Which browser is best for printing on Windows?

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Albert Wiersch
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Which browser is best for printing on Windows?

Post by Albert Wiersch » Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:42 pm

Similar to Which web browser is best?, I was having some issues/dislikes printing from Firefox, so I used IE and its 'Print Preview' feature where it lets you change the font size (scale) and change some other settings.

At first glance, it would seem IE is better for printing, at least on Windows, than Firefox. It also seems faster.

But now I see that Firefox also has a similar 'Print Preview' feature that also lets one change the scaling. I haven't used it though but maybe I should.

Another thing I liked about IE is that it preserved some background colors, but now I see Firefox has an option to do similar, and it seems to be preserving even more background colors than IE does... but now I see that IE also has a similar setting, even though it was printing some background colors without the option set, but IE prints even more when it is set/checked.

So maybe IE isn't best... it's mainly a matter of getting the print settings set the way you want in either browser (after you discover or find those settings). This is where the 'Print Preview' feature comes in very handy as it exposes a lot of the options and shows you how it will look. I will definitely be making more use of this, even though I use a program called FinePrint, which is also like a preview program, but doesn't let you scale and apply colors like the browsers do in their 'Print Preview' windows.

Does anyone else have anything to say about printing on Windows with the various browsers? Which browser do you like best for printing?
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RSteinwand
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Re: Which browser is best for printing on Windows?

Post by RSteinwand » Fri Oct 24, 2014 7:55 am

Hi Albert,

Sorry this is an old thread, but still I think I have a solution.

Have you tried a print style sheet that sets the width of your page?

Things that may help would be:

Code: Select all

body,.content,.nav,(any other elements you have set widths to){
    width:100% !important;max-width:100% !important;overflow:visible;
    margin:0;padding:0;border:0;color:#000;background:#fff
}
.no-print{display:none}
...
(any other styles you may want to display differently in print)
Rick

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Re: Which browser is best for printing on Windows?

Post by Albert Wiersch » Fri Oct 24, 2014 9:13 am

Hi Rick,

No, I have not done that. I assume that's for making one's own web pages/website easier to print?

At the time I was trying to print some pages from the web that were not my own. It seems that all the new HTML & CSS power and complexity makes printing a web document a more difficult task, especially if that document is poorly constructed or overly complex and not much care or attention was given to printing.

Fortunately I don't print much and when I have I've been able to get decent enough results. Chrome seems to work well enough in most cases. I now use Chrome as my main browser but also still use Firefox and then a little IE on the side.

BTW, I did recently make a page for printing though. I made it very simple structurally. It is here:
https://www.htmlvalidator.com/quick-start-guide.php
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Re: Which browser is best for printing on Windows?

Post by RSteinwand » Fri Oct 24, 2014 9:31 am

Your quick start guide appears to already be ready for printing, since you don't have navigation or other content to hide and don't have content with dark backgrounds that you'd want to display with a white background, so a print style sheet would probably be optional.

I did notice some of the content was narrower than the page (your list items) so this is something that could go in your print style sheet:

Code: Select all

/* Line 443 */
ul, ol
{
  max-width: 100%;
}
Rick

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Re: Which browser is best for printing on Windows?

Post by Albert Wiersch » Fri Oct 24, 2014 9:54 am

I actually do have a little print stylesheet embedded in that page:

Code: Select all

  @media print {
   body { background: white; font-size: .8em; }
   h1 { font-size: 1.5em; }
   h2 { font-weight: bold; margin: 1.1em 0 .5em; }
   h2 + * { margin-top: .5em; }
   #pleaseprint { display: none; }
  }
I've added this to it per your suggestion:

Code: Select all

ul, ol { max-width: 100%; }
But it doesn't look like it made any significant difference.

One thing I don't like is that it seems to print two pages, with the 2nd page being blank. If you have any ideas on how to get rid of that blank 2nd page, then please let me know... but it's not worth spending a lot of time on so I didn't.
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Re: Which browser is best for printing on Windows?

Post by RSteinwand » Fri Oct 24, 2014 10:05 am

I saw a difference right away. Chromes print preview shows the right margin is even with the left now.

This might help:

Code: Select all

 body {margin:0; background: white; font-size: .8em; }
You're setting a margin-bottom:10px.

If that doesn't work, maybe tweaking the font size or upper/lower list margins (<ul> tag) might help.

I use a different font size for printing so it isn't too big.
Rick

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Re: Which browser is best for printing on Windows?

Post by RSteinwand » Fri Oct 24, 2014 10:15 am

I think this is your second page problem:

Code: Select all

html {
 height: 101%;
 /* Always show a scrollbar for short pages - stops the jump when the scrollbar appears. non-IE browsers */
 margin-bottom: 5px;
}
You might add this to your print style sheet:

Code: Select all

html{height:auto}
I thought it was strange that Firefox showed a second page, even when the first page had plenty of room at the bottom. :D
Rick

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Re: Which browser is best for printing on Windows?

Post by Albert Wiersch » Fri Oct 24, 2014 10:28 am

RSteinwand wrote:I think this is your second page problem:
...
Yes! That seems to be it. I was "playing around" working on it just now and I couldn't figure it out... the second page was always there even though there was plenty of space at the bottom of the first page (the exception being when I made the font-size significantly smaller but I didn't want that).

Oh, and it seems I also needed to add this to the @media print block:

Code: Select all

body { background: white; margin: 0; padding: 0; }
I guess it just goes to show that all these little "tricks" have their side-effects. :D

Thanks!
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Re: Which browser is best for printing on Windows?

Post by RSteinwand » Fri Oct 24, 2014 10:37 am

Glad you got it figured out.

I checked my secure side stylesheet and it had html{height:100.2%} so I immediately checked my print style sheet and it had html{height:auto}.

So it appears at one time I either noticed I had the same problem as you OR I fixed it before it became a problem (which doesn't sound like me).
Rick

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