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March 2000

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Letters To The Editor

Printer Problems

Re: "Top Ten Tips for Legal Power Users," by Brent Winsor (Corel Corp.) and Neil Moore (Microsoft Corp.), Jan. 2000.


WordPerfect tip number five, "Printer Metrics," excited me, as in my law office we have a big problem with documents coming out with different pagination on different printers -- and even on the same printer from different computers.

However, after following the instructions, much to my dismay, it made no difference whatsoever.

I have access to two printers, an HP4, which is my local printer, and a Konica, which is a networked printer. If I switch from the HP to the Konica, the last page of a 14 page Will is off by about 3 inches. This does not, as the article claims, "guarantees that one document will be printed the same on different printers, regardless of the make or model."

Any idea what Corel was talking about?

By the way, why don't you ever report on problems the various word processing programs present? Are you afraid of losing advertising revenue? If so, your publication is of very limited use.

For example, WordPerfect 9 printer drivers are a mess. We cannot get WP9 to use all the printer trays of our fancy new Konica networked printer, although Word seems to have no trouble in this regard.

It is impossible to get hold of anyone at Corel to discuss this matter. Even the Konica people apparently can't get satisfaction. This is the kind of thing that a law office should know about when selecting software programs.

Also, if publications such as yours would point out problems like this, perhaps Corel would get off its collective duff and fix their damn drivers. Thanks.

Joe Gilsoul
Weems, Schimpf, Hayter Gilsoul & Carmouche
Shrevport, La.

Monica Bay responds:

Just for the record: LTN editorial decisions are never influenced by potential reaction of advertisers. We do report on word processing problems. For example, see "Every Word Counts," (p. 12, Sept. '99), about Word/WordPerfect battles over pagination of court documents.

Don't hesitate to suggest topics you think LTN should cover! We welcome your suggestions.

We also forwarded your query to Corel Corp.

Ainley Marcinyk responds:

The feature to use the display metrics when working with files ensures that the document will not reformat when edited on a machine using a different make, model or version of a printer driver. An example of the feature is use would be the following:

User A is using a computer with an HP4 printer driver. He creates a file and gives it to user B to edit. User B's computer uses an HP5 printer driver. In the past, when B opened this file it would reformat to the printer metrics for the HP5 printer. When "Use display metrics" is used, this reformatting does not occur. The file can be edited and sent back to user A without having to deal with document reformatting.

Should user B decide to print the document to his HP5, then the formatting will change to match the metrics of the HP5 printer.

This feature was designed to allow the document to be created and then edited by a variety of different users with different printer drivers installed.

As in the example above, the formatting for the HP4 driver on Users A's computer would hold when the file was edited on different computers regardless of the default printers used on the different systems. When the document was ready to be printed it is still required to be outputted to the same printer and driver that the original document was formatted for, i.e., an HP4.

Because of the design of Windows 95 (and and all subsequent releases of Windows), application specific drivers are no longer required. As such, application vendors do not write driver code. Drivers have been strictly the domain of device manufacturers since Windows 95.


Re: Letters, Jan. 2000, and a request for information about Macintosh-compatible software that can produce documents on pleading paper.


I noticed your letter in Law Technology News. Check out Also, It lists pleading paper for Macs.

You can also find Mac legal software discussed at Randy Singer's Web site:

Rich Ancel
Associate Counsel
Colgate-Palmolive Co.
New York City

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