Objects with background shift when printing?

Microsoft Publisher 2013...

1. Right click on any image...  click "Apply to Background"

  • I chose "Tile" in the example images, but "Fill" causes the same issue.

2. Insert shapes and/or text boxes in precise spots where you want them.

  • In the example I put two yellow arrows with their points touching the tips of two thin rock formations.
  • I also added two text boxes touching either side of the border between the tiled background images.

3. Go to "File" ... "Print"

  • Notice that all shapes and text boxes have shifted down and to the right in relation to the background image.
  • Maybe the objects are still in the exact same location on the page, but the background has shifted up and to the left.
  • Either way, this is not very helpful when trying to be precise.

I hoped it was only a glitch in the print preview screen, but the problem stays on the actual printed publication.

But if you go back to the regular screen for editing the publication, everything is still where you put it.

Is anyone else able to replicate this problem?

Does anyone know how it could be fixed?

Below is a before image followed by an after image...


Thank you DavidF for your suggestions; however, the print preview screen does not appear to be reducing or scaling down the background image at all.

Instead, what appears to be happening are two things:

  1. The background image appears to be realigned to be flush with the TOP & RIGHT edges of the printable area.
    • So I think it is the background that is shifting, rather than the objects.
  2. When the background shifts, the BOTTOM & LEFT edges of the printable area crop off part of the image (but the image stays the same size).
    • In the examples I posted, there is a distant hill/mountain on the far left edge of the horizon.
      • Notice that in the print preview, this has been cropped off.

Unfortunately I don't have a way to test you're idea to change the print area settings because I don't have a fancy enough printer to allow full bleed.  Interestingly, if printing to Microsoft XPS Document Writer, the print area margins disappear making the image flush with the edge of the page, but the objects and/or background still shift.

I'm really not worried with printing to the edge, but I am more concerned with being able to place objects in relation to precise areas on the background.  I know that I could just insert the image and stretch the dimensions to fill the page, but working with objects on top of a full page image can be a hassle juggling the layers, and your page guidelines get hidden behind the image.

My original intent was to use a scanned image of a very complex form as a background to easily add notes, arrows, etc. around the form.  I gave up doing this with Adobe Acrobat XI Standard because it is extremely restrictive on how you add and manipulate text & objects.  Publisher just gives me so much more freedom to do what I want.

Maybe this is a bug that Microsoft can fix in future editions of Publisher.

I don't think I totally agree as the print preview shows a blank margin around the entire picture. The Publisher page has the picture extending full width of 8.5 inches and 11 inches length. You are right though that how the picture is scaled, cropped or shifted can be interpreted in different ways. I am looking at a small version of the image here so I can't tell what is cropped etc but it is shifted because of the maximum printable area for your printer.

I think you misunderstood what I was trying to say about the maximum print area. Most printers have a maximum print area and you need to work within that limitation if you cannot print borderless. Note on the sample Canon printer the maximum width is 8.18 inches and 10.68" height. If I use a 8.5X11 picture on the Publisher page this printer will either scale that picture to 8.18X10.68 or it will crop it. I believe you printer is doing the same thing to adjust that image according to the maximum print area for your printer and that is what is causing the shift of the image.

You also must realize that background images are generally small images as small as 15X15 pixels patterns that can be tiled and repeated to cover the page and show as a uniform pattern in the background without the noticeable shift you get from using such a large image. The shifting you are getting is normal when you use such a large image as a background. It scales it to fit the full page when working within Publisher and then rescales it to fit the printable area when you try to print the page. That is going to result in a shift in alignment in relationship to the design objects on the page.

I think your only workaround if you do not want any shifting is to stick the image on the Master Page or as I suggested earlier on the main page but sent to the back. Further you must make the picture box no bigger than the printable area for your printer, or just make one that is 8X10 and center it.

I don't know why you would want to use the current picture and tile it but if that is really what you want then go ahead and create your tiled background image on a blank page. Do as Save As a Picture to your hard drive...I like PNG format. You can close and not save that Pub file. Now you can remove the background from your original Pub file, insert that custom image you just made into a 8X10 picture box on the main page and send to the back or install it on the master page. Yes it covers the guide lines but it won't shift when you get ready to print.

Another alternative is to insert the current picture in a picture box and make sure the box is no wider than the printable area for your printer. Center it horizontally and arrange it vertically where you want it on the page, and then insert a solid color for the background which will fill the rest of the page. Choose a color that compliments the picture. Now you will get to see the picture you like but not the strange tiled version. Just an idea.

Good luck.


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Last updated January 9, 2021 Views 2,115 Applies to: