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Tips & Tricks: Print Preview

PrintView.pngPrinting web pages is an inexact science, so the results can often be less than desirable. Look for the Print View icon we've placed on pages that are typically printed to get a version suitable for printing. To improve the output of pages you print from the web, it’s best to use the manual controls built into many of today’s modern browsers – namely the orientation and scale settings.

To access these controls, you’ll need to find the “Print Preview” option in your browser. Typically this option will be found under the “File” menu. Here’s how it looks in Firefox with the menu button enable:

FFPrintPreview.png
 

After selecting the “Print Preview” option, you’ll see how your print page should look after sending it to the printer. If the preview isn’t to your liking, you can alter the orientation as well as the scale. Here’s how these options appear in a couple of different browsers:

Firefox (PC)

FF_printprev.png

Internet Explorer

IE_printprev.png

Safari (Choose Print from the File menu)

safari5.png

For orientation, your options are Portrait and Landscape modes. Use Landscape for wide pages.

The scale option (not available on all browsers) can be used to fit more content on a single page or to increase the font size. Try the “Shrink to fit” option first – it’s generally the best way to go. If you’re still not happy with the preview, try a percent scale option. Choosing value less than 100% will shrink the contents on the page. If you really need to fine tune the scale, look for the “Custom” option, which allows you to enter any value you desire.

Chrome

No Scale options, but you can select the page layout on Chrome's print page. 

A cool trick in Chrome that isn't available in other browsers is the ability highlight text, pictures  or tables on just about any webpage and have it print a decent page. Here are the steps:

1. Click and drag to select some text or tables on a page.

2. Right-Click and Select Print... from Chrome's context menu.

3. Click the Print button.

ChromeSelectPrint.png