Chrome PDF Viewer: Trouble Printing Dotted Lines

Chrome PDF Printing Issue: Dotted Lines Not Appearing
Dear STW:

Help! I'm trying to print out PDFs and the dotted lines don't show up. I'm using Chrome for Windows.

What can I do?

Sincerely,
A Concerned Member
This is a known bug with Chrome/Chromium's PDF readers, and it's been a particularly frustrating problem to members who print documents from our site regularly.
Dotted or dashed lines appear on many elementary school worksheets. Teachers regularly print PDF worksheets with dotted lines for cutting, dotted lines for tracing letters, and dotted lines for primary-ruled paper.
Here's the problem...
Google Chrome PDF Viewer Dotted Line Issue
Notice that users cannot use Chrome's PDF reader to print worksheets with traceable letters for young students.
Another example....
Chromium Browser PDF Viewer Dotted Line Printing Bug
Notice that users cannot use Chrome's PDF reader to print cut-and-glue activities that require students to cut along dotted lines.
Also Note: Both files appear fine when displayed on the screen. The dotted lines only disappear when the files are printed.
Want to see for yourself? Open THIS WORKSHEET (https://www.superteacherworksheets.com/alphabet/alphabet-book-test.pdf) in Chrome and try to print. Then try printing the same worksheet with Adobe Reader or in another browser.
Solution 1:
We love using Google Chrome for browsing the web. Unfortunately, we cannot recommend it for printing PDF worksheets.
For now, the simplest solution would be to switch browsers before printing. Try using Internet Explorer, Edge, or Safari.
Solution 2:
It is possible to change the settings in Google Chrome so that PDFs are displayed with Adobe Reader, instead of their internal PDF viewer.
  • In the address bar at the top of your Chrome browser, type in chrome://plugins and hit Enter.
  • Locate the entry titled "Chrome PDF Viewer" and click on Disable.
  • Try re-loading and printing the STW worksheet with dotted lines again.
You can also save PDF files to your computer, then open and print them with Adobe Reader. To do this, follow the steps below:
  • Bring up the desired PDF worksheet with Chrome.
  • Click on the "save" icon in the lower right of your screen.
  • Remember the filename and location when you save the item to your computer/desktop.
  • Open the file with Adobe Reader. When you use Adobe reader will print with the dotted/dashed lines correctly.
What next?
We've mentioned this to Google Chromium's developers have been aware of this issue since 2011. Chromium Issue 108144 (https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=108144). Hopefully they'll find a solution soon.
We've brought it up with them again in 2015. Chromium Issue 539533 (https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=539533). A kind developer said he hopes he will get to address this issue sooner rather than later.
We have received over a hundred e-mail concerns from people who have had trouble printing dotted lines on Chrome. We encourage our users to click on the Chromium Issue links above and click on the star icon to indicate that this issue is important to you.
Return To Help Topics