Sunday, 9 July 2006

Printing Web pages without cut off text

When you try to print certain Web pages or HTML files, the text sometimes gets cut off horizontally in the printout - the last few words of each line just won't print, though you can see them fine on the page in your browser. But there are solutions to this very annoying problem, which I've found it to be a pain especially with Internet Explorer.

The most obvious one is to select or highlight the text you want to print, go to a blank wordprocessing document or blank email, paste it in there, and print the document or email. That works, but involves a few steps which lazy people like me may wish to avoid if possible (plus, I'm hopeless at trying to select text properly with the mouse, I'm always selecting all sorts of other things too).

Another way is just to go the Webpage via the fab free browser Firefox (see the link in my sidebar to get Firefox). I've noticed that some pages which won't print properly in IE will print fine, in full, if you print them via Firefox.

The final possible solution I know of is, again, to use Firefox. (.) Then install the Web Developer Toolbar extension for Firefox (how to install Firefox extensions). Go to the problem Web page in Firefox. Make sure you can see the web developer toolbar (if not, go to the menu View, Toolbars and make sure Web Developer Toolbar is ticked). Then click the Miscellaneous button in that toolbar and choose "Linearize page". That will strip any tables. You can then print the page as usual and it will print with the full text, nothing cut off (alternatively you can just select part of the linearised page and print that - it should also work this way). Thanks to Jasper for the tip!


Scott Clark said...

Hey... I did a mini-review on Lexmark's new web printing toolbar. I've found it very handy and fast, esp for quick meetings with clients. So far it's not crashed once and works on non-lex printers and PDF just fine. Here's a link for everyone:

Lexmark's new toolbar mini-review


Anonymous said...

Its funny because you were kind of complaining about having to copy text and put it into a document and how that caused more steps. Then you gave the example of downloading FF and installing an extra downloaded plug in, then figuring out how touse the plug is more complicated.

I have the reverse issue with firefox.

the point browsers dont print web material well- even FF which is often hailed as the utopian browser. Its not high on the priority list of browser developers. solution copy and paste. or web developers have to provide PDF documents for their websites.

browser developers need to develop the alternate media types that are available (print screen braille etc)

Improbulus said...

Scott, thanks for the link, that toolbar looks handy, shall give it a go!

Anon, it's horses for courses - for Fox users, once you've downloaded that toolbar (which I agree is more complicated, but it's a one-off setup thing) then it's just a couple of clicks to format the page with it for better printing. I agree browsers don't always print well. Of course, especially with CSS and the option for print stylesheets, webpage designers/creators could provide an alternative webpage formatted for printing, and some do - but too many don't, there's the rub.

P. Leung said...

Huh, I guess this problem is still possible even today this 2011.

I've been recently researching this problem, especially when printing from and finding the same problem in both Firefox and IE (latest version at the time of this post), but at differing amounts of cutoff. At first I thought it might be a print driver problem until I read about the same or similar problem people had when they try print out their own webpage they made themselves. One web designer figured that the bottom of the print is disappearing under the gutter used to print page information. Also, a possible solution for web designers was to specify different margins ("buffers") for the printed version only (which would hint that the problem could also be simple ignorance or inexperience of the person who made the webpage).

Anyway, solutions (for us readers/visitors) I came across in my searches:
1) Try reduce at least the bottom print margin to .25 inches (or less)
2) Try turn off the footer page information for printouts of your web browser
And one I found from my own trial & error:
3) Reduce the print size by 10% or so (I actually used zoom size of 90%) in your print preferences.

I hope this helps.