Why am i getting ### when I print my spreadsheet.

I have a spreadsheet which has a number of cells which contain formula. Some of these are simple arithmetical formula and some display information from lookup tables elsewhere. ALL of these cells display correctly on screen but when I print the sheet or use print preview they ALL have ### instead of the correct output. They all still show the proper values on screen.

This is a new phenomenon to me. I have been using this particular sheet 9and other similar sheets) for years and this problem has not appeared before that I can recall. I have just installed Linux Mint 18.3 as a clean install.

Revised 24/12/17

I have tried to replicate the problem in a new sheet. Less complicated than the other one since it is not a ‘production’ sheet but so far I cannot get the same problem on a new sheet.

The data in the cell is too long to fit into the cell. The print code has to adjust to a different pixel density than on screen, and rounding errors may accumulate to result in this effect on some devices, absent on other. Just widen relevant columns.

Thank you but that is not the problem. Some of the formula are simple (=A3-B2) and some are long complex expressions which select a value from lookup tables depending on a number of variables. ALL of these print ### but display perfectly well on screen regardless of length of the formula.

Are your sheets saved to the native filetype -ods?

@JohnPaton: who told about formulas? it’s the result that doesn’t fit.

Possibly the printer fonts differ from on-screen fonts? didn’t you upgrade to 5.3+ ~recently? so that some fonts that you used to use in that spreadsheet became unavailable (being Type 1), and so now are substituted on screen with some other font with other metrics?

@mikekaganski: Shouldn’t a font problem as the cause of the issue result in the “###” also showing up in the screen view as soon as the suggestion by @PYS was accepted? This suggested change was reported to have no effect.

No. Print metrics are a different thing in this case. We have somewhat different code for fonts in printing, and that code wouldn’t execute for screen display no matter what.

Strange effects of any kind are sometimes due to user profile corruption. Detailed information here.

I should probably explain my faint suspicion to more detail:
There are settings in the UI for the view only though also applicable to the ‘Print’ case in a categorical sense. The user profile may also contain hidden/outdated/deprecated settings for the ‘Print’ case not represented in the UI - and probably not even under ‘Advanced’ > ‘Open Expert Configuration’. Nonetheless such configuration bits may gain “evil power” in a case of corruption …


Depending on ToolsOptionsCalcGeneralUse printer metrics for text formatting a printer independent layout will be used for screen display and printing (specifies that printer metrics are applied for printing and also for formatting the display on the screen).

May be it could explain what happens…


Thank you. Tried looking at that but made no difference. I think that there is some really obscure, apparently unrelated, setting that I need to change. Although I said above that the problem is new I now have a vaque memory of having it before (some years ago) and solving it by accident.

Quoting @JohnPaton: “I think that there is some really obscure, apparently unrelated, setting that I need to change.”
That “obscure setting” might be caused by user profile corruption. Such effects can be very strange. Some years ago I had a case, e.g. where among the English function names 13 functions appeared displayed with their Norwegian names and also a few in Esperanto …