MS Word

Avoid Layout Changes on Different Computers

The Problem:

I created my report at home and formatted it to look great, with the graphics and page breaks in just the right places. But when I opened it at work, the layout had changed. All that work wasted!

The Solution:

The problem is most likely that you're using different printer drivers on your home computer and work computer. If you need to ensure that a document's layout is exactly the same on two computers, use the same printer driver on both computers. If you need to be able to lay out the document at home and print it at work, check which printer driver your work computer is using, install that driver on your home computer too, and set that printer as the default printer while you create and work on the document. It doesn't matter if you don't have the printer, as long as you don't try to print the document to it.

To set a printer as the default, choose Start » Printers and Faxes, right-click the printer, and choose "Set as Default Printer" from the shortcut menu.

If you need to ensure that a document's layout stays the same on computers on which you can't install printer drivers, your best bet is to save the document in PDF format. You'll need Adobe Acrobat or an application with similar capabilities (such as Jaws PDF Creator, available at, or GhostWord, available from and other sources) to create the file, but people will then be able to view it exactly as you intended on most major operating systems.

If creating a PDF isn't an option, you can avoid some potential changes in your documents by not using double tabs (set suitable tab stops instead) and hard page breaks (use the paragraph layout options instead). Your documents will still tend to look slightly different on different computers, though.

Control the Size Of a Pasted Graphic

The Problem:

Whenever I paste in a bitmap graphic (e.g., a GIF or JPEG), Word decides for itself what size the image should be in my document. I would like for it to paste in the image at its natural size and then let me scale it if necessary. Lots of images only look good at their natural sizes, so I don't want Word messing around with the dimensions.

The Solution:

Word is probably just trying to make sure that the picture fits within the margins or page size you're using. To force Word to display the picture at its full size, right-click the picture, choose Format Picture, click the Size tab, and set the Height and Width spinners to 100%.

by BrainBellupdated