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  1. #1
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    Table formatting influences file size (Word XP on WinXP)

    I have a collegue who is try to prepare a report that has a lot of tables in it. He was finding it took an eternity to print on an HP Mopier (Postscript driver) printer. He has since expermimented and yesterday he showed me what he had discovered. He had a one page document mostly filled with a multicolumn table. With the defaut formatting of the table he sent the page to the printer, the printer queue showed the print job spooling and the file size was around 80kb, fast.

    He then selected some of the columns and changed the grid line format to a dotted line. Sending the document to the printer again showed the print job spooling up to 2 Mb!!, sloooow.

    Changing the line format back again reduces the file size too. I have duplicated the problem in Word97. (And just for the record, in WordPerfect8 the numbers were 40kb and 600kb <img src=/S/devil.gif border=0 alt=devil width=15 height=15> ).

    Does anyone know why and how one can get around such huge file sizes?? TIA
    Keith Rodgers
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    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Table formatting influences file size (Word XP on WinXP)

    My guess is that if you include elements on a page that are not supported by PostScript, the whole page will have to be rendered as graphics. I don't know if the printer has a setting to avoid this - select File | Print... and click Properties... Otherwise, just avoid dotted lines and other elements that cause excessive file size. Do grey lines work better?

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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Table formatting influences file size (Word XP on WinXP)

    I agree with HansV. And as long as you're experimenting, look at the effect of 300dpi vs. 600dpi vs. 1200dpi. I think these drivers default to 600dpi out of the box, but you can increase or decrease that where you want finer or coarser detail.

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    Re: Table formatting influences file size (Word XP on WinXP)

    Dotted lines have always been a problem because of the definitions used to describe the line on the page.

    Look at it this way - If I need to describe a line in terms the PS printer can understand then I say
    Start at point (X1, Y1) and go to point (X2,Y2) by drawing a black line that is 1pt wide. Now that is reasonably succinct.

    If I need to describe a dotted line in terms the PS printer can understand the definition will look like...
    Start at point (X1, Y1) and go to point (X2,Y2) by drawing a black line that is 1pt wide.
    Start at point (X3, Y3) and go to point (X4,Y4) by drawing a black line that is 1pt wide.
    Start at point (X5, Y5) and go to point (X6,Y6) by drawing a black line that is 1pt wide.
    Start at point (X7, Y7) and go to point (X8,Y8) by drawing a black line that is 1pt wide.
    etc for as many dots or dashes there are on the line.

    As you can imagine, dotted lines take a huge amount of code to describe in terms the PS printer can understand - hence big spool files and slow printing. Solid lines on the other hand are very succinct and beautifully concise. I would suggest experimenting with solid lines of various thicknesses and percentages of grey fill rather than dotting lines. You will get a similar optical effect but better print speeds.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

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    Re: Table formatting influences file size (Word XP on WinXP)

    Hi Hans & Jefferson
    Keith Rodgers
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    Re: Table formatting influences file size (Word XP on WinXP)

    Hi Andrew

    Thanks for the reply explaing how it works. Your reply hit my desk about 5 seconds after I sent my reply to Hans & Jeff.
    Keith Rodgers
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