Check printing - How to format for 2 up on Legal size RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm trying to format a report that will print 2 checks on an 8-1/2 x 14 pre-printed form. The problem I'm running into is that Access won't let me set the margins below .166 inch top & bottom. As a result, the data on the 1st check is hitting the layout too low and the 2nd check too high. I can't adjust one without making the other worse.

    Is there any way to override those minimum margin settings?

    How do I do that?


    Darrell H Burns

    • Edited by DarrellDoesData Wednesday, April 17, 2019 9:08 PM Added screen shot
    Wednesday, April 17, 2019 7:36 PM

All replies

  • Hi Darrell. I could be wrong but I think those limits are based on the assigned (default?) printer to the report. Try selecting a specific printer, one that allows a lower margin, in the report's design. Some printers require a minimum margin because of how the rollers "grab" on to the paper to move it along for printing.
    Thursday, April 18, 2019 1:50 AM
  • Ok, just looking at your sample, you saying it prints the text too low, but you have quite a bit of room to move things up.

    So, I would move the controls up until they line up.

    In fact move them a bit ABOVE and then start to increase your top margin. I cannot stress doing this, since then you have a bit of leeway here if you need to change the printer – you find alinement will be different for each printer – so you want some wiggle room here.

    DO NOT put the margins to zero. You wind up really making things difficult.

    (And to save a pile of real checks), then use blank 8.5 x 14 and print on that, and then overlay it (place it) on top of an actual check, and then hold it up to the lights. That way you save checks during testing.

    Only when you get REALLY close do you start testing on the actual checks (you save a pile of good checks this way. And your trial error likely will take 15-30 tries – even more.

    As for the problem when you move things up, that the 2<sup>nd</sup> check is all messed up?

    A VERY cool trick is to consider your two checks as two labels on a label printer. Do NOT think of this as one detail section printing two times – you not be able except with “crazy” luck to get things to line up. It is VERY hard to control alinement this way. (It simply too hard – and when you move something to get it right, then the 2<sup>nd</sup> printing of the detail will not line up.

    Access reports have nice support for label printing.

    So, by thinking as this as two separate labels, you can move controls around, get the first part all lined up, and then have the system print the 2<sup>nd</sup> check as a second label. If the first one is lined up, then it becomes a matter of spacing for the BETWEEN the two to get the 2<sup>nd</sup> label to line up.

    So, once get the first one lined up then you are either increasing or decreasing the size of the label, or (better) are simply going to change the spacing between the two labels.

    So, reports can actually print a whole page of “Avery” labels, even with multiple columns of labels (say 3 across).

    So, once you have the FIRST label working, then REMOVE the extra space on the bottom part of the detail section. Your detail size should be a “bit” smaller than the actual label size that you going to set in the page setup.

    I am betting you have .25, maybe even .5 top and bottom margin room if you move the controls right up to the top of the detail section.

    You REALLY want to save a “tiny” bit of margin. Right now, you have some good space between your text boxes and the TOP of the report area. So, move controls up quite a bit, and increase the top margin to push things down. (but, as noted, try and leave a little bit of space of your top most controls and the top of the report (your screen shot right now shows quite a bit of space – so move things up a lot, but leave “some” space – just a small amount.

    The reason for above is if you ever have to change to a different printer, then you have left some leeway to work with (not all printers will print exact the same). So staying away from the “min” top margin gives you flexibility to use different printers.

    DO NOT try and use top/bottom margins as zero? (Don’t do this – simply cannot stress this concept).

    So think as this problem as two labels – and not some detail size that you mess with that you hope prints two times just right.

    You want to take a look at the page setup, and the columns settings. This one:

    So we have max length of 14 inches. And I bet we have likely .5 combined top/bottom margin space to work with. So, let’s start with say .3 for both top/bottom.

    14 - .3 x 2 = 13.4

    And 13.4/2 = 6.7

    So I would go with a label height of 6.5.

    That means the detail section size should be SLIGHT less than 6.5 total size (it can be the same, but a “tiny tiny” bit less is recommended.

    You column with? Well, 8.5, but you already have about .75 margin total – so what you have for left/right likely ok. (But again, try and stay away from the min.


    Albert D. Kallal (Access MVP 2003-2017)

    Edmonton, Alberta Canada

    Friday, April 19, 2019 5:18 PM
  • Thanks for taking the time, Albert. But I still can't get it to work. No matter how I finagle the page setup options, I'm still constrained by the margin limits. The example below is the best fit I can get with the 2nd check. If I extend the extend the vertical report detail section one more pixel, it moves the 2nd record to the next page. The column height setting has no effect. I can't find a way to push the 2nd record down without pushing it off the page entirely.

    Darrell H Burns

    Friday, April 19, 2019 10:36 PM
  • OK, I've tried everything. I created an 8-1/2 x 5.5 custom label which is essentially half of legal size, but I still can't get both checks to line up.

