Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Sacramento, California, USA
    Posts
    414
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Printing to PDF in different page sizes

    One of my current tasks is to convert a set of documents from docx files (maintained in Word 2010) to PDF files in both letter size and A4 format.

    I've traditionally done this conversion with a device driver that writes a PDF file instead of printing to a printer. However, the requirement for two page sizes created a problem. While casting around for a solution, I discovered that Word 2010 can create PDFs directly with the File menu's "Save & Send" option. I tried that... and encountered the same problem.

    The problem is that if I change the document's page size to A4 and convert to PDF, I get... a document that is formatted for A4 paper and then shrunk to fit on letter size paper. Word is bound and determined to format that document letter size, no matter what I tell it.

    On the Web I found purported solutions to this problem for PDF drivers, but they were written for Windows 2000 or XP, and refer to menu commands that don't exist in Windows 7. I tried to adapt one to Windows 7 like this:

    1. Open the Start menu's Device and Printers applet.
    2. Select the PDF driver.
    3. Right-click and select Printer Properties.
    4. Select the Device Settings tab.
    5. Change the "Form To Tray Assignment" setting to the desired page size and click OK.

    I tried this. It didn't work. In fact, it "broke" the PDF driver so that it wouldn't print at all, and I had to reinstall it to make it work again.

    I don't know of an equivalent operation for Word's "Save & Send" command, which doesn't use a device driver, or at least doesn't use a visible one.

    Does anyone know an effective way to do this?

  2. #2
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA, USA
    Posts
    138
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 19 Times in 18 Posts
    I have a PDF "printer" which offers A4 as a a paper size. It is called doPDF and it is free for both personal and business use. I don't have Word 2010 but the program works with Office XP and WordPerfect.

    Go to www.dopdf.com

  3. #3
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    2,838
    Thanks
    88
    Thanked 347 Times in 312 Posts
    I don't think you should need to use "Save & Send" from Word 2010 to convert .docx files to PDF. You can use "Save As > PDF"

    When I saved a couple of test documents using that option, after changing Page Layout, Paper Size to A4 and then Letter, it produced PDFs with the correct paper sizes.

    Bruce

  4. #4
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Sacramento, California, USA
    Posts
    414
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    nate01pa, I'm not familiar with that driver, but I have two drivers... CutePDF and SmartDraw PDF Filter... and neither one works right. I wonder whether doPDF really does work, or it just lets you set the page size to A4 and print, making you think it works. That made me think for a long time that CutePDF was working.

    Open the resulting PDF and select File > Properties. If "Page Size" is 8.27 x 11.69 in., you win the jackpot. If not... better luck next time.

    BruceR, I tried the "Save As" technique and it did work... with a very simple document. With one of the documents I actually need to convert (about ten pages long, with moderately complex formatting), it crashed Word.

    I'll be interested in any suggestions you have for dealing with this. The device driver is the better solution, since it will work with any application, but at this point I'll take whatever I can get.

  5. #5
    Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    near Boulder, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    86
    Thanks
    16
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
    I use PDF995 (free from Software995) with Word 2003 and it works fine (use the Advanced button on the Printer Properties pane to select A4, after selecting the PDF printer in Word).
    The 995 suite also includes free PDF editing software, if you want it.

  6. #6
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA, USA
    Posts
    138
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 19 Times in 18 Posts
    1. Have you tried creating the file in Word using Letter size paper and then saving it under another name , then changing the paper size to A4?

    2. I opened a file in Word (Word XP - I don't have 2010) and in Page Setup under the File menu, changed the paper to A4. Then I selected Print and selected doPDF from the list of printers. In the Print Dialog, I selected the Properties button and changed the paper there to A4 also. Then I "printed" the file and opened it in my PDF reader. The page size was 8.26 by 11.69 inches. I don't have any A4 paper to print on, however.

    3. Did you try this sequence with your PDF printers? If not, download doPDF and try it - it's free.

  7. #7
    5 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    La Jolla,CA
    Posts
    1,100
    Thanks
    13
    Thanked 37 Times in 36 Posts
    FWIW. I have Word 2010 and created a 6-page document in A4 page size.
    Then, File -> Save As -> PDF and the result WAS a PDF file with each of the 8 pages in A4.
    So, I can confirm that that feature does, in fact, work.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
    Posts
    3,946
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 204 Times in 185 Posts
    Hi jsachs,

    In Word, make sure the option to 'Scale content for A4 or 8.5 x 11" paper sizes' is off. See under File|Options|Advanced > Print.
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

  9. #9
    Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    40
    Thanks
    22
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    I can suggest a virtual printer software called "PDF Creator". When that program is installed or updated, the default paper size is A4. There is a menu item for changing that setting; I have only used A4, legal, and letter, but there are all kinds of choices. Anyway, it seems to work fine, creating PDF of the proper size. It is very simple to use, almost self-explanatory.
    The printer which I use most frequently is an HP Officejet L7590, and it does not complain when I print an A4 PDF on letter sized paper.

