How to Fix IllegalAttributeValue Error When Printing PDF Files

Some of the HP printers can give the IllegalAttributeValue error and PCL XL error when printing PDF files. This is due to the driver not being able to correctly render a PDF file during printing. Here are some ways you can get around this error to print a PDF file.

How to Fix IllegalAttributeValue Error When Printing PDF Files

The first method to try is to print the PDF file as an image. This can be done by following these steps:

  • Open the PDF file using Adobe Acrobat Reader or Adobe Standard.
  • Click on File > Print. The Print dialog box will open.
  • Click on the Advanced button at the bottom of the dialog box.
  • Click on Print as image checkbox. Click OK.
  • Click OK to print.

Screenshots for the above steps are provided below:

print pdf advanced button

print as image pdf file to fix IllegalAttributeValue

Your PDF file should now print normally.

Method 2: Export the PDF as an Image

The second method to avoid the IllegalAttributeValue is to export the PDF as an image and then printing it. This is suitable for PDF files which are few pages in size. Also, you will need Adobe Standard to perform the tasks. Here are the steps:

  • Open the PDF file using Adobe Standard.
  • Click on File > Export > Image > JPEG.
  • Name the file and save it.
  • Open the exported image file(s) and print.

Method 3: Convert the PDF File to a Word Document

The third method to avoid the IllegalAttributeValue error during printing a PDF file is to export the PDF file to a MS Word document. This is suitable for PDF Files which are mainly text based. Works with image files too. You will need Adobe Standard to perform the tasks. Here are the steps:

  • Open the PDF File using Adobe Standard.
  • Click on File > Export > Word Document.
  • Name the file and save it.
  • Open the exported MS Word document and print.

Method 4: Changing the Printer Driver

The error is primarily caused by the printer driver not being able to properly render a PDF file during printing. For some people, the error occurs when the printer driver is updated to the latest version, usually PCL 6. The earlier drivers, PCL 5 and below, seem to have no issues with printing PDF files. If your computer has administrative rights, follow these steps to downgrade to a working printer driver.

  • Click on Windows Start button and click on Devices and Printers. For Windows 10, click on the Windows Search icon and type in Devices and Printers.
  • From the list of printers installed in your computer, right click on the printer which is giving the error and select Printer Properties. Note that there is another option which is “Properties” only, do not click on that. A dialog box will open.
  • Click on the Advanced tab and select an earlier Driver from the Driver drop down options. Choose a PCL 5 driver.
  • Click on Apply and OK.

The PDF file should now print. If you have multiple PCL 5 drivers installed, try them out one by one until you find the driver which works.

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