    If I set the Detail area to Keep Together, the 2nd check either gets pushed to the next page or it prints too high. If I set Keep Together to No, I can get a perfect line up, but then I get a 2nd page blank.<o:p></o:p>

    It seems like the best solution, in lieu of overriding the minimum margins, would be to set the paper size a little bigger, say 8-1/2 x 15, so both checks would fit within the margins but I can’t find a way to do that.<o:p></o:p>

    Another solution would be to set Keep Together to No, and have Access ignore the blank page that follows. But again I don’t know a way of doing that.<o:p></o:p>

    Any other suggestions?<o:p></o:p>

    Darrell H Burns

    Saturday, April 20, 2019 6:42 PM
  • Darrell - You might find that your printer simply can't handle this task due to margin limitations.

    Since this is a pre-printed sheet, I would suggest you contact the manufacturer to see if they have a printer driver for your printer. 

    Bill Mosca

    Monday, April 22, 2019 7:31 PM
  • You got the top check printing correctly.

    And as I noted, you likely have up to .4 for that top margin. (As I stated do NOT set it to the min – give yourself some leeway).

    And as I stated, you want the detail section size to be SLIGHT smaller than the label size you use (if you don’t, then you wind up kicking out extra pages).

    With the one label lining up, you can now start to setup the 2<sup>nd</sup> label size. It is perhaps possible you don’t have enough room for the 2<sup>nd</sup> check on the page – but we not 100% (yet) that this is the case.

    Another trick you can try?

    FIX the detail size of the report detail section to the FULL size and length of the two checks.

    Then copy the check report. Turn off heading, and page sections.

    Now, with the large empty detail section, you drop in the check as a sub form (two times). You now can move the two checks around independent of each other. For this “testing” you note that the same check prints two times – but we can add a “next” in the report to fix that issue.

    And no, group by, keep together likely not going to help here.

    So, you could try the report + sub-report trick.

    Another test I would consider?

    And you could try building the report to ONLY print the 2<sup>nd</sup> check. See if you can line it up, and see if you can print this without an extra page being kicked out.

    So, your “test” print code will ONLY send one check out for this testing. If you can get the 2<sup>nd</sup> only check lined up, and print without an extra (blank) page being kicked out, then we KNOW you have sufficient margin room to achieve two checks per page.

    So, it may well be you don’t have enough room for the 2<sup>nd</sup> check and you are running out of margin on the bottom part (if that occurs, then the page will be kicked out before you finished printing). However, this has not really been determined. So, for starters:

    If you can get a working check that prints ONLY the top check – get that working.

    And now, copy that, and see if you can get a 2<sup>nd</sup> (bottom check) to print. And ONLY work on the bottom one. If you can get the bottom test working then the two can be combined. And perhaps worst case is you do two print runs - one for the top, and then again for the bottom.

    However, if you can get the bottom check printing in the correct location (you are testing sending only ONE check to the printer). If you can get that bottom check printing (without ejecting a extra page), then you have sufficient margins and ability to get two printing out.

    So, maybe you ARE running off the bottom and running out of room – but it not clear that this is the case.

    So, with a layout, can you print ONLY the bottom check? (assume one check per page in this testing).


    Albert D. Kallal (Access MVP 2003-2017)

    Edmonton, Alberta Canada

    Tuesday, April 23, 2019 12:41 AM
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    • Edited by kpabsu Monday, August 19, 2019 12:59 PM
    Monday, August 19, 2019 12:57 PM
  • kpabsu - Thanks for your input. I have strong reservations over printing your own checks from scratch. Checks require special anti-fraud paper and magnetic ink for printing the route and account numbers at the bottom of the check. Trying to duplicate the printing process using a regular printer will probably prove futile. If it were that easy there would be a flood of counterfeit checks in the ACH system. 

    But I do have to temper my statements with the fact that I've been out of the banking industry for 18 years and things might have changed greatly. Every company I've worked with has had their check paper stock printed by a third party licensed to do so. Printing the stuff like the payee, the amount and the signature(s) is done inhouse.

    The original poster is having margin and print range issues which involve the printer and the driver. That means he has the stock and needs to work with that.

    Bill Mosca

    Monday, August 19, 2019 3:37 PM
  • Have you tried increasing the Row Spacing slightly from zero in the columns tab of the page set up dialogue?  This should retain the position of the data printed in upper label, but move that in the lower label down.  So, you would need to set dimension to the exact vertical offset which you are currently getting in the lower label as shown in the image you posted.

    PS:  You might also have to reduce the height of the detail section commensurately with the increase in the row spacing to prevent the lower label intruding into the bottom margin.  This would mean the row spacing would need to be greater then the current vertical offset of course.  From your image it looks as though you have some free play for this.

    Ken Sheridan, Stafford, England

    Tuesday, August 20, 2019 10:48 PM