Help! I can't save or print my TPT file!

Background: Maree Truelove, Graphics: The Enlightened Elephant, Fonts: KG Fonts

If you have ever felt like screaming at your computer when a TPT file just won't save or print, let me help you out with a little tutorial.  There are some common issues when making purchases on TPT and I'm going to help you resolve the most common ones with no sweat or tears (I hope)!  :)

"I can't save my TPT file that I just purchased! It's asking me for a password!"
"My TPT file that I just purchased has letters missing or black boxes where letters should be or it's just plain blurry!"

First, let me explain the first issue.  TPT sellers are required to offer their downloads in a secured PDF format to protect the copyrights of both font and graphic artist designers' work.  In easy talk, font and graphic people don't want you to steal their work (and rightfully so)!

If you are trying to save the file you downloaded from TPT and it is asking you for a password, that's an easy fix!  In all of my product descriptions, I state: ** IMPORTANT NOTE: THIS FILE IS ENCRYPTED AND MUST BE OPENED IN THE LATEST VERSION OF ADOBE READER IN ORDER TO SAVE! ** So, if you're having issues saving, follow the steps below.  This will also resolve the issue of black boxes, missing letters, or a blurry mess!  You just need to install/update to the latest version of Adobe Reader - a FREE download from Adobe.

First, open up your internet browser and go to  Then search for "Adobe Reader Download".  Click on the first link that pops up!  This is what it should look like:

It will automatically find the right Adobe Reader for your computer and you'll see a screen like this.  On a PC it may look a touch different, but same concept.

Next you will find the file in your Downloads and double-click.  This is what mine looks like on a Mac.  On a PC, it may look a little different, but you will still double-click the file you downloaded to install it.

Then it's a waiting game to install Adobe Reader.  It may look like this on your computer.  Be patient and let it download and install.

Now you will have the updated Adobe Reader on your computer.  You can now try to open the file in Adobe Reader and it will save perfectly with no password!  Hallelujah!  :)

Do you have a Mac?

There's ONE more tip that will resolve the issues above and it's a BIG ONE!

A Mac is set to open PDF files in the Mac program called "Preview" by default.  Many TPT files, if opened in Preview, will either look like blurry black boxes instead of text or it won't save without a password if the file is secured as it should be.  So here's the solution:

Find the file you downloaded from TPT on your desktop or a system folder (however you organize your files).  For simplicity, I am showing a screenshot where I saved the TPT file to my desktop.  MAC USERS, do NOT double-click the file to open or it will open in Preview and won't work in most cases.  Instead follow the directions below:

Instead of double-clicking, Control-Click (on a Mac) on the file icon or file name.  It will pull up a menu like you see below.  Choose Open With, then Adobe Reader.  Adobe Reader will be further down your list.  Mine is already set to default :)  Find and Click Adobe Reader.

The file will then open in Adobe Reader and you can view it (with no black boxes or blurry craziness) AND you can save without a weird password protection issue.  Happy day!!  :)

"Do I have to do that every time I want to open a TPT file on my Mac?"

How do you make that change "stick" on your Mac so that all of your PDFs from TPT open in Adobe Reader?  Follow the steps below.  First Control-Click on any PDF file.  *Make sure it's a PDF you're clicking on!*  It will bring up a menu like this.  Click Get Info.

Click on the arrow by "Open with" until that tiny gray arrow is pointing DOWN.  Then your menu will look like this under "Open with":

Where this screenshot shows Adobe Reader, your menu will probably say Preview.  Click on that drop-down box and choose Adobe Reader as shown below.  Your Adobe Reader will be lower down on the list.  Again, mine is already set to Default :)

Click on Change All... to make Adobe Reader the default application for opening all PDF files.

It's going to ask you if you're sure.  Of course, you're sure!  Click Continue.

Now, whenever you click on a PDF file on your Mac, it will always open in Adobe Reader by default. No more opening in Preview and not being able to read it clearly OR not being able to save!  :)

"My TPT file just won't print on ANY computer or ANY printer."

This one is an easy-fix.  The problem arises because lots of our TPT files are full of graphics that can "bog down" a computer and/or printer rather easily.  But like I said, easy fix!  When you have the file opened in the latest version of ADOBE READER (see details above), Click File, Print.

When the Print menu opens, find and click Advanced... as shown below.

Then find the checkbox by Print as Image, click there, then click OK as shown below.

