Microsoft KB Archive/175205

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Article ID: 175205

Article Last Modified on 10/31/2006


  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q175205


When printing to a plotter printer under from a computer running Windows NT 4.0, the printout might shift down and to the left, and might truncate text or graphics at the bottom and on the right side of the page. All text and graphics might print as expected on a computer running Windows NT 3.51.


If a user attempts to format a document with no (zero) margins on a computer running Windows NT 3.51, applications such as Write allow the settings and will not return any error message. On computers running Windows NT 4.0, the following (or a similar) message is returned when no (zero) margin is requested:

Current printer cannot print outside these margins:
Left: 0.71 Right: 0.7
Top: 0.24 Bottom: 0.24


When you set document margins to all zeros in an application, a check is made to determine minimum margins for the selected print device. A routine contained within plotter.dll checks the manufacturer- supplied "plotter characterization data" (PCD) file. This file supplies the hardware minimum margin values for the print device. Minimum margin values are not always correctly enforced because of an error in Windows NT 3.51.

Minimum margin values are correctly enforced in Windows NT 4.0. A request for a zero margin setting (or a value less than the PCD margin minimum) returns an error message that shows the minimum values. In some cases in Windows NT 4.0, printer manufacturers increased minimum margins to guarantee that print data is contained within the device printable areas.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in Windows NT version 3.51. We are researching this problem and will post new information here in the Microsoft Knowledge Base as it becomes available.

This behavior is by design in Windows NT 4.0.


To resolve this problem, in Windows NT 4.0, create a custom form that is slightly larger than the actual page size you are using. For example, if the area to be printed on the plotter paper is 8.5" x 11", and the unprintable region is .24" on the top and bottom, and .7" on the left and the right, create a form with dimensions of at least 9.9" x 11.48".

For more information on how to create custom forms, please see the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:

ARTICLE-ID: 157172
TITLE : How to Create Custom Forms in Windows NT 4.0

Additional query words: sheet-fed media sheet-feed hp DesignJet 600c 650c printable area margin

Keywords: kbbug kbprint KB175205