Question:

I have a Hewlett-Packard computer system with Windows XP Home and a HP Photosmart 7660 printer that keeps cutting the top off my prints. Whenever I try to print pictures, the top of the image will run off the page. I have tried rotating the image and moving it into a photo program, but nothing seems to work. I tried talking to the HP help people, but I had a very difficult time understanding their accents, so I received no help there. Some computer-savvy friends of mine were unable to help, either.

- Don Baltimore,
Meridianville, Ala.

Answer:

You are among way too many folks who didn't get told clearly enough by the displays from the HP printer and Windows XP that you need to implement a "fit to page" setting if the image file's actual pixels (also called resolution) make it larger than whatever print size you might pick.

You can either print an image from the Windows Fax and Photo Viewer, which by default displays all pictures when they are first clicked, or you can use some specific program, such as Photoshop. The confusion stems from the fact that no matter which photo-tweaking program you use, that program must access the Windows XP printing software, as well as the printer's software, to make the actual print. Among the things that can go wrong is that the photo software will have one page-size setting and the Windows routine will have another.

With HP's Photosmart line of multipurpose printer/scanner machines, the Windows printing wizard comes up with a radio button to select "Scale to paper size" under a tab called Features. To catch the next spot where the problem arises, be sure to check the Show Preview box in that same Features menu. In the next display, the Windows printing wizard will appear and you will see a couple of icons to click to get a preview of how the actual print will look, either in fax or photo layout. Pick the smallest one of these to head off the cropper.

When this problem arises, in almost every case, you should use the "fit image to page" option rather than trying to specify a given size, such as 8-by-10 inches, 5-by-7, etc. Second, always look for the option to present a preview before actually printing. Even though both of the previews look OK, when the cropping problem sets in, it can be avoided by selecting the smaller of the two options.

Expunging those annoying messages

Q:

I have Windows XP and Adobe Reader 7.0, and when I start up, every time, I get a message on Adobe Reader that a file called MSI11.tmp cannot be read by Adobe. My problem is, I can't get rid of this message. I've deleted old e-mails and searched my computer for the file. It doesn't show up under search. How do I get rid of this annoying message?

- Sylvia Shumway,
aol.com

A:

It is no wonder you cannot find that pesky MSI (it stands for Microsoft Installation) file, since Adobe Reader cannot find it either. This probably means that the file was supposed to have been used during the installation of Adobe's PDF reading software and then removed (tmp means temporary). So your fastest fix is to remove the current Adobe Reader software from your computer and then go to Adobe's Web site and download a fresh version of this program, which acts as a plug-in to various Web browsers to display those PDF (Portable Document Format) files.

Click on Start and Control Panel and then select Add or Remove Programs in the list that appears. Now look for the Adobe Reader item and click the Remove button.

Fire up your Web browser, go to www.adobe.com and follow the prompts to download and install the latest version of the software. This should create, run and then remove the MSI file in question.

Got a question on personal technology? Send a note to Jim Coates at askjimcoates@gmail.com. Questions can be answered only through this column, which originates in the Chicago Tribune.