Page size discrepancy at print time

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Curbuntu
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Version/OS context: L.O. 5.1.3.2 (but problem goes back to version 4.x); Linux Mint 17.3 64-bit Cinnamon

I am trying to print a 6-inch by 9-inch (or 5.5-inch by 8.5-inch) book that I have “typeset” in Writer. In the template file, all the page styles are set to 6×9 (see attachment 6×9-style.png to prove proper setup).

However, at print time, Writer insists on overriding the chosen page size for one that is fairly close in size. In the 6×9 case, this is a European C5 envelope size (6.38 inches x 9.01 inches). I can’t find a way to override this behavior. And it’s not even printer-specific. It does the same when printing to PDF or exporting to PDF. (See the C5-print-output.png screen-capture attachment.)

The same behavior occurs when I reformat to 5.5 inches x 8.5 inches (another format allowed by the printer). As you can see from the screenshot (5-5×8.5-style.png), the page size is correct. However, once again Writer overrides the user-defined choice at print time, as shown in the A5-print-output.png screen-capture (also attached). Again, this behavior also affects PDF output (print-to or export), so it’s not printer-specific.

“Fairly close in size” is not acceptable, since the output must be exactly what the publisher requires.

How can I fix this? Or is this a “known bug” that will require me to abandon Writer and start the project all over again in another program altogether?

Other possibly relevant factoids:

  1. The project consists of one master document (.ODM) containing some “front matter” pages and 26 sub-documents (.ODT files). It’s in the neighborhood of 360 pages, with exactly 600 endnotes, and about 100 cross-references.
  2. Printing from Writer with files which default to the “normal size” paper (in my case, North American “Letter” format — 8.5-inches x 11 inches) experience no problems, whether printing to any of our printers, printing or outputting to PDF, or printing the resulting PDF file.
  3. Printing from the “corrupted” Writer-override page size can throw a “49.4c02 service error” on our HP Laserjet 4250 printer (the first time I’ve ever seen this error). This printer has never had any problems printing non-standard paper sizes from its manual-feed tray.
  4. Printing a PDF output from this Writer-override situation (to the same HP LJ 4250) will often produce the same error.
  5. Two days ago I uninstalled LO 4.2.whatever and installed the newer 5.1.3.2 from the web page, but this upgrade has had no effect on the problem.

Thanks in advance for any help on this!

AttachmentSize
6x9-style.png51.67 KB
C5-print-output.png122.5 KB
5-5x8.5-style.png37.03 KB
A5-print-output.png119.96 KB
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RoryOF
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Re: Page size discrepancy at print time
Are you setting printer paper size in /File /Print : Properties button>
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Curbuntu
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RoryOF wrote:Are you setting
RoryOF wrote:
Are you setting printer paper size in /File /Print : Properties button>

Thanks for the quick reply, RoryOF.

I assume you mean the option shown in the screenshot attached to this reply (Print-properties.png)? No, as you can see, the “Paper size” option is grayed out, so it can’t be user-selected. The “A5” shown is Writer’s override.

AttachmentSize
Print-properties.png 150.33 KB
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RoryOF
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Re: Page size discrepancy at print time
Try that setting for a real printer that is actually connected to your computer.

I layout my pages on A5 page size and use an Epson WF-4535, using the print to Brochure option and print two A5 pages on an A4 side. As my hobby is bookbinding I print 24 or 32 page signatures (depending on paper thickness), fold and sew for binding. I could use US Letter or US Legal if I needed different page sizes/shapes and still be able to fold for sewing/binding

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Curbuntu
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RoryOF wrote:Try that setting
RoryOF wrote:
Try that setting for a real printer that is actually connected to your computer.

It’s the same with all the installed printers — those options are grayed out and unavailable. See the attached for another example. (BTW, even though this particular mini-preview shows 5.5” x 8.5” in this example, the printer itself will report that it needs A5 paper; so Writer is still overriding.)

RoryOF wrote:
I layout my pages on A5 page size and use an Epson WF-4535, using the print to Brochure option and print two A5 pages on an A4 side. As my hobby is bookbinding I print 24 or 32 page signatures (depending on paper thickness), fold and sew for binding. I could use US Letter or US Legal if I needed different page sizes/shapes and still be able to fold for sewing/binding

These have to be discreet pages, not two-ups, for the publisher.

AttachmentSize
Printer-properties-#2.png 143.57 KB
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RoryOF
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Re: Page size discrepancy at print time
I am unable to suggest why you might not be able to alter page sizes on the printers, other than to speculate that you as a user may not have sufficient administrative rights.

If you can print two up, the stack of paper can be guillotined in two – you might need to collate the pages to get them in the correct order.

