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Use Page Setup to Troubleshoot PC Printing

The Print dialog box is where settings are made that affect how things are printed, but it’s not the only place to look to try to diagnose printing problems. Another location is the Page Setup dialog box.

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To access the Page Setup dialog box, choose the File→Page Setup command. In certain newer Windows programs, the Page Setup command may be found on the File tab, which is the leftmost tab above the toolbar. The Page Setup command may be on the Print or Publish submenu on the File tab.

Though the Page Setup box may appear to have nothing to do with printing, it has a lot to do with how the page you print is formatted, including some items you might think would fall into the Print dialog box but do not:

Margins: To set your document’s margins, you use the Page Setup dialog box. In the Page Setup dialog box example, you click the Margins tab to specify how far out the text is displayed on the page.

Paper size: When printing on a sheet of paper of a special size, you must use the Page Setup dialog box to set the paper size.

Paper orientation: Whether printing longways (landscape) or normal (portrait), you choose the page orientation in the Page Setup dialog box.

Paper source: When your printer has more than one paper tray, the source is chosen in the Page Setup dialog box, not in the Print dialog box.

Printing is the mechanical job of putting a document on paper with ink. The duties of the Page Setup dialog box are document formatting, not printing.

  • In some applications, the Page Setup command on the File menu might be titled Document Setup.

  • Sometimes you access the Page Setup dialog box by pressing a button — for example, in the Print dialog box.

  • When you choose another paper size in the Page Setup dialog box, don’t forget to stock your printer with the new paper size. The printer’s display may remind you of the paper swap, or it may not.

  • Not every printer is capable of printing to the full edge of a piece of paper. Many printers cannot print within a half-inch of the paper’s edge. Some printers can go farther, but usually one edge of the page is necessary to help pull the sheet through the printer. On that one edge, you must have a margin.

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