Well, I finally switched over to Firefox recently and now I'm hooked.
But the bad news is I can't print web pages properly with Firefox.
We're not talking oddball web pages, we're talking Google results
pages. The image is truncated when printing, and the font size on
what does print is way too large. These same pages print fine in IE.
I read in the release notes that Shrink to Fit has been disabled in
Firefox 2. I've also read there's a workaround (changing a line of
code) but I'm not a techie so I don't know how to do that. When
searching old posts in this group, I also read that Firefox has always
had printing issues and it's just not a priority fix for Mozilla. Huh?
All I want is WYSIWYG printing. Is that not possible? I hate to
think that I will have to abandon Firefox and slink back to IE, but I
must be able to print "the page, the whole page, and nothing but the
Before I discovered that I could/should print in IE, Firefox botched
my airline eticket printout---the one with the scannable barcode for
kiosks---for an upcoming flight, so now I have to stand in that
terminally long check-in line.<sigh>
To be fair, IE has also always had printing issues, and still does: but
they are mainly a different set of issues, so in some cases FF does a
better job, and in some cases IE does. Print problems do not seem to
have been a priority for either.
Thanks for weighing in, cupsdell.
I'd like to hear from someone else. Anyone have a comment that might
help me solve this printing problem?
Can you give a URL to an example of where you see this happening?
I did a google image search:
Then I did File -> Print Preview.
At a scale of 100%, indeed, the images on the right side were cut off.
However, on the toolbar, setting the 'Scale:' to 'Shrink to fit',
rescaled the page, and all images and text were shown in their entirety.
> I read in the release notes that Shrink to Fit has been disabled in
> Firefox 2. I've also read there's a workaround (changing a line of
> code) but I'm not a techie so I don't know how to do that. When
> searching old posts in this group, I also read that Firefox has always
> had printing issues and it's just not a priority fix for Mozilla. Huh?
The 'Shrink to fit' option they are referring to in the release notes is
the option to automatically resize images when you visit a web page. If
it is enabled, then over sized images on a page will automatically be
scaled down to fit within the browser window, to prevent having to
scroll to see all of the image. It is not the same function as the
'Scale: Shrink to fit' setting in Print Preview.
The wording of that entry in the release notes, is pretty poor, in my
opinion. I can see where it could lead to some confusion, as, perhaps,
happened in this case.
IIRC, older versions had that option available in the user interface,
under Tools -> Options -> <something>. What they are saying is that
they removed that item from the user interface, I think it was a check
box, to set the behavior. However, that preference, and indeed,
function is still present in the browser. They just made it a little
harder to get to the preference.
To change that setting is not really that difficult, simply enter:
about:config in the URL bar in FF.
In the Filter: field that appears above the listing of preferences,
The preference we are looking for is:
If the 'Value' is set to 'true', then over sized images will
automatically be scaled down to fit the browser window, with ability to
rescale them to full size by clicking on them. This is the default
setting, according to FF 18.104.22.168, although if you had changed it in an
earlier version, it would have been carried over from that.
If the 'Value' is set to 'false' then over sized images will be shown
full scale. You will be able to rescale it to fit by clicking on the image.
You can toggle the value between true and false by double clicking on
the preference name.
Based on, an admittedly quick test, it does not seem to have any bearing
on the 'Shrink to fit' function in Print Preview. I went to this URL,
which is a 1024 x 768 jpg image:
With the above preference, browser.enable_automatic_image_resizing, set
to 'true', that image is scaled down to fit inside my FF window,
regardless of the size of the window. If I increase or decrease the
size of the FF window, the image re-scales accordingly. If I put the
cursor over the image, I get the magnifying glass icon with a plus sign
in it. By clicking on the image, I get the full size image and scroll
bars, to be able to scroll to the unseen portions of the image.
Now, with the full size image showing, I go to File -> Print Preview.
At a scale of 100%, the image is cut off on the right hand side. If I
change the 'Scale:' to 'Shrink to fit', then it is re-scaled and I see
the entire image.
Changing browser.enable_automatic_image_resizing to 'false', re-starting
FF, and repeating the above test, gives me the same results in print
preview, no difference. Of course, in the regular browser window, the
image is displayed at full size, until I click on it to scale it to fit
in the window, just the opposite of the previous behavior.
Now, one glitch that I did notice when doing these tests, is that
changing from 'Shrink to fit' to 100% resulted in no change whatsoever
in the preview. I had to change to 90%, or some other scale, then go
back to 100%, to see the change.
The other thing to keep in mind, is that whatever scale is set in Print
Preview, *even if you don't use it*, is the scale at which it will be
printed. So, if the scale is set at 100%, and there are images that
will not fit on the page, they will be cut off.
Personally, because of the quirks with printing, I *always* use Print
Preview, to see if the page will print correctly or not.
> All I want is WYSIWYG printing. Is that not possible? I hate to
> think that I will have to abandon Firefox and slink back to IE, but I
> must be able to print "the page, the whole page, and nothing but the
As C A Upsdell mentioned in his reply, FF does have its quirks when
printing. Some of it due to poor and/or IE specific coding on the web
site's part, and others due to bugs in the FF printing code.
My understanding is that FF3 will have significant changes to the layout
function (the reflow issues in bugzilla, for those that are interested),
so we will have to see how that will affect the printing issues.
I use a combination of tactics when it comes to printing with FF.
If its just some text that I want, and not the whole page, then I will
often just copy & paste into a text editor.
If its more involved than that, then, as stated above, I always use
Print Preview. If it shows that the page will *not* print correctly,
then I will load the page using the IE Tab extension, which will use the
IE rendering engine inside a FF window. Then, in addition to the
rendering, the print preview, and print functions are all that of IE,
rather than FF.
(Hmm, after thinking about it, in the situation you describe below, I
don't think IE Tab would have helped, unless you had used it through the
whole process, as they use different caches, cookies, etc. The IE
instance wouldn't know the session details that the FF session had.)
Anyway, if you are interested in it:
IE Tab extension
> Before I discovered that I could/should print in IE, Firefox botched
> my airline eticket printout---the one with the scannable barcode for
> kiosks---for an upcoming flight, so now I have to stand in that
> terminally long check-in line.<sigh>
I haven't used those online ticketing systems myself, but have you asked
them if there is a way for you to reprint it?
The only thing like that, that I have used, was for a state fishing
license, and they give you the ability to log in to your account and
reprint your license, if necessary. It might be worth asking about, if
you haven't already.
Good luck on your trip, hope the lines aren't too long.
Thank you for that fabulous response.
You have totally solved my problem, and I am exceptionally grateful.
Was it the scale setting in Print Preview, as I suspected?