Alternately, some computer printers will print a smaller page size at the correct scale centred on a standard (usually US Letter or A4) page surrounded by a hairline to delimit the smaller page. Your book printer may be able to cope with this.

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Curbuntu
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RoryOF wrote:…you as a user
RoryOF wrote:
…you as a user may not have sufficient administrative rights.

Just on the outside chance this might be true, I double-checked, even adding myself to the “lp” group. No change in output.

RoryOF wrote:
If you can print two up, the stack of paper can be guillotined in two – you might need to collate the pages to get them in the correct order [etc.]…

Sorry, but these are digital submissions, not paper, so each page must be submitted exactly as it will appear in print. But even if your two-up suggestion worked in my case, it still wouldn’t explain the mysterious size substitution that Writer is doing.

Thanks for working with me on this, RoryOF. I wonder if anyone else has a different suggestion we could pursue…

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RoryOF
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Re: Page size discrepancy at print time
I cannot account for the inability to change the page (Paper) size, whether in the PDF or real printers. I use OpenOffice for a number of reasons and am always able to output my text in pdf format to A5 pages (paper), or User defined page (paper) as required. I haven’t checked back through this thread to see if you have done it, but if you have not deleted or renamed your LibreOffice user profile, you should do so, as this often sorts out peculiar happenings in LibO/OO.
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RoryOF wrote:I cannot account
RoryOF wrote:
I cannot account for the inability to change the page (Paper) size, whether in the PDF or real printers. I use OpenOffice for a number of reasons and am always able to output my text in pdf format to A5 pages (paper), or User defined page (paper) as required. I haven’t checked back through this thread to see if you have done it, but if you have not deleted or renamed your LibreOffice user profile, you should do so, as this often sorts out peculiar happenings in LibO/OO.

I took your advice, and, as per the instructions in https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/UserProfile, I renamed the user folder to user-old-from2016-05-24. LO, of course, created a new user folder on next launch. But nothing has changed in the printing department.

Since you mentioned using OO — can both LO and OO be installed on the same machine without tripping over each other? If so, perhaps I could test the same situation with the same files in OO…

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Re: Page size discrepancy at print time
I understand that OO and LibO can be installed side by side, from memory (possibly imperfect) with an alteration to one file (I don’t know what it is).
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Another version
Though most of the computers here at the house run Linux Mint 17.3, it occurred to me this afternoon that our music server runs Ubuntu 14.04. LO 4.2.8.2 is also installed (by default, or perhaps the default version was upgraded; I’m not certain). I had no printer drivers installed on that machine, so I thought, “Well, why not?” And instead of using the CUPS/Postscript driver, I defaulted to the HPLIP driver for the HP LJ 4250, just to add in a different variable.

Result? Same problem! 6×9 becomes Writer’s default C5 envelope. The only difference is that the options under Printer Properties are not grayed out. But there is no option for choosing “Custom” or my chosen size.

Discouraging, mystifying, and frustrating…

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Curbuntu
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And on Windows 7...
An idea came to me this afternoon that I had LO (4.4.5.2) loaded on a Win7 virtual machine, so I pursued that. Here’s what I learned:
  1. Now I realize you must be a Windows user, because there are options available under Print Properties in Windows about which I had no clue — because they aren’t available under Linux. The most useful option, for this discussion, is that I could save a special page-size profile, choose it, and have the Print Preview display the proper size page.
  2. The print features must be “half baked” in the Linux edition of LO, even in the most current version.
  3. A newly-created 9×6 or 5.5×8.5 page would print to the printer properly and without incident.
  4. When I copied over the folder containing the book project so that LO in Win7 could open it, the file displayed correctly on screen.
  5. Win7/LO allowed me to choose my custom page-size profiles in Printer Properties, and the Print Preview also displayed correctly.

HOWEVER

…when I sent some pages from the “typeset” file to the printer, it caused the printer to throw its 49. 4C02 Service Error.

I’m guessing (still), but I have suspected for a few days that main problem may lie in a corruption of the underlying template file. Although it would be a time-consuming hassle (because of having to recreate the number of styles involved), I wonder if I should try to create a new, “clean” template file and see how that affects printing…

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RoryOF
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Re: Page size discrepancy at print time
No, I use Xubuntu 16.04 (not running in virtual machines) and I use OpenOffice (currently 4.1,2); printer facilities change according to the printers. The attached file is a small sample file formatted to 6×9in page and Exported as PDF
AttachmentSize
Sample.pdf 33.18 KB
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Your 6x9 printed fine
Hey, RoryOF,

You are tenacious in your aid, and that is much appreciated!

Your 6×9 PDF file printed just fine here (printing from within the Chrome browser); and that makes me even more suspicious that some sort of corruption has infiltrated on the file level somewhere on this end.

