Can anyone tell me why ArcGIS10 will not print to my Adobe9 "printer" in a Windows7Pro environment. Multiprocessor system, huge memory. Makes a .ai but crashes when i try a "print". ArcGIS10 also crashes when I try and use the native export to pdf function. Arc is up to date. Thanks ahead of time to those who respond.
As Jakub notes Arcmap has had problems with exporting, and printing which is related to exports, since 8.x. It get's better with every release, I've not personally run into them with v10, but I'll wait a year or so before I fully relax about it.
I'm not sure of all the details and I may have some of the acronyms wrong, but here's my understanding of the process: Printing and exporting both use the same method. First the map is rendered to EMF in the system temp directory, then the EMF is converted to WMF (can't remember if this happens in the system temp or ArcGIS temp dir), and then finally the WMF is converted to the desired output format (or sent to the printer driver).
This means you need at least 3 times the rendered E/WMF file size in temp space for the processing AND at least one third of that must be on C: no matter what your ArcGIS settings are. I also remember someone saying that big chunks of this space must be contiguous (so try a disk defrag, using a utility which can defrag free space).
In my experiencing exporting to vector formats like PDF, EPS & WMF is more often problematic than image formats like JPEG and TIFF. I don't know why a pdf export will fail while a tiff export does not. My speculation is that the WMF is converted to an intermediary format like postscript before being finally rendered to PDF.
To make troubleshooting these issues even more complicated, things like changing the layer order, marker symbols, or transparancy settings all can make failed vector exports appear/disappear seemingly at whim. So if making more disk space available and defragmented doesn't help start simplifying your map. This includes things like not using bitmap symbols, avoiding transparencies, and reducing the number of objects/layers/text on the map.
If simplifying really goes against the grain one technique is to flatten the base layers into a single raster image: