Excel Mac 2016: "Hairline" border not printed as hairline, but as dotted

When I use a hairline border on a cell (xlHairline), and export the spreadsheet as PDF (using "save as" or "print", makes no difference), it does not look like a hairline in the PDF, but like a weird dotted line.

I used VBA to create the borders, to make sure I really get what I want:

    Range("B2").Borders.LineStyle = XlLineStyle.xlContinuous

    Range("B2").Borders.Weight = XlBorderWeight.xlHairline

This is how the PDF looks when exported with Excel 2016 on Mac:

Here is how the PDF looks when exported with Excel 2010 on Windows:

Is there any workaround for this, so that I get a proper PDF on Mac?

|

* Please try a lower page number.

* Please enter only numbers.

* Please try a lower page number.

* Please enter only numbers.

You've gone to a great deal of trouble to control what Excel does in the file. Unfortunately, none of that controls what the printer driver does with the information it receives when you issue the Print command. All I can suggest is;

  1. Be sure to use the best print quality in the Print Settings,
  2. Check the mfr's web site to see if there may be a more current driver and/or firmware update for your model, &
  3. If nothing improves, use the Smiley @ the right end of the Ribbon to send a Frowny on the issue.
AI: Artificial Intelligence or Automated Idiocy???
Please mark Yes/No as to whether a Reply answers your question.

Regards,
Bob J.

Was this reply helpful?

Sorry this didn't help.

Great! Thanks for your feedback.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback.

1., 2.: I am using "save as"  -> "PDF". There is no printer driver involved, the PDF is created by Powerpoint.

3. Thanks, I have reported the issue (I had somehow missed the smiley feedback thing before).

Was this reply helpful?

Sorry this didn't help.

Great! Thanks for your feedback.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback.

Re #1: Yes, to control the print quality you do need to use the File> Print method supplied by OS X. However, generating a PDF, by definition, is a process handled by the printing subsystem... IMO, Microsoft stuck it in the Save As file types only because that's where they think users are most likely to look for it :-)

In all fairness, the PDF generator furnished by Apple & the one furnished by Microsoft are equally basic. At least the OS X generator allows taking advantage of the printing device options, though. For true quality control a dedicated PDF creator is the best bet, even if one doesn't want to spring for a full-featured professional product such as Adobe Acrobat. There are a number of other good ones out there, many of which are free.

AI: Artificial Intelligence or Automated Idiocy???
Please mark Yes/No as to whether a Reply answers your question.

Regards,
Bob J.

Was this reply helpful?

Sorry this didn't help.

Great! Thanks for your feedback.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback.

The PDF capabilities of OS X are actually pretty powerful, no comparison to the "fake printer" approach that PDF generators use on Windows. And except for generating the wrong line type in this case, Office 2016 makes good use of them. For example, you can drag & drop a PDF figure into Powerpoint, export as PDF, and the embedded PDF will be preserved as vector graphics including embedded fonts, etc. That is pretty awesome for embedding equations or figures, and something that is possible on no other platform.

Was this reply helpful?

Sorry this didn't help.

Great! Thanks for your feedback.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback.

I just Upgraded? from Office 2011 Mac to 2016. The gridlines and fine cell borders in 2011 were just fine. It seems to be an issue with 2016. I sure hope MS improves this soon. :(

Was this reply helpful?

Sorry this didn't help.

Great! Thanks for your feedback.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback.

The Proper method to use to get a Top quality PDF. Is follow Bob's Directions. Here is the way I would go about it. (Note: I am not substituting my words for Bob's answers which correct. I want You and Bob to understand that, I am just suggestion the method I use to Follow Bob's advice.)

First the method Apple uses was provided to Apple by Adobe at the time Adobe released the PDF specification as open source some 15-20 years or so.  And Apple still uses  that method, for its PDF creation Engine. Microsoft basically just used the same spec for Office Mac  as provided by Adobe. In other words, both Apple's and Microsoft's save as PDF uses the same adobe supplied Mac PDF creation engine which is close to 20-years old if not older.

On the PC side Microsoft and Adobe have a better relationship and the Adobe PDF engine is constantly updated. So that is the reason the PC Office version of save as PDF works far better, more seamlessly on PC.

Now that explanation is over here is method I use, that follows Bob's advice:

  1. Create original document in Word, Excel, PowerPoint.
  2. Save finished document in Original Format as a backup.
  3. Now go to File menu > Print.
  4. Click on PDF Button .
  5. Hold button down until Context menu pops up.
  6. From list Choose ADOBE PDF (this assumes you own or subscribe to Acrobat)
  7. Follow directions as they come up (I choose Hi quality)
  8. Then choose location to save and your done.

The reason I create a back up,  is that Adobe harps on the fact that Acrobat is not a word processing program nor really a decent editor. That  you can make minor corrections a letter or two left out, spelling. But if major changes are to be done you go back to original make changes and recreate a new PDF.  

_________

Disclaimer:

The questions, discussions, opinions, replies & answers I create, are solely mine and mine alone, and do not reflect upon my position as a Community Moderator.

If my reply has helped, mark accordingly - Helpful or Answer
Phillip M. Jones, C.E.T.

Was this reply helpful?

Sorry this didn't help.

Great! Thanks for your feedback.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback.

I have the exact same problem as you and suppose that many other users must have it, too.

Can you tell me how I can report the issue as well to make Microsoft realize that this is a very annoying bug?

Thx

2 people found this reply helpful

·

Was this reply helpful?

Sorry this didn't help.

Great! Thanks for your feedback.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback.

Phillip, unfortunately what you are writing is not helpful, and your statements about the OS X PDF engine are just wrong. Since all other applications on Mac can create perfect PDFs just fine using the OS X engine, this is clearly a bug in MS Office.

jowibi, click on the smilie symbol in the upper right corner of the window, and click "tell us what to improve". But I wouldn't hold my breath for MS to fix this bug.

2 people found this reply helpful

·

Was this reply helpful?

Sorry this didn't help.

Great! Thanks for your feedback.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback.

Maybe they already have fixed the bug. I don't see any information in this thread about the version updates of Office and Mac OS involved.

Make sure your Mac has a working internet connection before checking for updates. Install Mac OS X updates followed by Office updates.

 

Mac OS X updates:

To get Mac OS updates, go to the App store on your dock, and then click the Updates button to reveal available updates.

 

Office Updates

To get the update:

1. Open any Office application:

3. Make sure your Mac has a working internet connection

4. Go to the Help menu and choose Check for Updates

5. Let AutoUpdate check for and install updates

6. Restart your Mac

I am an unpaid volunteer and do not work for Microsoft. "Independent Advisors" work for contractors hired by Microsoft. "Microsoft Agents" work for Microsoft Support.

Was this reply helpful?

Sorry this didn't help.

Great! Thanks for your feedback.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback.

Same here since month. Newest Excel for Mac Update 15.32.0 does NOT solve this issue. Tried it with different printers and pdf. Always these ugly thick gridlines! Please Microsoft, solve this bug!

2 people found this reply helpful

·

Was this reply helpful?

Sorry this didn't help.

Great! Thanks for your feedback.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback.

* Please try a lower page number.

* Please enter only numbers.

* Please try a lower page number.

* Please enter only numbers.

 
 

Question Info


Last updated October 6, 2020 Views 2,383 Applies to: