Small Printing with Different Word Versions

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 21, 2008)

Jennifer wrote about a problem she was having in her office when printing documents on different versions of Word. It seems that when she would print the document under Word 2000, it would look fine; when she printed it on a different machine under Word 2002, the document printed out with text about 25% smaller than it should be.

The first thing to remember is that Word 2002 has changed, dramatically, the way it prints comments and edits when Track Changes is turned on. It does these through a series of "balloons" that appear at the right side of a printout. Word adjusts the size of the printed text so that pagination is not affected, yet the comment and/or edit balloons can be printed. Because of this difference in handling how comments and/or edits are printed, a printout of the same document on Word 2002 would appear smaller than the same document printed on an earlier version. If this is your problem, looking through all pages of the printout, rather than just the first couple, should show if there are actual comments and/or edit balloons printed. To turn off this behavior, choose Print from the File menu, and then make sure the Print What drop-down list is set to Document rather than Document Showing Markup.

Next, check out the Print tab of the Options dialog box (Tools | Options | Print). If the Allow A4/Letter Paper Resizing check box is selected, and the original document was created for A4 paper and is now being printed on letter-size paper, then the result could be "shrunken" output. The solution is to either reformat the document for letter-size paper, or to turn off the Allow A4/Letter Paper Resizing check box.

You will also want to check to see if the Word 2002 machine has been set to use a different scaling on its printout. You access this by choosing Print from the File menu, and then examining the Scale to Paper Size drop-down list. Make sure the setting is appropriate for your printout.

Beyond these suggestions, it could be most anything related to a mix of different Word versions, different hardware, different operating systems, different printer drivers, font availability and substitution, etc. The number of variables to check can be staggering. A good place to start, however, is with the printer drivers. If different printer drivers are being used, then it is very likely that the output will look different, even when the target of the printout is the same printer. In such a case, you should update printer drivers on both machines, where possible. (Which printer drivers you are able to install can depend on the version of Windows you are using.) Other issues of WordTips have addressed issues related to printer drivers, fonts, and print-job settings.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1623) applies to Microsoft Word 2000 and 2002.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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