How to Keep Blank Pages Out of Your Access 2013 Report

Almost every Access user winds up with blank pages in a report; the blank pages appear in Print Preview. What causes these extra pages, anyway — and how do you get rid of them?

Access knows the width of your paper and how much space to leave for the left and right margins because these sizes are specified in the report’s property sheet. Access adds the width of your report to the left and right margins to come up with the total width of the printed report. If the total is wider than your paper, Access splits the report into vertical bands and prints the left and right halves of the report on separate pieces of paper, so you can tape them together to create a very wide report.

If the report is just a little bit too wide to fit across one piece of paper, all the text of the report is printed on the left half, leaving the right half blank. These blank right halves are the blank pages that Access prints. If the right part of the report has no controls in it, Access alerts you to this fact with this message:

The section width is greater than the page width, and there are no items in the additional space, so some pages may be blank.

To get rid of the blank pages, follow these steps:

  1. Click the File tab on the Ribbon, and choose Options-->Client Settings to display the Access Options dialog box.

  2. Scroll down to the Printing section.

  3. Subtract the left and right margin settings from the width of your paper to get the maximum width of the report.

    Standard U.S. paper is 8-1/2 inches wide. If the left and right margins are too wide, make them smaller in this dialog box and then use the new values in your calculation. If your paper is 8-1/2 inches wide, and you have half-inch left and right margins, your report can’t be more than 7-1/2 inches wide.

    You can change the margins if you want to use different defaults.

  4. Click OK to exit the Access Options dialog box.

  5. With the report open in Design view, note the report’s width — the location along the ruler of the right edge of the grid area.

    Alternatively, look at the Width property of the report in the property sheet. (Double-click the gray box in the top-left corner of the report in Design view, where the rulers meet, to display the property sheet for the form.) This property is on the Format tab of the property sheet.

  6. If the report is too wide to fit on the page, drag the right edge of the report leftward.

    If the edge won’t move, a control extends to the right of where you want the page to end. Move or shrink any control that extends too far to the right, and move the right edge of the report to the left. Alternatively, change the Width property of the report. If you can’t find the control that’s in the way, use your mouse to select the apparently empty area of the report grid. An orange border appears, showing what has been selected — frequently (in our experience) a horizontal line.

Another possible reason for blank pages is an incorrect setting for the Force New Page property of one of the sections of the report.

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