I developed a script to generate a sized PDF template for customers to download. On my laser printer it prints to size. But my customer just printed it on a inkjet, and it's smaller by about 1/4".

I remoted into his computer and confirmed all the print settings are correct. Any ideas?

  • 1
    No, a PDF is always the same size. Are you 100% certain your printer does not scale it to the available print size (usually smaller than the actual page because of printer margins)?
    – slhck
    Apr 16 '13 at 21:22
  • Does a red pen write larger than a blue pen? Answer: No, assuming the same person they write the same. Or in printer language: no, a laser printer does not print a different font or scale compared to an inktjet because it is based on a different technology. Depending on printer and driver settings you might get a different result though.
    – Hennes
    Apr 16 '13 at 21:25
  • What slhck said. Inkjet printers often have (or used to) larger margins they could not print to due to mechanical limitations than laser printers. It's possible that either your printer is scaling the job to fit the page and it's larger due to smaller margins, or b) the ink jet printer is scaling down the document to due larger margins or c) something else. Measure the actual physical output on your printer and make sure it matches the original document's units. if it does.... and the ink jet's output is smaller, there's a "scale document to page" setting hidden somewhere.
    – SuperMagic
    Apr 16 '13 at 21:35
  • 1
    Thanks! You made me think of the simplest fix. Scale 100% on laserjet - because those do print to scale, and scale 105% or some metric up on inkjet. I bet it is the physical limitations that increase the margins, where as on a larger laser printer office copier there are no physical limits for the page.
    – gabearnold
    Apr 17 '13 at 11:23

Acrobat Reader has several scaling options in the print dialogue box ("None", "Shrink to printable area", etc). Make sure both PCs are set to "None".

Another possibility is the paper size. If one PC defaults to A4 and the other to Letter, any of Acrobat's "fit to page" settings will produce slightly different outputs. This is because A4 is 16 mm longer than Letter but 6 mm narrower.

  • Two other things: (1) I believe if you leave a half-inch blank border all around your document, that'll ensure that "None" doesn't clip off any of your content. Need someone with more formal experience to confirm. (2) If designing for international use, you'll want those half-inch margins to start from the smaller of A4 and Letter, so that'll be--let's see--7.26 x 10 inches, or 235 x 254 mm, right?
    – Mathieu K.
    Mar 20 '16 at 7:25

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.