Word: Page size not listed

November 25, 2011

Here’s an interesting problem I faced the other day. I needed to insert a section break for an A3 page into a Word document. Everything went fine until I tried to select A3 as the paper size for that section — A3 wasn’t listed! It had been listed for earlier documents, so I was surprised that it wasn’t listed for the document I was working on.

And then I remembered printer drivers. Different drivers have different print capabilities. For example, my office printer cannot take A3 paper in any slot, so it’s unlikely to list A3 as a possible paper option.

I checked the document’s printer settings and found that it was set to the SnagIt printer driver. I changed the printer to Adobe PDF and then checked my available page sizes again — and A3 was there.

I didn’t actually have to print the document — just changing the printer assigned to the document was enough.


  1. Rhonda–This is not really a comment on this article, but a question. I have Office 2010 running on a Windows 2007 64 bit laptop. My main MS Word template does the following. It always opens with the File menu in focus. If I click on another menu and then execute a command, it immediately reverts to the File menu. It’s driving me nuts. Have you seen this? I can’t find it anywhere on the web.

  2. Hi Bill

    What do you mean by ‘in focus’? If you mean highlighted in blue, but with the Home tab active, that’s normal behaviour. However, if you mean always showing the recent files list etc., that’s not normal in my experience. and reverting to the File menu after running any command? That’s very strange.

    I’ve never seen a setting for this, so I suspect it’s something working behind the scenes.

    Possible reasons:
    * You have a macro that sets the File menu as the default opening tab (though I’m not sure how this would also explain it jumping back to ‘File’ after executing any other command)
    * Something is screwed in the Registry (no, I have no idea what or how to find/fix it)

    Possible solutions:
    * Take a look at your macros and see if there’s anything that contains the AutoOpen command that might be causing it
    * Try repairing Word 2010.Search the Help for ‘repair’ for instructions.
    * Ask this question on the Microsoft Answers forum, ‘cos I’m now all out of ideas.

    If you find a solution, please post it in the comments so that others who have this problem can fix it too. Thanks.


  3. I have Windows 7–I had the same problem. A5 was not listed as a paper size, in fact there were hardly any sizes available. The paper sizes supposed to be in Word 2007 were not there.
    The Solution: the default printer was the problem. I had selected a printer which had limited settings. I changed the default printer to “Microsoft XPS Document Writer” and then I re-opened a blank word document. I now have a LONG list of options showing up.
    I hope this helps!

  4. Bill, I imagine you have this resolved by now, but we encountered this in our environment when people had the ribbon minimized. It is the small caret just below the restore button in the upper right hand corner of the screen. If you maximize it the focus will remain on the last choice you have made.

  5. Thank you – I changed the default printer to my PDF printer (not Acrobat), and that worked like magic.

    It reminds me of the trick to globally update all fields in headers/footers (after you’ve hit CTRL-A + F9 in the main document) – go to Print Preview. There should be a better way, but it works!

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