Page size


I too like having a digital copy, but I play using paper printout most of the time.


When using the direct print option and printing to the “Microsoft Print to PDF” driver or when using Export to PDF, the behavior is the same. Currently PCGen is set to A4 (it’s default regardless of OS or printer driver setting).


So let’s first consider direct printing (PCGen > File > Print…). PCGen first generates a preview. This preview is formatted to the A4 paper size (according to the PCGen preference) which is longer and thinner than the US Letter size paper. Then select the Print button on that preview page and select the “Microsoft Print to PDF” virtual printer driver. The resulting output has the same formatting for A4 paper, even though the “Windows > Settings > Printers & scanners > Microsoft Print to PDF > Manage > Printing preferences > Advanced > Paper Size” is set to “Letter”. This is actually expected since PCGen has already generated the report in the preview and as such the user would expect that that exact representation is what they want printed.


The normal method of generating a PDF is to use export (PCGen > File > Export). The result is the same, except that the MS driver generates a very high resolution PDF file (about 20 times the bytes compared to using PCGen’s built-in PDF engine).


But when loading either PDF file in Acrobat Reader and printing it to a physical printer you have to tell Acrobat Reader what to do with the unmatched paper size. Acrobat Reader reports the document size as 8.3 x 11.7 inches. It is unable to regenerate the entire document to repaginate to the correct paper size so it must either scale the document down which create artifacts in font glyphs, and blurs lines and text, or print it as is which can place the top and bottom of the document in a printers dead zones at the very top or bottom of the page if the printer cannot print edge to edge (it is common for laser printers and older ink jet printers to have a physical margin at the top and bottom of a page where it will never print anything).


So to see the problem demonstrated easily, set PCGen to A4. Generate a PDF and then print out page 1 of that PDF using Acrobat Reader to a printer loaded with letter size paper and with the printer driver set to letter size paper. Print it out with each of Acrobat Reader’s options for what to do with the mismatched paper size (fit, actual, and shrink). Now change PCGen to Letter and generate a new PDF and print page 1 on the same printer. I’ve used 2 HP laser printers and an Epson ink-jet printer and in all cases the printout is noticeably clearer if Acrobat doesn’t have to deal with deal with the mismatched document to paper size.


There is a separate issue of course where the PCGen’s pagination leaves mostly blank pages, but I’ll discuss that in a separate thread after I check to see if it has already been reported sufficiently in Jira.



From: <> On Behalf Of markjmeans via Groups.Io
Sent: Sunday, December 16, 2018 1:22 PM
Subject: Re: [pcgen] More issues with RC2




I'm still in the dark about this abstract concept of the paper size. How does this setting even come into play? Are you using the direct print option, or does this happen when you create a PDF? I use a Standard US sized paper on a standard printer and with some crazy exceptions where the Header and body separated (page size limits exceeded in the body forcing a page break into the next page), have never had an issue with printing sheets using the PDF option (I like having a digital copy of all the characters on hand).

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