/ BLOG / Print margins off in Outlook 2003, when using a custom font

We had a bit of a weird one come in today. A customer, using a specific custom font, had found that HTML emails using this font would have the right hand side of the text missing, effectively cutting off part of the email, when printed. Forwarding the email to yourself would fix the issue, since a forwarded email is indented I pretty quickly figured it was down to margins.

Now I was aware before this that the IE engine was used to print documents from Outlook, but what I wasn’t aware of was that the print/page settings in IE affect the print also. Turns out that the File > Page Settings, Margins need to match the ones in Outlook to reliably get everything output right (in some cases). If it’s not already been set IE will default to using 0.75 inches, which in the UK comes out at 19.05 mm, where as Outlook appears to default to 130mm (its actually measured in cm in the GUI oddly - nothing like consistency gents!).

Glad as I was that this resolved the issue for them, I wasn’t happy about the prospect of telling the users to manually change these settings. I’m very much a believer that users should use the system, and not be bothered about stupid things like this (plus I like playing sysadmin god and making stuff just happen, then telling the users it’s “just magic”). Thankfully the settings are sensibly stored in the registry (and rather handily documented in KB236777), meaning that it was possible for us to distribute the fixed settings to our client’s users via a quick registry import in the logon script (I chose to use HKCU, rather than HKLM for various reasons, but it is possible to apply per computer rather than per user). It would’ve been very much possible to also take care of this by creating an ADM(x) file and distributing it via GPO, however I chose to do it via the logon script for 2 reasons;

  1. Someone looking at the script in question can see my reference, in a comment, to the call ID
  2. It was just much quicker using a reg import \path\to\file.reg