Printing error - subplots with clipping paths

Before I create a minimum example to reproduce the error, I thought I’d check to see if anyone recognizes the printer error message (printed at the top of an incompletely printed page, possibly overlaying the figure).

ERROR: limitcheck

The figure contains a bunch of subplots and prints without any issues if I do not clip grdimage to dry land. The PDF with clipping looks great on screen and is clipped as expected, but our HP printer chokes and reports the error above - sometimes successfully printing 3 or 6 of the 16 subplots (of the same PDF).

I’m on macos (13.6) with GMT 6.5.0. I’ve tried printing from Preview and Adobe Acrobat. A colleague also gets the same print error (also running macos). If the error message doesn’t suggest a solution on it’s own, I’ll work up an example when I have access to a printer later this week.


I could see if it prints for me if you upload it. Suspicious of that message…

Thanks, all the printers I now have access to are the same model.

As the troublesome PDF is too big to attach here (~3 MB), I sent you a download link in a DM. The clipped version of the figure is ~2x the size of the unclipped version (as PDF).

I’m struggling to reproduce the error with a minimal version of the figure with clipping. I stripped out a bunch of layers and cropped the dataset and map region for a small example (clipping is only applied to one grdimage call in each subplot) and, so far, the unclipped and clipped versions are printing without error. I recreated the full figure (16 subplots - clipped grdimage, coast, ~half a dozen plot calls, legend, scale bar, labels, and two color bars below the 4x4 subplot grid) and reproduce the printing error. I’ll try to scale up my small example until it breaks.

Smells a bit like the printer running out of memory when processing your PDF. Could you share your printer model designation?

That sounds reasonable, though I feel like I’ve printed significantly larger PDF documents. I wouldn’t be too surprised though. It’s an HP Laser ColorJet M652/M653. I’m unexpectedly working from home today and can’t check the detailed specs or do more test prints until tomorrow.

Hi @jaltekruse, thank you for the printer model. That one comes with 1GB memory which is not very much when you have big PostScript files (disguised as PDF) with clipping along big polygons. Big text PDFs are usually fine, but everything where the PostScript Interpreter has to work a lot you are asking for trouble. I assume (without having seen your file) that this is the case here.

I had the same problem many years ago when I got similar error messages and my printer only had 512MB memory. My workaround was to convert it to some high resolution bitmap image which will print just fine.

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