    The free program is available here: http://www.pdfforge.org/
    There are probably many other similar programs that I have not used, so I am not making a comparison or saying that PDF Creator is best, I am just saying that I have used it for years on various Windows PCs and it has worked fine. It is updated occasionally.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
    Posts
    3,946
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 204 Times in 185 Posts
    All these posts recommending this or that PDF printer are overlooking the fact that it would be hard to find one that doesn't support both A4 and Letter sizes. As is clear from jsachs' first post in this thread, the resizing issue happens even when saving to PDF using Word's own save-to-pdf tools. The most logical explanation (and one that won't be addressed by changing PDF printers), is that Word's option to 'Scale content for A4 or 8.5 x 11" paper sizes' is on. Simply turning that setting off, then re-sizing the page to A4 or Letter before saving to PDF should be sufficient.
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

  11. #11
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Sacramento, California, USA
    Posts
    414
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    I tried disabling the "Scale content" parameter, and that worked.

    So thank you, Paul, for pointing that out.

    Now a bit of feedback for Microsoft. There are so many things wrong with this that I need an abacus to count them.

    First, the whole idea of an "Advanced" group of options is misconceived. A word processor can have printing options, and display options, and editing options. It cannot have "Advanced" options, any more than it can have hydraulic options, or humorous options, or polar options. "Advanced options" has no meaning at all except "We've decided, User, without even knowing who you are, that you're not smart enough to understand these, so we're putting them someplace where you won't be able to find them without expert help."

    It's not easy to make a user interface insulting as well as unusable, but you, Microsoft, have succeeded.

    Second, what is the point of this option? I've looked up explanations of it, and all I can make of it is: at least some Windows printer drivers have a design flaw that makes them choose the wrong paper size when letter size and A4 are both available, and instead of fixing it, Microsoft kludged up a workaround to ensure that when a driver chooses the wrong paper size it will shrink or stretch the image to fit. That's exactly as stupid as it sounds!

    Third, the option's name is confusing, giving not a clue to what the option does.

    Maybe point #3 is unfair. Coming up with a clear name for such a misconceived feature would be next to impossible!
    Last edited by jsachs177; 2012-02-21 at 15:50.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
    Posts
    3,946
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 204 Times in 185 Posts
    Hi jsachs,

    Your feedback for Microsoft is mis-directed: this forum has no connection with Microsoft and, quite possibly, no-one here has any employment or contractural relationship with Microsoft.

    I do agree that some of the 'Advanced' options aren't really advanced. They're probably grouped as such, though, as most users never go near them. I wouldn't agree that you need expert help to find them, though.

    As for 'what is the point of this option', it's for situations such as when you receive a document in Letter format but you have a printer configured for A4 (or vice-versa), and you want to print the document without having to reformat it. Word will kindly re-scale it for you. Many people benefit from this, but it'd be more usefully displayed on the 'Display' options tab - which, IMHO, should be renamed 'Display and Print' options.

    I should also point out that Word's option to 'Scale content for A4 or 8.5 x 11" paper sizes' probably only bit you because, having set the page size to A4 in Word, you didn't also set the printer's paper size to A4.
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

  13. #13
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Sacramento, California, USA
    Posts
    414
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    The "feedback to Microsoft" was rhetorical, not misdirected; I simply wanted to make some observations. Also, I know that Microsoft will give it the same consideration here as it would if I sent it to Steve Ballmer by Express Mail!

    I didn't doubt that the option is useful for something. However, there's a difference between a feature that has a use and a feature that is designed to increase, rather than decrease, the usability of the the product that incorporates it. On that count, "scale content" is an abject failure. It belongs in a "Page setup" dialog, along with choices to print in portrait or landscape mode, print one, two, or four pages per sheet, etc. Instead they put it someplace where it is -- I maintain -- impossible to find without expert help, because the connection between option and result is totally non-obvious. It's not even certain that the existence of a problem will be apparent until too late (e.g., until the printed document is distributed in the boardroom and three out of two dozen directors notice that it's just slightly mangled).

    Then Microsoft turned the option on by default, so that getting correct results requires action by the users who don't even realize there is a problem, instead of the users who are trying to solve one. This is careless and sloppy.

    As for setting the printer's paper size to A4... you're mistaken. I tried setting the driver's "paper size" in both of the drivers I tried to use, and it had absolutely no effect.

  14. #14
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    2
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    This task shouldn't take you more than ten minutes, depending on the size of the file you want convert and print. You simply find a word to pdf convertor, and then you have all the options you need for printing in PDF. You can preset these in word too. I learned few tricks about that on this lexmark ink resource. Please let us know if there is anything you need to know.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •