Windows – keep Windows from defaulting printers to A4 paper


There's an old joke that English will be the language of Heaven, because Americans won't learn foreign languages. Microsoft seems to have internalized this joke…

I am an American English speaker; I occasionally need to type in Russian, so I install the Russian Phonetic Student (aka "yasherty") keyboard and occasionally switch to it. As soon as I install it, all of my printers default to A4 paper instead of Letter. Since the two sizes are pretty close, it's usually not a problem – but labels (actually, anything with narrow margins) don't work properly, and various documents insist on being loaded into the manual-feed tray of whatever printer I happen to be using. (It took me a while to understand why that was happening – that was how I initially discovered that my paper size had changed.)

I can go to Properties for each installed printer, and in Preferences – Paper/Quality – Advanced I can set the Paper Size for each tray the printer supports. That fixes the problem. However, if I install another printer – or if PDFCreator updates itself – I have to do it again.

This happens in Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8 (I never installed an alternate keyboard before XP); it happens with the Russian Phonetic, Russian Standard, Russian Typewriter, and various French keyboard layouts. My Region and/or Locale settings (depending on the Windows version) have always been United States/English – but as soon as I indicate that I might speak another language, Windows apparently decides I'm European, and sets my paper size accordingly.

Best Answer

I do not know if this will solve your issue after keyboard changes. But I've been having to change printer properties every time I print, from A4 defaults, and finally think I have fixed it.

To change the printer defaults, you have to be in Control Panel, Devices and Printers. Right click and select -->Printing Preferences. Adjust the Paper size to Letter, then click the button -->Default. Click apply. The settings on the default printer seem to now have picked up on the other printers (Windows 10.)

(As a matter of reference, I am in Canada, not Europe, and A4 keeps showing up)