Word 2016 on OS 10.11 Printing Issues
June 14, 2016 11:04 AM   Subscribe

My office just did a technology upgrade. The gist is that we went from 10.8 to 10.11 and Office 2011 to 2016. Now, there are printing issues. We are using the same printer as before (Lexmark MS810de), but the printer will not print as close to the edge of the paper as it used to, so it is cutting off the footer on documents. The second is that all old files want to print at a fraction of the size of the paper (maybe 10% or so). More info in extended section. Any ideas would be appreciated!

For the users/stations in question, we got new iMacs, all with 10.11. Data/apps/etc were transferred from the old computers using the migration assistant when the new computers first booted up. Office 2016 was installed on the new machines (and we no longer have access to 2011, but do have 2008). The documents were/are all living on a local server which was also upgraded.

I have no idea why the margin issue is happening. Older files (that we can get to print if the other issue can be fixed) that have the old letterhead template, are getting now chopped off at the bottom. If I create new files, they also won't print as close to the edge of the page. I am currently making new templates, but obviously they have a bit less space on them and don't look the same, so I'd prefer to be able to print the way I used to, if possible. If I open the file in Office 2008, I can print all the way to the bottom like I used to.

I am guessing that the primary issue with the old files printing at 10% is that there has been an office-wide practice of just opening an old document, editing it and saving in the same file format. Which means that despite the fact that we did have Office 2008 and then 2011, most everything is saved as a .doc (97-2004) file. Based on another posting elsewhere, we've tried the tricks of: 1) Opening Page Set Up, changing nothing and then closing it. 2) Converting the file and then saving it as a current .docx file. Both work sometimes, but infrequently. Again, I am now building new templates for people to use instead of the old "system", but sometimes we do need to print or otherwise use these old files. If we just need to print, then I can open and print through Word 2008, but since we need to sometimes use these files, individually opening them in 2008, converting them and then resaving them is cumbersome... obviously we can do this but we'd like to avoid it if possible. One of the 3 new iMacs, by the way, deleted and then added back the printers and now has no trouble with the old files. On the other 2, we've tried this to no avail. We've also tried resetting the printing system. Any other ideas?

In case it is related, one of the 3 computers is also getting printer errors in FileMakerPro now (which was also upgraded 11>15 as part of this fun). Anything that computer tries to print gets a syntax error (--nostringval--). We're trying to address this with our FileMaker guy, I just mention it in case it could be related. So we have Comp 1 which can print anything just fine (although still has the margin issue). Comp 2 is having the Word issues, but is fine in FileMaker. Comp 3 has both the Word issues and FileMaker problems.
posted by emilisha to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Upgrade the printer drivers to correspond with the new OS version? Or maybe even the previous driver versions in case they are now not usable for some reason related to the system upgrade.
posted by waving at 11:11 AM on June 14, 2016

The print drivers on the Lexmark website say 10.6.8 and newer, but I did go ahead and try reinstalling anyway. Nothing changed.
posted by emilisha at 11:19 AM on June 14, 2016

The FileMakerPro error would come about with with a printer driver mismatch. Remove the printer from System Preferences, reboot, then add the printer in Preferences again, letting the Mac find it and suggest a driver. If it's still available as an option, trying using the Generic PostScript driver for the printer too.

On the other computers, can you print a whole page of anything from any application (like TextEdit)? Is the printer driver set up to know exactly what paper is in which printer tray?

Word 2016 added some new incompatibilities. My previous employer had to rekey a bunch of documents to fix table and page layout errors. Even copying text across would cause something to break in the new document.
posted by scruss at 11:23 AM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yes -- we have definitely had the problem where copy/pasting into a new document will likely break the new document. Copying small sections of text without big formatting things like images seems to keep that at bay, but it does make things cumbersome.

I tried printing a full page from a website (through Firefox) and a full page of text from TextEdit. They both print fine, but both have the margins set that they aren't printing in the zone that is giving me problems in Word. So I tried printing a whole sheet in Excel 2016, and Excel WILL print smaller margins without cutting off text.

So I went ahead and got out the ruler. Word 2008 and 2011 would print text down to 3/16" away from the edge (this is what our old footer is set to). 2016 cuts text off at 1/2", and is happy to do so midway through a line of text. I have gotten Excel 2016 to print down to 1/8" away from the edge.

Going to try the Filemaker/driver fix and will report back.
posted by emilisha at 1:34 PM on June 14, 2016

Driver thing fixed FileMaker! We used the generic post script one. Yay, thanks, one less thing we need to squeeze out of our FileMaker fellow.

Seems like manually converting documents we need to 2016 is probably the answer for some of this, but if anyone has any further thoughts or fixes around the margin issue, I'd be super happy to hear them.
posted by emilisha at 3:10 PM on June 14, 2016

Okay! If anyone is following along with bated breath (or comes along with similar issues later)...

The margin issue does seem to be specific to older files. Even if they are converted and resaved as .docx, I still can't make the margins print outside that .5" zone. If I create an entirely new file, don't make any copy/pastes from the old files, and then see where the margins max out, I can print down to 1/8" from the edge of the page.

Not even being able to convert the old files to make this work is not going to be excellent, but I am glad MS didn't arbitrarily decide no one ever needs smaller margins than .5".

Any hot tips on the tiny printing or maybe batch conversion of old .doc files, I'm all ears...
posted by emilisha at 4:22 PM on June 14, 2016

How complex are your old documents? Do they have lots of tables, VBAs, fields and references?

If they're not super-complex, you might want to try LibreOffice. It has a batch conversion mode (which is slightly fiddly to use on a Mac, alas) and you can convert directly to docx.
posted by scruss at 8:58 AM on June 15, 2016

This sounds like you need to adjust the page margins on the normal.dot or normal.dotm template.

Template Location for Office 2016
~/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/User Content/Templates

Template Location for Office 2011
~/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office/User Templates/My Templates
posted by Lanark at 1:54 PM on June 15, 2016

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