Microsoft Publisher 2003 got locked into CMYK printing option

7 06 2011

I have designed and print my own personal organiser inserts from Microsoft Publisher. It includes information like Week Number, Day Number, Days to year end, etc etc and is set up as a mail-merge driven with an Excel spreadsheet in which I change 1 cell each year to update it.

A week into June I went to print the next two months, but after setting up the page-ranges in the Print Merge… menu, Publisher reported as shown below. It says, “Publisher cannot print CMYK composite… ”

Publisher error message

Now when you try to follow the suggested fixes, looking for Advanced Print Options, there seems to be no place to go to either turn off any CMYK options or to adjust the Postscript options, which are the other suggestion.

The secret is that the option you need to turn off is only available through the Print dialog when you are not printing the output of a mail merge. So to fix the problem;

  • quit the current document
  • restart Publisher and get a single blank page
  • Select menu File>Print and in the bottom left hand corner of this dialog is an Advanced Print Settings button
  • Click this and on the Separations tab clear the “Print Composite CMYK by default” check box
  • I also chose the sRGB option in the drop-down box
  • Click Cancel to close the Print Dialog

You can now re-open your original mail-merge document and you’ll find that you can do the Print Merge without any problems.

Incidentally, the way this option got turned on was when I had prepared a print-ready Acrobat file for a local print shop.

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J102 Census Team; stand down

19 05 2011

Like deputy sheriffs we’ve had our badges forcefully removed. My trusty holster which carried my bar-code reader into every QT gunfight hangs mournfully on the study door. My trusty steed languishes on the driveway awaiting a good scrub-down and possibly a service. Thrashed as the posse raced into the wilderness of Conniburrow, its joints are creaking.

The OK-Saloon @ Willen has been our watering-hole. A barista who knows her business; double-espressos, the whisky of the cow-hand. Saddle-sore we’ve consoled each other and spoken sanity into our statistics-fuddled brains. Unable to chew the filthy weed, we’ve chewed the cud until forced to spit out HC1’s. The local jailer was unwilling to provide evidence of any prisoners. Some say they’re so hungry they ate their I1s.

I’m told the sheriff roams Aylesbury Vale bareback. Who knows? She mysteriously appears in one of three states (AV, MK, SO) without seeming to spend any time on the trail. She too frequents coffee-bars but is strangely drawn to dusty town centres. Neither the fields of Willen nor the field of Netherfield attract her. She’s horse-whipped her deputies into a counting team, and against the odds they’ve counted. Now we count for nothing as we return to the prairie. Where will our next bonanza be? The gold rush is over. At the time it made perfect sense, sense to us; a census. (click on photo for full-size)

J102 MK disbands

The Sheriff and her MK deputies step down





Nikon Coolpix S210 – “Lens Error”

12 10 2010

A friend who has a Nikon Coolpix S210 asked me to try to fix the Lens Error problem for her. This is where the lens makes a whirring sound when turned on, but doesn’t emerge. The LCD shows an error message. I read several forums including http://photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/ without success. The lens would only emerge a couple of mm and there was no way I could get a grip on the barrel, or prise it out with a blade. I first made sure I had fully-charged batteries inserted as weak batteries can have this effect (thanks for the reminder cns949). I tried applying suction with a Dyson, but this didn’t work either. Tapping it on my palm had no effect. Then I decided to slip a scalpel under the lens cover and firmly pull on the lens mechanism as I turned it on. To my surprise the lens rotated slightly and came fully out. I have taken several pictures and turned it on and off and it is still working a few hours later.

Picture showing scalpel under the lens cover

Nikon Coolpix with blade inserted

It would appear that this is a very common problem with the Nikon Coolpix range and from reading various forums, many people have been very disappointed, with a Lens Error fault within hours of taking it out of the box. Some people with less patience than me have thrown their Coolpix on the floor in exasperation. This does not usually fix the problem.

This is about as physical as I would get with such a small, delicate piece of equipment. Repairing with an authorised agent will cost about the same as the price of a new replacement. I would say, if you’re nervous, don’t buy one.





A step up

7 08 2010

Having lived in our house for three years I thought it was about time I replaced the two bags of cement that formed the step down from utility room  into our garage. Timber left over from our kitchen diner conversion had been lying around for ages, and some of it very substantial mahogany from around the old dining-room patio windows.

Picture of steps from utility room to garage

The finished steps

Having previously had some experience of building steps I decided to repeat my previous technique of building two free-standing platforms and mounting one on top of the other with hidden fixings. They are slightly shallower than a standard staircase (16cm instead of 19cm) and slightly deeper (25cm instead of 24cm), but provide a generous footfall when negotiating awkward items in and out of the house. The entire project was planned on paper, a cutting list drawn up, and all timber cut before assembly began. This was very satisfying as there was just a small piece if rework to embrace the gas pipe which runs along the wall.





Nearly missed the Windows 7 pre-order offer

21 07 2009

If you live in the UK and do all your important shopping via Amazon, you may have been disappointed to find that the initial price of around £79  for the Professional edition is no longer available due to demand.

Do not despair. There are one or two other sites offering discounted copies well below the price of £179.97 that Amazon are now asking. I googled ‘windows 7 pre-order’ and found that pcworld (not my favourite retailer) among others are still doing it at a decent price. So don’t be sad. Get your skates on!





Only half a run is enough

9 06 2009

It was more than enough to go out with Anna on a 5km run (please wait while the map loads) from home this morning. I nearly died but we did it only 1 minute faster than I’ve ever previously done.

Why all the grief? Well I haven’t run since coming back from New Zealand last October, and I’ve not done any regular exercise. It just goes to show. I certainly miss the Boxercise each week.

On Sunday I went for a 23 mile cycle ride in the rain with Simon, my son-in-law (one of). That too was exhausting, but the torrential rain certainly didn’t help. On arriving at Emberton we found ourselves in the middle of the National Sprint Triathlon Championship. Those guys were really cycling, and they’d already swum in the lake. The following day I discovered that a number of them had to retire with hypothermia. So there you go. I was wearing my onshore sailing jacket, recommended by Roy Pink. I still had trouble climbing the stairs for a hot shower when I arrived home.





When Outlook almost drives you mad!

25 02 2009

I am so glad to have got to the bottom of my Outlook 2000 problems. Over the last few weeks it has got slower and slower and slower to do even the simplest thing. I have been literally going to make a cup of tea while I close an email I have just read.  Every action in Outlook has been painful.

I installed “Process Explorer”. It’s a freebie from the Microsoft web-site and gives you more insight into what is going on with the different programs (and processes) that are running. Whatever I did in Outlook, processor usage would rise to >90% for at least 4 minutes. It was crazy.

Then I found that this file, “outcmd.dat” (found in \Documents and Settings\%user%\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook) can get corrupted. It’s size was 2,904 KB, it should be more like 2KB.

If you delete it, it will be recreated by Outlook when next started. First close Outlook. Then open Task Manager (<ctrl><alt><del>) and check that there isn’t still a process ruuning called outlook.exe. If there is then end the process. Now you can delete or rename outcmd.dat. If extend.dat looks a bit big, do that one too.

Now restart Outlook. It was wondefully fast. Deep joy!

(DISCLAIMER: Please note this is an account of my experiences. Yours may be different. I spent a week researching the problems before I found this worked. I also installed Office 2000 SP-1, SP-3 and a fix from Knowledge Base article 811167 – program olk901.exe. None seemed to do the trick until I recreated outcmd.dat.)