HP Printer Crashes or Failures

Note: The issue described below only affects HP printers and macOS.

There is a known bug on macOS whereby, ever since El Capitan, HP printers will crash when trying to print text containing the Courier Oblique font (that is, Courier with italics). When you try to print such text using an HP printer, one of the following will occur:

  • The print job may appear in the print queue and then disappear without printing.

  • The printer may crash, switching itself off and on again.

  • An error message may be printed out.

It is unclear whether the bug lies in Apple's operating system or with HP's drivers (no other printer brand is affected).

Scrivener 3 (as of 3.0.3) works around this issue when printing to an HP device by removing Courier Oblique from the text and slanting the regular Courier letters instead (a sort of "fake italics"). Fortunately, unlike some fonts, Courier uses the same letter shapes for its italic (Oblique) variant, so slanting its letters results in text that looks the same as Courier Oblique. This allows Scrivener to print italicised Courier text to HP printers without causing the printer to crash.

However, please note that this workaround is only used when printing. When you export to another format (such as PDF for DOCX), Courier Oblique is used as normal, and if you then print the exported document from another app (such as Preview or Word), you may find that the printer crashes.