Printer default page size

cantoris used Ask the Experts™
I'm having a very peculiar issue with printer default page sizes with a web based app.

The PCs (Windows 7) are connected to both an OKI MicroLine 9-pin label printer containing 8"x12" fan-fold paper and a HP LaserJet containing A4.  The printers are installed locally to the PC rather than a print server and have the correct paper sizes set as default in all the requisite places.

The application we're having issues with is web-based (I know it uses Silverlight in places) and contains a document template that is set to 8"x12" to match the paper in the OKIs.

If the OKI is set as the default printer for the user, all is well when they print this document.
If the HP is set as default and the user manually chooses the OKI, then the output is wrong!  They have to go in and re-select the paper size in the OKI's printing preferences which is mysteriously now showing as A4 (ie the default here in the UK)!

Despite the document being from an 8x12 template, why is the app somehow taking notice of the default paper size of the user's default printer even when they tell it to print to the OKI printer whose paper size is correct??

This is driving us nuts, so any advice would be very well received!  Thanks.
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EirmanChief Operations Manager

As far as I know, printers will always print at the default paper size regardless of what the document size is.

Many printers have an Auto Size option ... Do You?

If you have multiple trays with different paper sizes you will still have to choose which tray to use, which is just as troublesome as changing the paper size.

This is of no use to you, but it is an example of another printer setup that would do what you need.

I have an old HP laserjet 5P myself and I have this option.
Perhaps you could use the same methodology that was used on the Brother.
Paper Types
EirmanChief Operations Manager

I found this info here

If you choose auto select in your software for the paper source, the printer will take paper from whatever tray has that size paper and from the way you configured the manual tray if it has paper. Generally when you say first for the tray and have the default paper size only in the manual tray, it will take it from it, however, if the default paper size is in the tray and you want to use that size and you have paper on the manual tray and it is selected as first, it will take the paper from the manual tray no matter what size paper is there and will sometimes give you a paper size error.


All trays on each printer are set correctly to the right size that each has - A4 on the HP and 8x12 fanfold on the OKI.

If the OKI is set as the windows default printer, then everything prints fine.  As soon as the HP (or anything else) is the windows default, then selecting the OKI from the list of printers within the app to print to it appears to make it revert to A4 - (it prints anyway but the layout is wrong).  If you look at the OKI properties afterwards in the Printers applet, everything is actually still set to fanfold.
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EirmanChief Operations Manager

If the OKI is set as the windows default printer, then everything prints fine.
This is probably the newest printer and can cope better with your demands.
Unfortunately I've no more suggestions for you.

If you get no more response over the next 20 hours, click on "Request Attention" above.

Good luck


thanks for looking  :)
What is the web based app?  I suspect IT is picking up the settings for the default printer.
Distinguished Expert 2017
DavisMcCarn, is on the right track, but you might be including printer detection and  adjusting the layout; but depending whether the print is triggered by a link/button within the web app or the user is using the browser's print function?
Once a user uses a browsers print , your app is no longer involved such that the layout is set and the user's choice of a printer ....

If you include a print method within your app, you might be able to adjust the layout based on the choice the user makes.

Your issue is that the two printers are very different ...


Unfortunately it's a third-party web-based app that I know uses Silverlight and various custom DLLs.  It has its own print buttons in different parts of the app.  I don't know if this gives any clues as to how it may be working, but if .NET 3.5 is missing, the print button is missing in some places and throws an error in others.
Most Valuable Expert 2013
I suspect you're actually seeing the same behaviour which ever printer is selected as default.  If the OKi is the default it will send a page that's 8" x 12" so your page margins will be out on a shorter, wider, A4 sheet but it will fit.  Of course if you have the HP LJ set as the default it's sending A4 which is 8.5" x 11" so each page you print with these settings on the OKI will be an inch shorter and that degree of error on continuous stationery becomes obvious instantly.

As others have said this is to do with how the driver is called, the usual hierachy for page size is locally stored settings followed by settings pulled from the default printer followed finally from default server settings where there are no locally stored settings.

It sounds like the printer is being called in such a way that only the local defaul printer page size is being called.  Lots of proprietary apps rather lazily just hook directly into the OS spooler and ignore the driver settings for paper size as there's no standard requirement for them to do this. If this printer path is hard-coded like this  you may have no other workaround than using a utility to switch the default and launch the application via a script using the SetDefaultPrinter function.

There are a few freeware apps that do this but I've not used them in anything later than XP

See "Automatic Printer Switcher" as an example
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Possibly :)   ^^
On the machines with the LaserJet[s] set as the default, try clicking the 'start' orb, then Devices and Printers, right-click on the OKI printer there and choose Printing preferences (not Printer properties), set the paper size there, Apply and OK. See if that doesn't save the paper size properly for you.

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