15/04/2010

Upside down Printing in Word


So the decision was made that for some of our wedding invites we would design and make them ourselves. Laura also wants to put a poem on a card inside the invite and we decide to make the most out of the situation we could print directions and contact details for the venue on the back of the poem.
That’s easier said than done. The card itself is A6 in size which means we should be able to get 8 cards from a single piece of A4 paper; you would think Microsoft Word or even Publisher could handle easily? Sadly it has turned into a major three way battle, Me versus Microsoft versus HP Printer.
For the actual wedding invite I was able to use an A5 template that Publisher provided me with, I made some A5 templates from regular paper as to not spoil / waste our more expensive paper and managed to figure out which way to insert the paper and after a few attempts I managed to rotate and resize the text accordingly so the prints were coming off perfect.
Well that seems all well and good, fairly simple. Now not to the printing the A6 inserts. My original idea was to setup a document with 2 pages (front and back of the insert) and on each page have 8 textboxes to house the text for the insert. I created the 8 textboxes and divided the A4 document up equally on screen and printed a test. Despite reducing the page margins to as close to 0 as possible the document just didn’t look right and things got worse when I tried to duplex the document.
After several failed attempts with Publisher I moved onto Word to see what options that would offer me. I setup an A6 document entered my text and told it to print 8 pages per sheet of A4, very impressive but my document only has 1 page so my print preview only has 1 insert. At this point my brain went into overdrive, how do I tell the print driver I want 8 copies of page 1 on 1 page? Well, I could have made my Word document 8 pages long and simply copy the original page 7 times, that’s a little bit too Neanderthal for me (an IT guru don’t you know?) After about 15 minutes trying to work out what the best way would be to resolve the issue I thought ‘Why not look online?’ well that would have been too easy and this is something I wanted to work out for myself then BINGO! I’d found it...
I could simply specific the range of sheets to print as 1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1 and trick the printer into thinking it needs to print page 1 8 times, ingenious I hear you cry. Don’t stop reading there my printing situation becomes even more farcical.
My original word document had 2 A6 pages (front and back of the insert) and as I’d discovered above I would be unable to use the built in duplex unit of the printer (it was even worse in word, as the bottom of each page has a large margin that you cannot change, what is difficult to understand [as I write this] is why this caused such a big problem? Surely the margin would be on the bottom of both pages respectively [front and back]? Anyway it wasn’t) so the solution to all of this? Print the one side as above then put the paper back into the track but flip it around so the text is upside down as you look at, then I can simply invert the textbox (turn it upside down) in Word and it will come out perfect. Wait a second! You can’t turn text upside down in Microsoft Word? What the hell are you talking about? Of course you can, I’ve done it before... haven’t I? After much frustration I went online to find a solution and it turns out you can’t. You can turn text on either of its sides but you can’t turn it upside down. You can invert word art, but who the fuck uses that? Kid’s making posters for school? It’s huge and would ridiculous on a wedding invite. The best solution I found online was to convert the text to an image via paint and insert the image back into the document, real convenient right?
There’s a reason I didn’t buy a real cheap shitty printer, I remember being ridiculed by family for having such a massive home office printer (they forget quickly when its spewing out documents and pamphlets for their organisations and meetings with minimal effort required from me)
What are my requirements for a printer? Reasonably fast, networkable, a duplex unit (that works) and fairly cheap to run, so what printer did I buy? A HP 2430dn, considering the work it’s done it has been a good value purchase to date, when it dies I’ll definitely consider buying another one (perhaps even new)
That’s enough side tracking, the reason for the over joyous chorus of self delight is that within the HP driver for that printer I can actually enable an option to print upside down. Bloody brilliant! 2,2,2,2,2,2,2,2  

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