Solve printing problems with Preview

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Sometimes documents just don't print properly. My latest example: After filling out an expense report in Microsoft Excel, I tried to print it, but the document came out cut off on all four sides. I tried printing it again, specifying in the printer dialog that I wanted to scale the document to fit on one page; it still didn't work. I didn't know where the fault lay: Was it an Excel issue, a printer issue, or something else? But I didn't have time to investigate; I needed to get that expense report in the mail. My solution: I remembered a recent hint about opening two copies of a PDF at once, and used a variation on that to get the report to print.

In Excel, I went to File -> Print, and then clicked the Preview button at the bottom left. (Excel, like some other apps, uses that Preview button instead of an Open PDF in Preview option in the PDF dropdown; the functionality is the same.)

With a PDF version of my spreadsheet now open in Preview, I tried printing the document again—still specifying that I wanted the expense report shrunk to fit. This time, the spreadsheet printed exactly as desired. The same trick should work in any app that isn't printing properly. If you're facing printer frustration and don't have the time or inclination to resolve them, opening a PDF version of your file in Preview and then printing that can be a quick and functional workaround.

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