Some of my coworkers deal with long documents that give our printer fits. “Fits” meaning that 60-page documents take 30-45 minutes to print if they don’t abort in the middle with a printing error.

The documents in question contain a cover sheet, scanned in at high resolution, and usually have some large charts.

I devised a workaround.

Office 2007 and later have the ability to export a document to PDF. When my boss was faced with a stubborn document that just wouldn’t print, I tried exporting to PDF as a last-ditch, desperate measure to get the thing onto paper.

The PDF export only took a minute or two. The wizard helpfully offers to open the PDF in Acrobat Adobe Reader when it finishes, so I let that. Once the converted document appeared in on screen, I printed it. It printed as quickly as any plain old straight-text document would under the same conditions.

Kludge? You bet. But short of replacing the printer with something that has a lot more memory and horsepower, I can’t think of any other solution. This is cheaper.