Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Fitting to a Single Page.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 9, 2015)
Dennis has run into the common problem of documents printing differently on different systems in his office. He has one document that prints as a single page on one system, but prints as two pages on a different system. He noted that in Excel he can force a page to "fit" a single page, and it seems to work across different systems. This caused him to wonder if there is something similar that can be done in Word.
As has been recounted in other issues of WordTips, the differences in appearance and printing of a document from one system to another is due to a variety of factors. Differences in versions of Word, installed fonts, printer drivers, and even video cards can cause differences in how a document appears and prints. The only sure-fire way around this problem is to convert the document to a PDF format using a program such as Adobe Acrobat. There are a couple of things you can try, however, with the document itself.
First, you can make sure that when the document is saved, you embed TrueType fonts within it. You do this by displaying the Word Options dialog box, clicking Save at the left side, and then making sure that the Embed TrueType Fonts check box is selected. This should overcome any system differences that are solely due to issues of which fonts are installed on the systems. (See Figure 1.)
Figure 1. The save options in the Word Options dialog box.
You can also adjust the layout options in Word 2007 or Word 2010 to make sure that the User Printer Metrics to Lay Out Document option is selected. (Again display the Word Options dialog box, click Advanced at the left, scroll to the bottom of the options, and click Layout Options.) This can help ease some differences (but not all differences) between printers that are introduced by different versions of Word. (See Figure 2.)
Figure 2. The layout options of the Word Options dialog box.
It could also be that if the problem document is using the Normal template that the styles in the Normal template on each of the systems are defined differently. If this is the case, then the solution is to copy the Normal template from one system to the other. Be careful in doing this, however, as it can affect other customizations on the target system, and may cause unintended consequences in other documents. You should also only consider copying the Normal template if both systems are using the same version of Word.
As far as forcing a document to a single page, Print Preview offers a "Shrink to Fit" button. This reduces the number of pages in the document by one so that you can prevent a small portion of the document from spilling onto another page. There are risks in using this tool, however—it can mess up some of your formatting. You will want to experiment to see if it works for your particular needs.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10695) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Fitting to a Single Page.
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