the section width is greater than the page width

Question

• I have a report that contains many fields on it. For this reason, I have to use the legal size paper to print out all fields. I get the message popping up saying, "the section width is greater than the page width and there are no items in the additional space, so some pages may be blank". It sounds simple enough; however, when I try to move fields to the left of the report and get rid of those empty spaces, I still get this message and it keeps printing out the blank pages. Image I have like 50 pages printing out with the even pages are blank.

Can you help me to eliminate this problem? Thank you.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 9:20 PM

• How much if the non blank page is red?  Use a ruler to get a fairly good estimate of what is going where.  I think there are two possibilites:

1)  The non blank page has a little less than 8 inches of red and the blank page a little less than 6 inches.  This would indicate that Access thinks the paper width is 8 1/2 inches so something is overriding your setting of 14 inches.  Possible reasons is that your printer driver and/or the printer itself can not deal with legal landscape.  Another possibility is that something (Access bug, printer or driver) is munging the right margin to somwhere around 6 inches.

2)  The non blank page red area is about 13 inches wide and be blank page has some red.  It could be any amount of red from a thin red line at the left edge up to most of the blank page.  This would indicate that the report width is something greater than the paper size less margins.

When talking about margins, it is very important to know that each printer requires a different set of minumum margins.  Some printers can deal with a margin close to zero and others require up to 3/4 of an inch on one edge or anther.  The minimum margins can be different for each of the four sides of the paper (there is no standard!).  It is easy to find out what the minimum margins are for your printer by using the page setup and setting each margin to 0.  Access will then change the 0 to the smallest margin your printer or its driver will allow.

• Proposed as answer by Thursday, February 02, 2012 6:57 AM
• Marked as answer by Tuesday, February 07, 2012 5:38 AM
Friday, January 27, 2012 3:25 PM

All replies

• You need to ensure that the width of the report plus the width of the margins is less than or equal to the width of the paper.

If you cannot move the right-hand edge of the report to make it narrower even if you don't see any controls in it, you may have a line going the width of the page. Look for it, and decrease its width to decrease the width of the report.

Doug Steele, Microsoft Access MVP
Co-author Access Solutions — Tips, Tricks, and Secrets from Microsoft Access MVPs (ISBN 978-0-470-59168-0)
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 9:54 PM
• What ever the size of the paper or orientation you need to keep in mind the margin on both sides. Then if you cannot reduce the width of the report to a tiny bit less then the actual print area because of something you are having trouble seeing. My suggest is open the report a little bit wider so you have some room then using the mouse select from the top to the bottom of the report from the little extra room you made till where the report is supposed to end and see what gets highlighted and make the necessary adjustment. You might also need to do this on headers and footer.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 9:55 PM
• The blank space the message is talking about is over by the right edge of the section.  This is easy to fix by dragging the right edge of the report's white design space to the left.  If you drag it too far, Access will conveniently reposition it to the right edge of the rightmost control.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 9:58 PM
• In agreement with the above,

Standard margins are preset to .25 Left and Right, totaling .5". Make sure your section width is 7.5 or less for legal and letter size paper.

Chris Ward
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 10:46 PM
• Thank you All for responses. Sorry I forgot to tell you that the orientation is landscape and the total width of the report plus the width of the margins are 13 + 0.2 left margin + 0.2 right margin = 13.4. The legal size of the paper is 8.5x14. Thus, it's should be OK.

I think the culprit is the subreport that is put inside the Detail section of the main report. This subreport has three fields, ex, class1, class2, class3 that need to show along with the same student info. Probably it expands in a way that makes the margin greater than the page size. I tried to modify the subreport's properties such as Auto Resize=No, Fit to Page=Yes, BorderStyle=None, Can Grow=Yes, Can Shrink=Yes.  Still doesn't work. :(. Help!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 4:48 PM
• A subreport can not cause that because they do not "grow" horizontally.  Can Grow and CanShrink only apply to vertical size and your other attempts have no effect on a subreport.

Double check the width of the main report again.  If that's ok, make sure that your settings for the paper size and orientation really are set the way you want.

