OS X Leopard vs HP Print Drivers

I’ve finally broken down and finally updated my Powerbook to one of the new snazzy milled aluminum MacBooks. After finally getting the print drivers installed for my HP Color LaserJet 2605dn, I got a little project that required me to print 1/4 sheets. I’ve done this many times before, but honestly – since the printing functionality on my Tiger install was non-functional for so long, it had been quite some time since I had done it last.

After getting my layout ready to print – I needed to create a Custom Paper size in Print Setup to accomplish this.  When I initially started, I defined a custom paper size of 5.5″ wide x 4.25″ tall in Print Setup. Little did I know this would be the source of my grief three hours later. After numerous failed prints, and lots of tweaks to the print settings which did nothing. I noticed that Source paper size which was my custom size was differing from Paper Handling size (which wanted US Letter, and didn’t show my custom size as an option).  After much trial and error (and Googling) I discovered the problem; the dimensions of my custom paper size had to be entered as if it were being used in a portrait layout (4.25″ wide x 5.5″ tall).

The annoying thing about this whole ordeal is that the driver should have been smart enough to just rotate the paper size and just deal with it. So is this a feature or a bug? Dunno – who’s to blame? Apple for not having a hinting mechanism when defining custom paper sizes? HP for not making their driver be able to figure this out?  I wonder if anyone else has this issue with other printers?

Moral of the story? Always define paper sizes in portrait!

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