[OS X TeX] OT: Location of print spool files

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Sat Jun 10 23:41:48 CEST 2006

This is very OT, but I really don't know where to ask for such info,  
if it's indeed available somewhere: does anybody know where print  
spool files reside on OS X, more specifically when originating from  
Adobe Reader/Adobe Acrobat?

In order to print a pdfTeX or XeTeX page containing very big graphic  
files (about 300 MB of PS input, or 50 MB of PDF input,  on the page)  
without crashing either the printer or OS X, I've resorted to Adobe  
Reader, since it seems to perform some preprocessing that makes the  
load on the printer less heavy. Alas, by doing so it generates  
apparently very large spool files.

Thus, when asked for printing 5 copies (final version of a paper),  
Adobe Reader ended up filling my hard drive completely (the size of  
the spool file seems proportional to the number of copies),  
displaying a warning and then : the spinning wheel of death. I  
eventually force quit (Cmd-Alt-Esc). But there my troubles began:  
whereas there were 1.3 GB free on my hard drive before asking for AR  
to print, now, even after (1) logout/in, (2) restarting, (3) "sudo  
periodic daily" + weekly + monthly, and (4) fixing permissions and  
checking disk in Disk Utility, there's only 800 MB free on my hard  

I would really like to regain the lost 500 MB. I suspect an  
unfinished spool file left behind by Adobe Reader when force-quit,  
but where does it live? I browsed through all subdirectories of / 
Library and ~/Library, with no luck. I saw a /var/spool/cups  
directory, but it seems I need to login as root in order to inspect  
it. Before activating the root user in NetInfo Manager, I would like  
to be sure of what I'm doing.

I looked for info on AR spool files on the Mac at Adobe's Support  
site, but it was absolutely unhelpful (mentioning only a spool file  
for Mac OS 9 with Print Monitor!).

Hence the question: does anybody here know where print spool files  
live on OS X generally, and Adobe Reader spool files in particular  
(if different)? In case nobody knows, I'll end up doing an Archive  
and Install of OS X probably, but due to time constraints this month  
I won't be able to do this before July.

Bruno Voisin
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