Printing Issue

Posted on 2011-10-18
Last Modified: 2013-11-05
Hi All,

We have recently had a printing issue with certain excel files whereby when printed, the output would have rows of data to a point and then only formatting and then sometimes more data.

We have got round it by copying and pasting values into a blank sheet and then printing that. The font etc is only a basic font (Arial 10) so I don't believe its to do with the print drivers even though it is quite an old printer HP2050. Working in Excel 2003 with 2007 compatibility installed and the latest SP.

I thought I had discovered the reason, bizarre as it seems. A certain report would stop printing the data but would continue with formatting at a point where the contents of the cell were too big for the cell so would give the ### entry. We overcame this with the obvious answer of expanding the column and also then seem to overcome this with the latest SP but the problem now seems to have come back, the files in question haven't been used for some time so it might not have gone way altogether in the first place.

I think I have found the reason for the problem but want to confirm with the opinion of other Experts.

The reports affected have data exported from SAP. The Export is done by displaying the report in an Excel window within SAP, as opposed to the Inactive option. This is then highlighted, copied and pasted into an excel workbook. The report in excel usually has reasonable pastel coloured formatting but when pasted into Excel the formatting turns into garish shades of red and green. I normally just remove all fill formatting as it is usually only used for lookup purposes.

What sometimes happens though is that the paste retains the pastel colours as per the report within SAP and the colour palette within the workbook is changed so other formatting in the workbook also changes. In these cases if I reset the colour pallette the colours go garish again.

I think that has explained the scenario reasonably well up to today.

So, today I have a report that won't print properly and having thought about the colour pallette I reset the pallette in this particular workbook and the colours go garish. This sheet would then print properly (shades of grey anyway as its a b&w printer).

So the question is, am I right in thinking that it is the colour pallette that is causing the print problems? As its a new version of the SAP GUI(Release 8??) could the colour scheme be too complicated for the old printer?

If so, I will know to manage the exports accordingly to avoid the print problem.

Many thanks for your input!

Rob H
Question by:Rob Henson
    LVL 19

    Accepted Solution

    I would guess that the print driver can't handle the color gamut being requested by Excel - ie: the pallette being mapped has either too high a bit depth or is simply overflowing the print buffer, this could happen even when printing in B&W if excel is attempting to dither colours to greyscale and expecting the driver to handle the mapping.  

    If the printer is *really* old it wont have many options to play with but see if you are offered the option to reduce dpi, print b&w, or limit the palette to 8/26/256 grey scales.
    LVL 31

    Author Closing Comment

    by:Rob Henson
    I had figured that was the problem and was posting the question for confirmation, which you seemed to have done.

    I haven't been in work all week so haven't been able to play with the printer settings but will see what I can do.

    Thanks for your input!

    Rob H

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