TpT Download Technical Difficulty Help

14 August 2014
I wake up to about 6 questions a day in my TpT store.  Most of these questions are related to some sort of technical difficulty.  I created this post to help.  I hope it will give easy visual answers to your questions.   Feel free to pin this post and refer to it in the future or as a TpT seller, share with your customers. 

Disclaimer: I am no computer genius.   I just know the basics and when I don't know how to do something, I either play around until I figure it out, or I Google. 

FYI - TpT has a wonderful Technical Support section that you may or may not know exists. You can click the image below to check it out!  They have just about every topic covered. 

Sometimes a file is zipped.  It will look like the picture below.  You need to double click the icon to unzip the file.   

Ashley Hughes has an extensive post on unzipping files if you are still confused.  Just click the image below.

Opening Files
You really should be opening all PDF files not created on your own computer with Adobe.  I have a Mac and it wants to default to Preview.  I love Preview, but it doesn't always open PDF files the correct way.   You need to right click the file and then select "open with" and then select "Adobe Reader."

If you don't open with the latest version of Adobe Reader, you may see these:

Sometimes you may see these:

Corrupted Files - Rest assured the file is not corrupted and does not contain a virus.  It probably just was created in a computer with a newer version of Adobe or Word than you have on your computer.  Follow the steps above and it should open fine. 

What if you cannot get the PDF to Print?
Here are some things that might help you:
1.  Try to print the file as an image.  Go to options and then print as image.  

2. If number one does not work, make sure everything is emptied out of your recyclable bin and delete as many extra files as possible.  Your computer might not have enough memory to send the information to your printer. 
3.  Repeat step one and instead of printing the whole document, print one page at a time by page selecting. 
4.  Delete the file from your computer and redownload it, then open it with the LATEST version of Adobe Reader (remember you have to restart your computer after you install it.)
5. If none of these ideas work for you, google for your specific printer and PDF printing problems.  Here are some generic tips from Adobe.

Printing PDF's at Different Sizes
Many times I get asked for mini-posters or desk-sized options for products.  There is no need for me to make these, you can just print the file at a reduced size. 

You can print files at different sizes and even print two pages per printer page.  If you didn't know this, I hope this post will help you.  Did you know that your printer settings usually want to scale the pdf down?  Check your printer settings before you print.  On my old PC I would have to print as borderless paper.  On my Mac, I have to click "scale" and then 100%. 

Now, on to printing at a reduced scale on purpose! Last year, I made a ton of  word wall headers and word wall cards packets LARGE!  The reason I did this was because many teachers told me they needed to display their word walls above closets and they really wanted them big.  Also, the large size allows the file to be printed at a reduced size, if "LARGE" does not work for you.  You can always reduce a file in size to print, but often you lose a bit of the image when you enlarge.  So to err on the side of caution, I made the files LARGE.

Here is a little picture tutorial on how to reduce the file size.  I opened my Bright Table Labels file in Preview, but it should be similar to opening a file with Adobe Reader.

Here are visual tutorials on how to print more than one slide on page.
Deedee and Abby taught me this cool trick! 

This "print" screen shot is from my friend, Deedee.  She has a PC and helped me out.  So, if you have a PC, it may look more like this if you want to change your print settings.

Printing Poster Sized
Traci of Dragonflies in First created a post on how to print poster sized.  The post is on Blog Hoppin' you can click the image below to check out the post. 

Printer Recommendation
I also get asked all the time about printer recommendations.  I love my printer and the ink (though expensive) lasts for over 1,000 pages!  Click on the picture below to check out my printer on  Also, you can sign up for HP Academy to receive discounts and coupon codes on ink!

Embedded Fonts in Editable PDF Files

When a font is embedded in a PDF file, there is no need to download and install the font to your computer.  It is embedded in the PDF itself using Adobe Pro.  The issue that many people have is that they don't open the file with the latest version of Adobe Reader.  When that happens, the font defaults to Helvetica or it shows up out of alignment.

Installing Fonts
Some editable files require that you download and install a font to your computer.  Above is how I install fonts on my Mac.  After I install, I need to restart my computer.

My favorite font artist, Kimberly Geswein, has a great post on her blog about installing fonts on a Windows computer.  Click the image below to check it out.

Thank you for reading this post!  
I hoped it helped you. 


  1. Thank you! Very helpful for both buyers and sellers. =)

  2. Wow! Great post! I may have to send people here in the future.

    Surfing to Success

  3. Wow! This is an AWESOME post. Thank you for "printing 101"

  4. Thank you so much! I don't know too much about computers, and this is extremely helpful!! One thing, when I want to reduce size when printing on my PC and I click on Page Setup, it gives me a choice of sizes (3x5, 4x6, etc.) rather than reducing the percentage. Not sure how this would work. Is this the same thing? Thanks!

  5. Oh. My. Word.

    You are seeeeeeeriously amazing, Erica!!!!

    Thank you for ALLLLLLLLL the time you put into this uber helpful post that I will refer people to time and again.

    xoxoxo Lisa
    Growing Firsties

  6. Love Love this sent it to all my coworkers at school to have as a reference! Thanks for doing this post !!!

  7. Thanks! The help for opening files with Adobe is just what I need! :)

  8. Thanks Erica! I bet this post took F-O-R-E-V-E-R to write! :)

  9. Awesome explanation of everything! I already knew how to do this, but your explanations are very clear and I could not have explained as well. I will be referring others to this post instead of trying to explain in my own words!

  10. Thank you so much for this wonderful explanation!! I have been trying to get editable things to print but it wasn't working and now I can refer to this if I forget (still relatively new to TpT and trying to figure out how to make things on my own). :)

  11. Wow! Such a valuable post! I've pinned it and will be referring people here when it comes to printing. I'm so thankful of the time you put into this... you rock!
    Tales of a Teacher

  12. So helpful. Now I just want to download your comments to keep with me at all times.

  13. What a clear, comprehensive post!! Thank you SO much Erica, this must have taken you a lot of time to put together. Thanks again!

  14. Thank you for taking the time to post this Erica!

  15. Wow! Wonderful post and such useful information! I'm going to put a link to this post on my page under Tech Tips. Thanks for your hard work!

    Techie Turtle Teacher

  16. Thank you so much! one more dumb Q form the techie-challenged... do i have to buy adobe pro or can i get by w/ adobe reader? i have a new laptop that came w/ a different PDF system, so i need to download something from Adobe. Thank you so much!!!

    1. Adobe is free. Adobe Pro is a paid program. You don't need Adobe Pro unless you plan on creating your own pdf files and adding text boxes to them.

  17. Thank you. Great post! Very helpful.


  18. This post is brilliant! There are so many questions from buyers and a simple read through of this post will solve most of them. Thanks for taking the time to write this.

    Hanging Around In Primary


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