Offending command: setcolor

Setcolor errors can be caused by incompatibilities between non-Adobe PostScript interpreters and Adobe InDesign or FreeHand. I have also seen reports of the error showing up while creating PDF files from PageMaker 7.


  • InDesign 1.x documents that contains tints can cause a PostScript error typecheck, offending command setcolor when printed to a PostScript emulation device like an HP Laserjet 4000. I am not aware of any solutions besides printing to a printer that uses a real Adobe interpreter.
  • If you are still using FreeHand and run into this problem, the only solutions are to either switch to a different drawing application or use a true Adobe RIP.
  • I’m trying to convert a PageMaker 7 (an 8 page) document into a PDF file, but this message comes up.
  • With PageMaker 7, if a ‘%%[ Error: typecheck; OffendingCommand: setcolor ]%%’  error message pops up in Distiller while trying to create a PDF,  then try the following:
    • Narrow down which page of the document is causing the problem
    • Once identified, narrow down which element on the page is causing the problem (by divide and conquer: throw away roughly half of the elements, try, then throw away the other half, once you found the ‘bad’ half, divide that again. Make sure you are using a copy of the original document.
    • Once you are down to a single element you may at least be able to do something about. A wild guess is that the problem is caused by some imported EPS file that uses color in a way that Distiller doesn’t like.

Note: while updating this page I ran across a web site that offered a download for a ‘Pagemaker Error Typecheck Offendingcommand Setcolor repair tool’. I have not looked into this any further but it seems very dubious and might very well be a scam.


2 thoughts on “Offending command: setcolor

  1. That doesn’t ring a bell. Posting your question on is a good idea – lots of prepress guru’s there who might help out.

  2. I am trying to convert a pagemaker 7.0 file into pdf. But when I export the file to paf, it display the error %%[ Error: typecheck; OffendingCommand: setcolor ]%%


    %%[ Flushing: rest of job (to end-of-file) will be ignored ]%%
    %%[ Warning: PostScript error. No PDF file produced. ] %%”.
    Can you please tell me the solution.

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