As a possible “Plan B,” I have played a bit with Scribus — just enough to know that Scribus prints 6×9 pages effortlessly and perfectly. So I think that eliminates:

  • the printer drivers
  • the printer
  • any other hardware (i.e., switch, cables, etc.)

as possible culprits.

I’m going to look into what version of Postscript LO is using, because a somewhat new development has occurred — LO is printing, but it’s… how do I put this?… “slopping and sliding” some characters down the page. It’s as though a letter or two just “melts” off its proper line and and slides down an inch or so from where it’s supposed to be.

Just as another experiment — could you send me the original ODT file so that I can print it from within LO? (I assume I can provide my e-mail address in a private message on the forum?) A failure to print your ODT properly might tell us something also.

Isn’t it wonderful how technology saves us so much time!? Tongue

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Re: Page number in Table of Contents is not printed
Attached is an odt of the 6×9 file – a recreation as I junked the original this morning.

There is a setting in OO (you’ll have to translate for LibreOffice, in /Tools /Options /OpenOffice_writer : Compatibility to “Use printer metrics for document formatting”. In my case this is disabled.

AttachmentSize
sample.odt 12.46 KB
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Postscript "melting"
Well, I tried changing Postscript levels from Printer Properties. They all “melt.”
  • Postscript-choices.png shows the options available;
  • Pre-melt.png shows how LO renders the page normally; and
  • I’m-melting-melting.jpg shows a cropped photo of the actual printer output.

BTW, this is printed from a brand-new template file, created just to make certain that any theoretical “corruption” from the original template file wasn’t affecting printer operations. (And, yes, the mini print preview still shows the Writer-overridden paper size.)

AttachmentSize
Postscript-choices.png 64.93 KB
Pre-melt.png 15.91 KB
I'm-melting-melting.jpg 39.33 KB
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RoryOF
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Re: Page size discrepancy at print time
I can make only one suggestion.

Make a Live DVD/USB of (say) Xubuntu 16.04 or the distro of your choice. Boot from it, and see if the LibreOffice on it allows you make your pdf correctly. I think that must be your priority – getting the pdf made and sent; time enough later to try to sort out what/why anything odd is happening. I suspect something in your method of installation is at fault – that is why I say make a live DVD/USB and run it with “out of the box” settings as much as possible.

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Pristine boot
Okay, I downloaded Ubuntu 16.04 64-bit and booted from a USB drive. Then I loaded the driver for my HP LJ 4250.

The bad news is that the at-print-time page-size change is still there — no custom 6“x9” page size available (only the C5 Envelope again). The two important Printer Properties options were still grayed out, so no changes could be made a print time. (See attachment.)

The good news is that it did print, and nothing “melted.” II suppose it’s possible that it didn’t “melt” because I hadn’t loaded the specific fonts used in the original file, so I’ll give that a try if you think it’s worth the trouble.

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Ubuntu-16-04-64-LO-5-1-1-2.png 124.62 KB
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Printing your Sample.odt
Your file printed without “melting,” but as you can see from the attached screenshot (RoryOF-ODT-Print.png), Writer still prints it out at the wrong, Writer-determined size; and, of course, the options aren’t available.
AttachmentSize
RoryOF-ODT-Print.png 167.78 KB
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MELTED Sample.odt file!
Eww. Okay, I think I know what’s causing the “melting.” I took your Sample.odt file and changed the font to the one I’m using in the book — Linux Libertine at 14pt. It’s a professionally designed font family and I’ve been using it for years on a variety of projects. But you can see the resulting mess in the “Melted-sample-odt.jpg” attachment.

Strange to say, though — I can use this exact same font at the exact same size in Scribus and print to the exact same printer, the result comes out perfect every time.

Oh powers that be for LibreOffice — please tell us what’s going on with printing! Puzzled

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Melted-sample-odt.jpg 364.61 KB
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LOForum shutting down
RoryOF, I don’t know if you noticed, but this forum is shutting down in the very near future. Suggested replacements are:

Should we move this thread to one (or both) of those forums to continue to search for a solution? If so, do you have a preference?

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Re: Page size discrepancy at print time
I will be offline for the next week without access to Internet. I am currently in “wind-down” mode as I have many arrangements to make in anticipation.

One last possibility occurs to me. The .ppd file your printer uses is plain text. It is possible to edit such file to change the predefined parameters – you may be able to define a 6 inch x 9 inch page. The last time I did this, some 30ish years ago, I think I found I had to install the printer afresh, using the altered .ppd file, not merely change the already installed .ppd file in position. My memory after 30 years is not exact about doing this, but that is what I remember

OO 4.1.2 on Xubuntu 16.04

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