How to make Web pages print properly

Tips for making useful hardcopies

185391-firefoxshrinktofit_original

A few days ago, the missus shoved some sheets of paper in my face and demanded, "Why are Web pages printing big all of a sudden?"

Sure enough, all the print on all the pages was comically oversize--and largely useless, as much of the actual Web page was cut off on the right side.

Not good. My wife frequently prints recipes, and all this enlarged output was threatening our culinary happiness.

So I fired up Firefox (her browser of choice), loaded up a recipe page, and clicked File, Print Preview. Basically, I wanted to see if the preview matched the actual output. Sure enough, it did, and here's why: The Scale setting had somehow gotten bumped to 150%.

I changed it back to the almost-always-preferable setting Shrink to Fit, and presto: Normal print size restored.

There's a very similar setting in Internet Explorer, so if you're encountering weirdly sized text on your printed Web pages, make sure your "scales" are set properly.

Alternatively, printer manufacturers like Epson and Canon offer applications that help you when printing Web content. These give your more control over which bits of a Web page to print, and where they will appear on a page.

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Rick Broida

PC World (US online)
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