Well, it's almost a year on from when I first asked this question on the ESRI user "forum" -

Data driven pages, ArcDesktop 10.2.1 - is there a limitation on how many pages can be printed?

ESRI tech support still can't find a solution.

I have almost 2500 pages to print, from several map sets built with data driven pages, all of which contain large (10x15") raster areas. So far, the "work-around" is to print 10 at a time ... and hope the printer doesn't miss a page.

For example, one mapbook MXD contains 60 data driven pages. If I attempt to print more than 10 pages, ArcMap will chew on them and appear to be processing them ... then nothing - no error message, no file sent to the printer, nothing.

With ArcMap 9.3.1, we printed MXDs containing 90 pages in one printer session (90 pages at a time), using the DSMapbook tool which was part of the ESRI Developer Samples collection. Those MXDs contained SID rasters which had been lightened, & they printed at higher quality settings.

My non-programmer's guess is that the data driven pages function is spooling multiple pages to temporary files on the computer before sending the data to the printer, and encountering some kind of limit.

After more hours with ESRI specialist printing phone tech support, we tried:

  • changing Windows virtual memory to 12gigs
  • changing the ArcGIS metafile size to 200, and back to 32
  • changing the default printer from a multi-function Canon to a wide-format printer-only Canon
  • changing driver in Print window to ArcPress
  • watching temp files as they were generated and discarded
  • watching files spool in the printer window (control panel/printers)
  • dropping the image resampling from 2 to 3 in the Print window

But we could only get 15 out of 60 of the 11x17" pages to print before the print process just quit with no error messages.

Have any of you good folks run into this issue? (I know I can export to PDF & print from there, but would prefer not to.)

  • 2
    FWIW, your last line (exporting to PDF and printing from those) is how I work around most ArcGIS printing problems.
    – Dan C
    Commented Oct 8, 2014 at 14:25
  • If your printer has an option to 'spool in printer,' try checking that.
    – detroit_hc
    Commented Oct 8, 2014 at 14:58
  • Is it possible that ArcGIS keeps sending the info to your printer continuously but your printer is out of memory and silently rejecting your print request? It could be ArcGIS believes it sent the info there but the printer just didn't have room to store it? Not sure if this would actually happen, but it came first in my mind.
    – Branco
    Commented Oct 8, 2014 at 16:52
  • Tim, I forgot to suggest in the ESRI Forums that another option might be to install VBA and then DSMapbook, and see if you can still run it. See code.google.com/p/arcmapbook/wiki/MapbookAndArcGIS10. Not that this will make you feel any better, but there is no DDP in ArcGIS Pro, at least for the time being.
    – John
    Commented Oct 8, 2014 at 16:57

1 Answer 1


I read you dont want to export to pdf and I can understand why. When faced with the same problem I exported a large number pdf using python to generate the data driven pages into one folder it was so much quicker than trying to generate through the GUI of ArcMap.

I then created a vbs script to print all the documents from that folder - it was purely to get around the exact headache you are having.

copy of the VBS script below:

TargetFolder = "C:\temp\Reports"
Set objShell = CreateObject("Shell.Application")
Set objFolder = objShell.Namespace(TargetFolder) 
Set colItems = objFolder.Items
For Each objItem in colItems

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