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    Very strange printing behavior (Word 2003)

    The vitals are: Word 2003; Windows XP; networked HP 4200n printer.

    The document is about 200 pages long and contains about a dozen sections. All of the sections specify letter size paper. Most of the sections contain chapters, and are in portrait mode, start on odd page, different odd and even, different first page. A couple of sections, containing wide tables within chapters, are in landscape mode, start on next page, different odd and even, no different first page.

    I printed one of the landscape sections, which was nine pages long.

    The printer halted and demanded legal size paper.

    When the paper was supplied it printed the first seven pages of the section on legal size paper, then printed the last two pages on letter size paper.

    I checked the pages I printed after this happened. They were still a single section. The section still specified letter size paper.

    This is speculation: there are some comments in the section. I wonder if they confused Word about the paper size. (Word reduced the text to make room for the comments in the margins, as it normally does; the pages with comments actually would have fitted on letter size paper. Also, the last comment in the section is on the fourth page, so this theory doesn't account for the fact that Word shifted back from legal to letter size paper after printing the seventh page.)

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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Very strange printing behavior (Word 2003)

    I believe Page Setup usually governs paper size, but it is theoretically possible that the document contains {PRINT} fields which contain commands for the printer to do other things. Can you find any such fields in that section?

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    Re: Very strange printing behavior (Word 2003)

    That seems very unlikely. I have written the entire document myself in the last six weeks, and if there were any such thing in it, I would know.

    I started with a skeleton which is also my own work, but is about ten years old. It's conceivable (just conceivable) that I put PRINT commands in the skeleton and have forgotten about them. I will look tomorrow and report what I find.

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    Re: Very strange printing behavior (Word 2003)

    I checked; there are no PRINT fields in the document.

    Today I encountered another bit of weirdness that seems to be related. I printed the entire document, and it all printed in portrait mode, including the sections that are laid out in landscape mode. The text in the rightmost column of the table was truncated where Word must suppose the right edge of the printing area to be, but the rules that enclose the table printed correctly.

    BTW, this was on a different type of printer than the one I was using when I encountered the first problem.

    I wonder whether this is a side effect of having comments in the document and printing “Final Showing Markup.” I’ll check that when I have time; I didn’t have time today.

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    Re: Very strange printing behavior (Word 2003)

    I have found a solution to the second problem I encountered. (I have not tried to reproduce the first one, but if it were consistent it should have occurred when I solved the second one, and it didn’t.)

    The solution to the second problem is to print the landscape sections by themselves.

    This appears to be a Word bug. I’m interested in whether it occurs in Word 2007. If anyone out there has Word 2007 and can try this, please let us know what you find.

    I encountered another problem in the course of solving the second one: if the document is duplexed (as mine is), the portrait mode sections must be printed to “Open on Left” and the landscape sections must be printed to “Open on Top.” Since this is a print option, not a layout option, it means that there is no way a mixed-mode, duplexed document can be printed correctly in a single operation!

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