Why oh why is there ever any app that asks you whether you want to print this document or set up this document as A4 or Letter sized paper? Well, at least we should be thankful that there is even an option – how many apps do you use that are made in the USA and don’t even give you the option to change the paper size or change away from American spelling. (True story – an American colleague told me recently that she did not even know there was another paper size other than the “standard” and did not know it was called Letter). I can forgive regular users to not know there is a world outside the US of A, but I can’t forgive software developers.
Quick – do this test right now. Open Word to a brand new document, go to the Page Layout ribbon and choose Size – what is the default size that your blank documents are set to? If you don’t live in the USA and your documents are set to Letter, you have my permission to go and yell at your IT Department for not setting up your Word environment correctly – You probably still have American spelling in your documents and Inches in your Ruler and margins also!
Google Docs only very recently gave us the option of saving a default for our paper sizes and margins – yet the margins are STILL IN INCHES!!!! WHY?
Apart from having the option to change the settings very ocassionally for when you are preparing a document for a US audience, why does the setting even exist?
Google knows I’m in Australia, why can’t it determine the settings for me automatically as Metric and A4.
Microsoft Word knows my location from the Regional Settings on my PC – why aren’t my default Word Templates created as A4? (They should be if the location was set before installing Word, but I think it should be dynamically based on that setting – if you want to create specific Templates with other paper sizes, you can do that).
And worse of all, please, please, please, do NOT set the default as Letter and not even have an option for me to change it in the settings to anything else as the Default. Or on the other hand, please don’t make me change it every time I need to print. If I was in the US I would think – “why is this setting here every time I want to print a document – I would never ever change the paper size”, if I’m in anywhere else in the world I think “why oh why do these stupid American software developers make me have to choose my paper size every time I want to print a document!”. No one wins.
So, in summary:
- Always have the option for A4/Letter paper sizes, American and other Spelling and Imperial and Metric measurements.
- Set the default based on my location – you know my location!
- Allow me to override the defaults if I need to (maybe I’m visiting the US of A).
- Honour those defaults everywhere.
- Have the ability to modify the defaults for once off cases (eg printing the same document to A4 then Letter for global audiences).
What are your thoughts? does this annoy you too?