Finally, click Print.

  You should be good-to-go as soon as it loads to the printer!  :)

So there you have it!  All the Tips and Tricks that I have learned about saving and printing files from TPT!  Now, please keep in mind, only a small percentage of buyers ever have problems like this, but if you do have any of the problems above...First, DON'T throw your computer, just follow the steps above. :) I have tried to make it as easy and visual as possible.

"Nothing is working!"

In crazy, abnormal, rare cases where you have tried all of the above and are STILL having issues viewing, saving, or printing a file, go to your My Purchases page on TPT.  It is found under the "MY TpT" menu.

 Find and click on Download Difficulties in red text on the right side of the screen under "Need Help?".  It looks like this:

 From that screen, TPT is just a quick Contact Us link away.  They will get back to you super-quick and can even send you the file electronically by email if that's what it takes.

You can also find the Contact Us link at the bottom of any TPT page.

Whew! That took me forever to take all those screenshots and edit them!  Soooo, I really hope you found this useful and please feel free to come back to this post if you ever have troubles viewing, saving, or printing your TPT files.  I always want you to be 110% satisfied with your purchase!  :)

I am linking up this post to Erica Bohrer's fabulous post entitled Getting Started on TPT.  Click on over to her blog to find out some amazing tips and tricks to begin your journey on TeachersPayTeachers or to learn a little more if you are already well on your way!  Click {HERE} or on the button below!  You will also find a link-up of several other great resources from other bloggers as well!  Enjoy!  :)


  1. Wonderful post, Jamie!! Thank you for taking the time to screen shot everything... that must have taken forever!! I will be pinning this :)

    EduKate and Inspire

  2. Oh my goodness - what an awesome post! Thank you SO much for taking the time to write this up. Super helpful!

    Lucky to Be in First

  3. This is great! Thank you so much for the great tips!!


  4. Oh, this is absolutely EXCELLENT! Thank you! Bookmarking!

  5. Absolutely AMAZING Blog Post!!!!!!! Love it!!!

  6. THAT WAS STINKIN' AMAZING! Thanks so much. I will be sending customers with concerns here! You are my new hero for the next 10 minutes! (That is what I tell one of my students when the do something amazing!)
    -Mr. Hughes
    An Educator's Life

  7. Love this! Will be bookmarking this to pass on to my confuzzled buyers.


    Addie Education - Teacher Talk

  8. Great post! I'll be pinning this one!

    Sally from Elementary Matters

  9. Thank you so much! I just answered a Q and A with a link to this post. Now I am pinning it so I can use it for future Q and As.

    Thinking Out Loud

  10. This is a great tutorial and am sure many like me have benefited from it. At times we overlook simple procedures just because we are used to doing things in a certain way and think that using the shortcut way of doing things that we are used to is how things should always be done.
    thank you for sharing these tips with us.

  11. This is an amazing and well-needed tutorial! I am your newest follower and I will be sending my customers to this tutoral!!
    Thank you so much for linking up this week!
    Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas!
    Fern Smith's Pinterest Boards

  12. Thank you all for your kind words! Feel free to send anyone my way who's having trouble with their TPT files! :)

  13. Thank you so much for your informative post, I will have to refer TPT customers to it!

    Love to Learn

  14. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I really needed this! ;)


    Mrs.Russell's Room
    First Grade

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  16. Thank you! You've saved may sanity as I'm trying to make homework packets for my incoming firsties. School ends in 3 days and I haven't been able to resolve my problem until I read your page!

  17. Hello, Thank you for this tutorial! It was very helpful for me. I am new to selling on TPT and I need to password protect my files but not sure about how my customers will be able to open. I have a customer who was not able to open the file and I was not sure how to explain this to them. Advice please?! Thank you!

  18. Bless your sweet heart for posting this! These are by far the most frequent concerns I get from buyers on TpT. I will be pinning this, too. Thanks for explaining it all so beautifully! Love the helpful screenshots!


  19. You are absolutely wonderful! This is a great post for buyers and sellers. Thank you!!!

    2 Smart Wenches

  20. I just bookmarked this page to pass along when I get these questions! Thank you so much!

    One Lesson at a Time

  21. This is so helpful! I bookmarked it, too, so I can share it with customers who are having difficulties. Thank you!



  24. Thank you for the expertise!!!! This has been a very helpful post.