective. +1,5
    – joojaa
    Apr 4, 2016 at 6:13
  • @joojaa My thoughts went along the line "add a print button that uses the Adobe API to somehow use the printer dialog", but that "somehow" made me worry. I don't know if it actually is possible, but the preparation time does not seem worth the effort Apr 4, 2016 at 6:20
  • Yes why waste time embedding it into the document in way that most likely can not be done whan you can make a icon on the desktop that does the same thing.
    – joojaa
    Apr 4, 2016 at 6:21

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