27 October 2006

Wrong size letters

I don't know whether Americans are shorter and fatter than the British but their default paper sizes are. Microsoft Office default installation provides American settings - so often that's what you'll find in Word, Excel etc. unless whoever installed it made some better selections at the start. Letter size documents can cause trouble for the rest of us when trying to print them, some printers refusing to budge until you feed them Letter size paper. The size also will cause problems for you, with footers appearing higher than they should, lines ending in different places to what you'd expected and, in multi-page documents, pages may start or end with an extra line or two.

So please fix your Office programs. In Word, use File | Page Setup and change the paper size to A4. Click on Default and agree to that size for all documents. In Excel there's no Default button so Save that file as book1.xls in your XLSTART directory. Close Excel, reopen, future files should always be A4.

That may not solve your own printing problem though - the printer default settings may also need to be changed. For most printers you can do this from the Control Panel and Printer properties. Set these to A4 and they should remain that way.

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