Common Publisher Issues


When I first started using Publisher, I realized very quickly that my use of certain terms varied from Microsoft’s use of those same words. The difference became most pronounced when I wanted to print my publication. As I talked to more people, I found out that printing issues are among the most common ones reported that are associated with Microsoft Publisher.

For example, do you know the distinction between a page, a sheet, and a copy? I didn’t. In Publisher, a sheet size equates to the actual size of the piece of paper that you are printing. This could be an envelope, letter paper, legal paper, or even larger to print a catalog or banner.

One page that shows on your screen in Publisher can be any size, depending on what you have created. It is whatever size your publication is. If you are making a postcard, the page size would just show one postcard. But, two postcards could print on one 8 x 11 paper. So, multiple pages could print on one sheet of paper.

When you are ready to print in Publisher, you will need to choose the number of copies. Let’s go back to the postcard example. If you have two postcards that print on one sheet of paper, then your number of copies would say 2. This doesn’t mean two pieces of paper will come out of your printer. It lets you know that two of your postcards will print, which indicates that one sheet of paper with two postcards on it will be created.

This concept is especially confusing when creating labels. I created some basic Avery labels (the most common type is 5160 Avery for addresses). When I went to the File tab and chose Print, it showed 1 page to print, multiple copies per sheet, and 30 copies of each page. See Figure 1. These default print settings would print 30 of the same label on one sheet of paper. It would print 1 sheet total. If this was my first time to print and I only wanted one sheet of labels, I might be mistakenly tempted to change the 30 copies to 1. That change would only print one label and not a sheet with 30 labels.

Publisher Default print screenshot

If you want to print labels that are not all the same, you would add 29 more pages for a sheet of 30 (or however many you needed). To do this, go to the Insert tab and click the down arrow on the Pages button. Choose the Insert Page button. To add 29 more labels (that you can fill in with different mailing addresses), type in 29 in the number of pages box and select the circle next to “Duplicate all objects on page”. See Figure 2.

Insert page dialog box screenshot

You could type in the other addresses or use mail merge to add them from a database or list. I typed in a pretend address in the first couple of labels just for our example. Now, when you go to print the labels that are not all the same on one sheet, you would get the results in Figure 3.

Publisher different labels one shhet screenshot

Publisher would print one full sheet of each label, giving you a total of 30 pieces of paper. If you want one sheet of labels that includes one of each of your labels (or as Publisher calls them “pages”), then adjust the “Pages:” drop-down item from “Multiple copies per sheet” to “Multiple pages per sheet”. That way, it will print one of each label and will put 30 of them on one sheet of paper. See Figure 4 for a screenshot of the drop-down list that you should change. Notice that after making the change, you will have 1 out of 1 sheet at the bottom of your print preview area instead of 1 out of 30.

One sheet print dialog box screenshot

I hope this discussion of terminology helps make printing easier for you in Publisher!

Image credit:

Angela Nino - Versitas Editor

2 responses to “Common Publisher Issues”

  1. […] pretty easy. However, if you encounter issues with printing labels or business cards, refer to this post for hints and tips[…]

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