Page size default

• Jul 19, 2011 - 03:20

One thing about MS that's always irked me is the default page size of A4 (and some other defaults). I know that most of the development is centered in Europe where A4 is the paper size of choice, but taking the download numbers into consideration the majority of users are in North America where the paper size is Letter. Yes, it''s not difficult to change it, but I find that I factory reset so much (for testing) that I don't remember to check/change the settings. I would like to propose several solutions to this:

1. A wizard that would run whenever the settings INI file is missing (new install, factory reset, deleted by user). This would ask for some of the basic program settings such as what default windows to show (play panel, navigator), and the page options. Any others?

2. Find the installed system language for the OS, and from a table look up the standard page size for that language. This of course would be limited to the languages available to MS, and would definitely be easily wrong.


2. will not work. Letter is standard in United states but not in the UK for example. It's quite in use in Mexico but not in Spain. So language is not good enough to discriminate unfortunatly...

In reply to by Nicolas

Regarding #2, maybe the installation language was not the correct element to look for. When you install virtually any contemporary OS, you are asked to specify your country so that the monetary & numeric defaults and time zones are correct. A lookup table of your country linked to a proper page size, with a fall-back to a default page size, might work.

You are of course correct that English would not work as I suspect people use it as their default even in non-English countries and this would screw up the algorithm.

While an automatic detect/set method would be nice, a simple setup wizard might still be the best approach.

In reply to by John Sprung

While it is certainly not a critical element by any means, I do a lot of build testing (when I can) and end up doing factory resets more than I care to, just to see if that solves issues. When you do, this setting is gone. I doubt many people need to change virtually any setting in the preferences, which is why I listed the ones that I run into the most.

The only benefit is that A4 is slightly narrowed than Letter so you get a bit more page real estate to work with when you switch.

Associating the page size with mains AC is impossible (as you can't detect it), and would still not be accurate enough. Using some type of table lookup to set the size default, then asking the user to verify/change the setting, would be the way to go.

In reply to by schepers

Why not just have a batch file / script to save off your INI file then delete it (instead of using the built in reset), then another batch file / script to reinstall the saved INI fil?

While I agree it would be best to set defaults from the locale setting, that may or may not be easy in a cross-platform build. Given that this is only really an issue for people living on the bleeding edge, seems running an separate utility to revert and then restore settings would not be unreasonable to ask. And that is hardly the only setting I'd be wanting to restore. I've got a whole slew of custom keyboard shortcuts and other tweaks.

EDIT: another possibility is to have the install utility ask for these basic settings and have them stored somewhere as the defaults to sue for revert operations.

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.