If I set a document zoom to 100%, the displayed sheet of paper has a different size from the physical sheet.
What is the 100% I am seeing on screen?
(And is it possible to make the
100% zoom show the real paper size?)
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The 100% displayed size is relative to a typical monitor size that was used for reference. Depending on the settings selected, there can be a little slider box in the lower right corner to adust the view size, default being 100%; but on other screen sizes than the standard screen example that the 100% is based on, the view size won't be actual size when one measures it, and in fact often one won't be able to adjust the slider so that it exactly is. But, by using a ruler, or simply holding up a sheet of eg A4 paper to the screen, one can adjust the slider so that the view onscreen is fairly close to actual: which can be very useful for estimating font readability, margins, line spacing, etc. Its sort of like the slider size adjustments for rtf or paint file viewing.
When you set the zoom to 100%, Word attempts to display the page exactly as the printed sheet would be.
You can see this take effect if you change to a different paper size. You can also see the measurements Word is applying if you display the ruler.
In practice, owing to the vagaries of printer drivers and monitor/display drivers, the displayed page size is approximate, but other than slight discrepancies of this kind, 100% means "actual size as it will be when printed".
The size of Word display on our computer depends on many factors, such as resolution. If we set the resolution to 128*1024, the page will be about the same size as A4 paper.
When the display scale is set to 100%, the higher screen resolution, the smaller page shown.
The actual print size is rendered according to the size defined by the paper.