How to Add Custom Page Size Support to Microsoft Print to PDF

Microsoft Print to PDF is a useful tool for exporting content to the Portable Document Format (PDF). It’s great for applications and programs that don’t have capability built-in. However, it also bypasses the Microsoft Word 200 Dots Per Inch/Pixels Per Inch (DPI/PPI) limit for bitmap images built into the program.

By default Microsoft Print to PDF will not print to custom page sizes on Windows 10 and Windows 11. This means the document may be distorted to fit on a standard page format such as Letter.

There’s a way to enable the functionality, but it requires:

  • Administrator privileges.
  • Modifying a configuration file.
  • Adding custom page templates for selection.

Change How Microsoft Print to PDF Behaves

To change the default behavior for Microsoft Print to PDF, you need to find the configuration file. Follow the next 11 steps to find and edit its contents.

  1. Open the Registry Editor.
  2. Replace the current path with [Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Print\Printers\Microsoft Print to PDF] and press Enter.
  3. Find the value of PrintQueueV4Driver. Note the name.
Sample view of the Registry with the entry selected.
Figure 1. Sample view of the Registry with the entry selected.
  1. Open File Explorer and replace the current path with [C:\Windows\System32\spool\V4Dirs\] and press Enter.
  2. Double-click on the directory matching the Registry entry identified from Step 3.
  3. Set permissions for the folder so you can save and modify files within.
  4. Make a copy of the files within.
  5. There should be two .gpd files within. Open with Notepad the one with a random character sequence that matches the .BUD file.
Sample view of Windows File Explorer focused on the specific configuration file to edit.
Figure 2. Sample view of Windows File Explorer focused on the specific configuration file to edit.
  1. Search for [*DefaultOption: LETTER] within the document.
  2. Insert the following content below the line above:
*Option: CUSTOMSIZE
{
*rcNameID: =USER_DEFINED_SIZE_DISPLAY
*MinSize: PAIR(936000, 1332000)
*MaxSize: PAIR(5346000, 7560000)
*MaxPrintableWidth: 5346000
}
  1. Save and close.
Sample view of the configuration file with the contents added and highlighted.
Figure 3. Sample view of the configuration file with the contents added and highlighted.

Create Custom Page Sizes

While Microsoft Print to PDF can now use custom page sizes, it doesn’t permit specifying the dimensions at print time. The custom page sizes must be specified prior to printing. There are two options available depending on which edition of Windows is used.

  • Print Server Properties. Available for both Home and Pro.
  • Print Management. Available for Pro.

Both are detailed below as the first one may be difficult to reach due to Windows 11 moving away from the Control Panel in favour of the Settings page. The How to Open “Devices and Printers in Windows 11 tutorial details several ways of reaching the Print Server Properties page.

Print Server Properties

  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. Change View by to Large Icons.
  3. Replace the current path with [Control Panel\Hardware and Sound\Devices and Printers] and press Enter. A new window will open.
Sample view of the Devices and Printers view with the Microsoft Print to PDF printer highlighted.
Figure 4. Sample view of the Devices and Printers view with the Microsoft Print to PDF printer highlighted.
  1. Click on Microsoft Print to PDF.
  2. Click on Print server properties in the toolbar. A new window will appear.
Sample view of the Print Server Properties with a new page defined.
Figure 7. Sample view of the Print Server Properties with a new page defined.
  1. Select an existing page template and Check Create a new form.
  2. Replace Form Name with a meaningful name.
  3. Adjust page dimensions, keeping margins at zero.
  4. Click on OK.

Print Management

  1. Open the Print Management application.
Sample view of the Print Management with expanded view showing a list of defined pages.
Figure 6. Sample view of the Print Management with expanded view showing a list of defined pages.
  1. Expand Print Servers, SERVER NAME (Local), and Click on Forms.
  2. Click on Action menu and Manage Forms. A new window will appear.
Sample view of the Print Server Properties with a new page defined.
Figure 5. Sample view of the Print Server Properties with a new page defined.
  1. Select an existing page template and Check Create a new form.
  2. Replace Form Name with a meaningful name.
  3. Adjust page dimensions, keeping margins at zero.
  4. Click on OK.

Testing the Changes

If everything works as expected you shouldbe able to select the appropriate page size to prevent distortion of the document(s).

  1. Print a document with custom page sizes to Microsoft Print to PDF printer.
  2. Click on Printer Properties. A new window will appear.
View of Printer Properties for Microsoft Print to PDF.
Figure 8. View of Printer Properties for Microsoft Print to PDF.
  1. Click on Advanced. A new window will appear.
Sample view of Advanced Options for Microsoft Print to PDF with an example custom page size selected
Figure 9. Sample view of Advanced Options for Microsoft Print to PDF with an example custom page size selected.
  1. Select the proper size from Paper Size.
  2. Click on OK.
  3. Print the document and confirm the file output.

That’s it!



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