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"The printer that occasionally spews is an HP 4000. The one the doc
printed successfully on is a Xerox 230. I didn't see anything
particularly odd about the doc except that it was typed in Courier New
(that's lawyers for you), with Arial headings. I mean there were no
problems opening it or saving it, no weird graphics, no tables, etc.
"Anyone have any insight into the cause of this phenomenon?"
You didn't mention which program created the file. Was it a PostScript document? Could the problem be caused by the infamous PostScript emulator in the HP printers?