Page margins and printable area...?

I’m using letter size paper on a Xerox Phaser 7800 printer. Page margins are set to 0.5" on all four sides in Dorico…

When I print the parts or score pages, the page margins are measured as 0.5" + the non-printable page edge border. The printed page margins are not 0.5". Is this a bug?

I’ve tried this on different brands of laser printers - with similar results - it seems that the actual printed margins are increased by the width of the non-printable page edge border as defined in the printer drivers. Some are 0.21", others bigger…

Is there a way to have the page margins in the layout options dialog actually print exactly the same when measured directly on the paper? Definite re-sizing is occurring - it seems like the Dorico page margins are not starting at the edge of the page, but actually start at the edge of the printable area of the page. (which varies by printer brand)

I have tried this on letter, legal, tabloid and 12"x18" sized paper with identical results… none are producing the 0.5" margins that I have set in the Layout Options window. All are larger by the non-printable border amount.

The only way I can get a measurable 0.5" page margin on printed output is to determine the non-printable border of the printer and reduce the Dorico page margin setting by that amount.

I did a search in the forum and came up with nothing.

As I look at my pages in Print Mode on screen, they look larger there also… not a true 0.5"… and without a page ruler, I can’t really measure it.

Is anyone else experiencing this? or… what am I missing?


It sounds like the page is being shrunk to fit the printable area. Make sure you’ve set “Custom Scale” to 100%, instead of “Fit to Paper”.

Alternatively, if you make a PDF and then print from there, does the same thing happen?

Are you on Mac? If so, please confirm that you’re using the Print button in the right panel of Print mode, not the OSX dialog accessible from the left panel of Print mode.

Dorico does output the image right up to the edges of the paper, so if you specify a 0.5" margin in Layout Options, that is what Dorico will output to the printer. It sounds as if somehow your printer is scaling the image down.

benwiggy - thanks for your idea…

I’m at a different printer currently - an HP laserjet 4250tn - when using the Dorico print button (lower right), on this printer - the margins print correcty as entered. If I use the lower left “Print…” button, the margins are larger by the non-printing distance. (I’m not sure why there are two print buttons… - maybe to access additional features?)

If I export as a PDF from Dorico (right side) - the PDF produced is correct. If I save as PDF using the lower left hand “Print…” button - the margins are increased.

I’ll try this on my big Xerox 7800GX later today.

pianoleo - iMac Pro/Mojave/32g ram. On my HP 4250tn - the lower right “Print” button does produce the desired result - thanks! (Still wondering why there are two print buttons…) However - I can’t recall which button I used on my Xerox (it was late…) - my main production printer. I’ll check it out.

Daniel - Thanks for confirming this - I’m assuming at this point there is something in my Xerox printer driver that is causing the issue. I’ll do more testing this afternoon - check for driver updates, re-verify I’m using the lower right “Print” button, etc…

This commonly trips up new users, but you should never Print to PDF — always export graphic to PDF. Doing the former can cause other variations, such as font weight.