When a document needs to be printed exactly at its intended size but the output from your office printer looks too large or small, finding the cause of the discrepancy can require digging through a variety of settings and preferences. The challenge of determining the point in the printing process at which your output ends up changing size is made more difficult by the fact that you must determine the size of your source material, which can vary depending on how you’ve set up your document and its contents.
When bitmapped images are printed, the size at which they appear on paper is directly related to their pixel dimensions and the output resolution. At 300 pixels per inch, an image that is 300 pixels wide by 300 pixels high is equivalent to a 1-inch square. The size of the image is 4.17 inches when viewed at 72 ppi. As a result, output at 300 ppi will be smaller but much less pixelated.
There are settings in many applications that let you print at enlarged and reduced sizes in relation to the dimensions of your original work, especially those that cater to graphic designers and artists. Some of these programmes let you save files while keeping the scaling setting you used when printing your work. Look for settings in your document and application that force the output to be larger or smaller than it should be. A “Fit to Page,” “Scale to Fit,” or “Crop to Fit” option might be present.
Your printer will print as much as it can until it reaches the edge of the paper when the size of your document exceeds the largest sheet it can accommodate. If you really need to print the entire document area, you might be able to tile it across multiple sheets, creating output that is overlapping and is divided into sections that are the same width and height. The result shows your entire document when you join the tiled sheets and cut off the overlap.
The majority of desktop printers are unable to image all the way to a sheet’s edge. Those who create borderless photo prints do so by printing further than the edge, giving the impression that their output extends to the edge. Check your printer’s documentation for the printable area it can accommodate on the paper size you’re using if your output appears to be the correct size — not scaled up or down — but doesn’t include all the document detail on each page.