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Ask Max: How can I print a TextEdit document to a full page?

Asked on 04/21/2009:

This one is so simple; I once knew the answer but cannot connect with it.

I type a document in TextEdit and then print - comes out very small - how do you get to the zoom feature to get it up to a full page size.

I love my iMac but it will be several years before I master it, maybe quite a few.




I love TextEdit because it is basically what the word processor once was, but understand it is not MS Word or Pages. It's simple. Bare bones. Although the newer versions of TextEdit (OS X 10.8 +) feel much more like a word processor than the earlier ones.

One of the reasons it's printing smaller is because your Mac is trying to give you a WYSIWYG experience. It's trying to print the way it's shown on your screen, which is likely a smaller width than a letter-sized page. To remedy this, it's essential that you select "Wrap to page" from the Format menu. You also want to ensure that the page scale is set to 100% in File > Page Setup. As you go to print, the first window should show you a preview of what the document will look like printed.

If it's still not right, another possibility is to increase the text size. You can achieve larger type in a few ways. If you have a fairly recent version of TextEdit, you'll see the format bar across the top. Highlight the text and choose a larger font. A shortcut to this is to highlight the text and use the [command] and [+] keys on your Apple computer to increase the font size incrementally. 

To get a more word-processor feel on an older version, you will need to go to TextEdit's preferences. Under the New Document tab in the Format section, select "Rich text" as well as "Wrap to page." Additionally, in the options section you can choose to "Show ruler," for that true word-processor feel. Open a new window and copy your text into that new window. Then just start adjusting your text size with the key combination above or the Font pop-out menu found in the Format menu.


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