I’m usually a pretty level-headed fella. I like challenges and I usually enjoy the process it takes to get to the bottom of a problem. But then there’s Intuit with their piece of crap software, Quickbooks. Quickbooks is the root of all evil. If I had a choice of dealing with a brain tumor or Quickbooks… I’d choose the brain tumor. (And yes, I had a giant brain tumor so I know the difference.)
The last run-in with my arch nemesis revolved around creating PDFs from Quickbooks 2011 on our Windows 7 64-bit accounting workstation. Though we have a full version of Acrobat installed on the machine, I prefer to use the Quickbooks PDF converter because I like to use the quick “Save as PDF” option in the FILE menu.
The problems started a few weeks ago when we reinstalled Windows 7 on a new hard drive. Quickbooks installed just fine and ran like normal. However, whenever I tried to use the “Save as PDF” option, I received an error that mentioned something about “…a component is missing…”. After clicking the “help” option all I got was a useless screen in the Quickbooks help system. Ugh. Freakin Quickbooks.
Then I went to the Quickbooks Community forum. Talk about a waste of time. There was one main article I kept getting referred to for fixing Quickbooks PDF issues, but after following each step numerous times I discovered it didn’t make a lick of difference. Way to go Intuit – your absolute minimum level of service and support has struck again.
The one common thread in most articles I found was that Quickbooks 2011 relied on a new version of the Quickbooks PDF Converter that in turn relied solely on the Microsoft XPS Document Writer to produce a PDF. So I first started by looking at the XPS printer driver. Whenever I tried to print to the Microsoft XPS Document Writer Printer, from any program, I received an error. I then deleted the XPS printer driver and reinstalled the printer. Same issues.
The fix… the first time I reinstalled the XPS Document Writer printer driver, I used the existing printer driver. But on the second time, I replaced the driver with the driver displayed in the printer installation dialogue and everything started working perfectly again. So somehow a bad XPS printer driver was installed or configured. Here’s a quick summary of how to reinstall the Microsoft XPS Document Writer printer driver on Windows 7 to fix the Quickbooks 2011 Save as PDF missing components error -20:
- Open the “Devices and Printers” and delete the “Microsoft XPS Document Writer”.
- Click the “Add a printer” button in the window.
- Select “Add a local printer”
- Since we already had the XPS printer installed previously, you can select “Use and existing port” on the next step and select “XPSPort: (Local Port)”.
- In the next step select “Microsoft” from the “Manufacturer” list and then in the “Printers” list you should see an option or two for “Microsoft XPS Document Writer”. On our computer we have two driver versions listed: 6.1.7600.16385 and 6.1.7601.17514. Both of these drivers worked on our system, but we opted for the newer (6.1.7601.17514).
- Next you’ll be asked if you want to use the existing driver or replace with the one you just selected. This is the key step… make sure you opt to replace the existing driver with the new one.
That’s it. Once you finish the new printer wizard you should be able to print again using the Windows XPS Document Writer and use the Save as PDF option within Quickbooks to save to PDF using the Quickbooks PDF converter.