IE7 and "shrink to fit" problems - emails printing very small - hotfix released
A hotfix has been released by Microsoft to the QFE branch (Quick Fix Engineering) that fixes the infamous "shrink to fit" issue that some customers are experiencing after they install IE7. Basically, when affected users try to print an email it is printed in extremely small font and is completely unreadable.
The hotfix is "by request" for the time being. I am unable to advise when it will be released for general distribution.
The associated Knowledgebase article, being KB 932538, is not live as at time of publication.
If you have been affected by the shrink to fit problem, you will need to contact Microsoft Customer Support Services to obtain the hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Support Services telephone numbers and information about support costs, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Note: In special cases, charges that are ordinarily incurred for support calls may be canceled if a Microsoft Support Professional determines that a specific update will resolve your problem. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for the specific update in question.
What is the QFE branch, why is this important, and why should I only install a hotfix if it is absolutely necessary?
There are two development environments at Microsoft, being General Distribution Releases (GDR) and Quick Fix Engineering (QFE).
QFE branch releases are cumulative hotfixes that have been issued by Microsoft Product Support Services to address specific customer issues. QFE releases do not get the same quality of testing as the GDR branch. Please keep this fact in mind when deciding whether you will install the QFE fix for the shrink to fit issue.
I don't want to install the Hotfix but need to fix the shrink to fit problem. What can I do until the fix hits general release?
lf your emails are causing a problem for recipients, have a close look at your email header or footer because that is often the cause of the problem. Now, I'm not sure I can explain this properly, but my understanding of what is often happening is that very long headers or footers, if incorrectly formatted, will not "wrap" properly, and IE's shrink to fit engine will try to shrink the resulting long, unbreakable, string of text enough to allow it to fit on to the page. The shrink to fit engine cannot selectively shrink some bits of text more than others, so if you have one line (that long header or footer) that is a problem, the *entire* print job will be shrunk by the same amount, leading to the tiny fonts that people see.
A point of interest is that such a failure of text to wrap to the page properly has been around for a long time; for example, newsgroup postings made using Outlook Express and Mime Quoted Printable formatting are notorious for failing to wrap properly in non-MS news readers. Xnews is a product that comes to mind - I have to enable the "Word Wrap" feature before newsgroup postings made using OE and MQP will wrap properly. I also see an occasional problem with emails when using my Webmail client (MailExpress).
If you are having problems with emails that are being received, forward them to youself (deleting any header or signature) and then print. If you can, view the message in plain text and print that way as well. A workaround that you can try if you need to preserve the original format, is print to PDF and then print the resulting PDF file - I'll admit, I have not tried that, but it occurs to me now that it just might work. If you do not have Adobe or NitroPDF that give you the ability to print to PDF, then there are many freeware PDFing products out there.
The email message header does not print when you try to print an email message by using either Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 or Microsoft Outlook Express - also related to Shrink to Fit