PDF Troubleshooting

PDF Troubleshooting - Andrie Designs

The introduction of PDF patterns has opened up a whole new world for designers to develop and deliver their latest creations right to your doorstep (or your computer at least). Unfortunately, it has also opened up a whole new world of issues that arise from printing your own patterns. Files not opening, pages not lining up, patterns printing at the wrong size. You have probably come across one or more of these and have been left tearing your hair out trying to remember what was mentioned in that Facebook thread in that group last week…oh what was it???

Well, stress no more! I have created this great little guide to step you through solving your printing issues and help get you sewing sooner. Pin it, print it, or nail it to your wall even! Here you will find some solutions to the more common printing problems.

Flow chart - PDF Troubleshooting - Andrie Designs


“Cannot open file” or “Print dialogue box won’t open”

Sometimes computers just don’t do what they’re told. No matter how quickly you click the mouse button or how hard you bash the keyboard, they just won’t budge. If you’re having issues with your actual pattern file, for example the file won’t open, it does open but simply doesn’t look right, or the printer dialogue box isn’t appearing when you press print, there are three steps you can take:

  • Make sure you are opening the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader or another reputable PDF reader.
  • Reboot your computer. I know, I know…it sounds like some hilarious line from The IT Crowd, but more often than not it works.
  • Download the file again. Your computer may have been distracted during the download process and the file is corrupt.

If you are still having issues, contact the designer.

“Test square measuring too big/small”, “Squares don’t match up when joining pages” or “Printer cutting off edges of pattern”

Perhaps you’re lucky enough to have leapt over the hurdle of opening the file, but now you’re facing the doom that is printing your pattern in the correct and usable size. Follow the tips below and you’ll find yourself sewing in no time:

  • Start by printing only the page with the test square on it. The last thing you want to do is print 20 pages only to realise they’re the wrong size.
  • Ensure the scaling is set to ‘100%’, ‘Actual Size’ or ‘No Scaling’. The term used may differ between software, but essentially you’re looking for the option that means you are printing the true size of the document and not fit to page or some other automatic resizing option.

Screenshot - PDF Troubleshooting - Andrie Designs


  • If you’re still having issues, follow the steps above of opening in a reputable PDF reader, rebooting the computer, or downloading the file again.

If you are still having issues, contact the designer. (Is there an echo in here?)

“Did not receive email with link to pattern”

Perhaps you didn’t have any of the issues listed above…because you never received your email in the first place. Before sending around the boys to reclaim your lost money, check your spam/junk folder in your email application. Also be sure that you’re actually logged in using the same email address that you bought the pattern with (ask me how I learnt this?).

If you still haven’t received your file…guess what you do? No, you don’t eat a bar of chocolate…well, OK, you do…but you also contact the designer.

Always contact the designer if you’re having issues that can’t be resolved. They may not be aware that there is even a problem and would very much appreciate the feedback. They also like to ensure each and every customer is happy and having success with their purchases.

I hope this information has been of help and please feel free to share this post near and far to help others who may be having similar struggles!

Happy sewing (well, once you get your pattern opened and printed!), Lisa πŸ™‚

2 thoughts on “PDF Troubleshooting

  1. Jocelyn says:

    This is awesome! Thank you for creating this flow sheet, so helpful! One more thing I find helpful when a file won’t print…. in the advanced printer settings, checking “print as image”.

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you Jocelyn! Glad you’ve found it helpful and I didn’t know about the ‘print as image’ option – I’ll have to check it out! πŸ™‚

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