Fixing Duplex Printing Problems

Adobe/Lexmark Duplexing Problems

PostScript Printer Description (PPD) files provided with new Lexmark printers and PPD files from the Lexmark Drivers & Downloads web page have a bug which, in some circumstances, won’t let users choose double-sided printing, even though the printer in question is equipped with duplexer.

Technically, the user interface friendly option names for duplex printing and for duplexer presence — both defined in the Lexmark provided PPD files — bear the same name: “Duplex.” Adobe Reader 9 for Linux is not able to differentiate the two options because it wrongly relies on the user interface friendly option names instead of relying on the printer option setting names. Therefore, both providers are at fault in causing this problem.

Duplex option: Installed

Fixing the bug

By giving exactly the same user interface friendly name to two similar but functionally different options, Lexmark is confusing users and, as it turned out, some user applications. We cannot fix the Adobe Reader bug — it is a closed proprietary application — but we can change the PPD defined name for duplexer and call it “Duplexer” instead of “Duplex.”

First locate the Lexmark printer specific PPD file used by the CUPS printing system. Usually, CUPS printing system keeps printer specific PPD files for all configured printers in /etc/cups/ppd/ folder. It is possible, but not very likely, that your system keeps those files somewhere else. Anyway, open the file using a plain text editor (Gedit, Vi, Emacs or similar) and replace this line:

*OpenUI *OptDuplex/Duplex: PickOne
with this one:
*OpenUI *OptDuplex/Duplexer: PickOne
save the file and reload the CUPS printing system:
sudo /etc/init.d/cupsys reload

Adobe Reader 9 for Linux will then let you choose the correct “Duplex” options:

Duplex option: None

and correct “Duplexer” options:

Duplexer option: Installed



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