One test that may help illuminate the issue is to set the BackColor of a section (detail) to red and see if it shows up on the blank pages.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 5:35 PM
• If the paper size is 8.5 x 14 and the orientation is landscape with .2 margins on each side that means you should have 13.6.  It looks like the minimum margin is .25 in 2010 that means you have 13.5. The way to fix the subreport is the same methods mentioned above. Make sure no object extends beyond the printable part of the page. I do not think properties are your problem.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012 5:35 PM
• Double check the width of the main report again.  If that's ok, make sure that your settings for the paper size and orientation really are set the way you want.

Really look at Marshall's suggestion here.
Chris Ward
Wednesday, January 25, 2012 5:40 PM
• Thank you, All, for your quick responses. Marshall has a good idea for set the BackColor of the section to red. I did do the Page Setup tab -> Page Setup (in Page Layout group) -> Page tab -> Select Landscape -> Size Legal.

I also did set the BackColor of the section to red. And yes,  the red color does occupy 2/3 of the blank page! I still suspect the subreport is the cause. For example, a student has three classes. By insert the subreport with three classes in to the detail section of the main report;  instead of showing all three lines of student info, it shows only one line of student info (name/studId...) and three lines for three classes (from subreport).  Is this the problem?

There is another thing. I insert a text field (control source = 1)  that will automatically fill in numbers in order of 1, 2, 3, and so on to count how many records (or students).   I add a Student footer and all fields (including the count above) are moved to here instead of the Detail section. Is this the problem? I am confused! Thank you for your help.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 9:00 PM
• A quick test for whether the subreport has anything to do with it is to delete it (just don't save the report so it won't be deleted for good) and then try it.  If the error persists, it is not the subreport.  If it goes away, then you can look to the subreport.
Bob Larson, Access MVP 2008-2010, 2011
Wednesday, January 25, 2012 9:18 PM
• How much if the non blank page is red?  Use a ruler to get a fairly good estimate of what is going where.  I think there are two possibilites:

1)  The non blank page has a little less than 8 inches of red and the blank page a little less than 6 inches.  This would indicate that Access thinks the paper width is 8 1/2 inches so something is overriding your setting of 14 inches.  Possible reasons is that your printer driver and/or the printer itself can not deal with legal landscape.  Another possibility is that something (Access bug, printer or driver) is munging the right margin to somwhere around 6 inches.

2)  The non blank page red area is about 13 inches wide and be blank page has some red.  It could be any amount of red from a thin red line at the left edge up to most of the blank page.  This would indicate that the report width is something greater than the paper size less margins.

When talking about margins, it is very important to know that each printer requires a different set of minumum margins.  Some printers can deal with a margin close to zero and others require up to 3/4 of an inch on one edge or anther.  The minimum margins can be different for each of the four sides of the paper (there is no standard!).  It is easy to find out what the minimum margins are for your printer by using the page setup and setting each margin to 0.  Access will then change the 0 to the smallest margin your printer or its driver will allow.

• Proposed as answer by Thursday, February 02, 2012 6:57 AM
• Marked as answer by Tuesday, February 07, 2012 5:38 AM
Friday, January 27, 2012 3:25 PM
• Thank you for your help. I think I have to try this: Create a new empty report and add all those fields and a subreport to see if it works.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012 7:38 PM
• Don't forget to check the Report Design Tools > Page Setup > Page Layout > Page Setup > Columns Column Size.  I spent weeks trying to solve the problem before I checked this (since I am not consciously using columns).  Checking the Same as Detail box resolved my problem.

eicherj - 04/30/2015

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 6:22 PM
• [SOLVED] This was happening to me although the total space occupied by fields was much less than the page width in a landscape orientation (which was previously portrait and I changed it to landscape), but still I was getting the error "The section width is greater than the page width".

I just viewed the report in Layout view and meanwhile I saved the report, the error disappeared.

Seems like Access was not updating changes to the page-orientation settings in the report design view and updated it only in Layout view.

HTH

• Edited by Thursday, February 19, 2015 10:13 AM
Thursday, February 19, 2015 10:06 AM