[thelist] Printing IE5.5 to Legal

Mark Howells mark at mountain.ch
Thu Jul 25 08:35:00 CDT 2002

> A client sent me a request to 'fix the printing
> problem' for his site.  After trying to figure out
> what exactly the 'problem' was, I managed to get it
> down to the fact that he was printing from IE5.5 (I
> use 6 as my default) and Legal-sized paper (I use A4).

... Wait for it ...

> What appears to be happening is that the printer
> starts printing before the sheet is ready, so it cuts
> up to half an inch off the lefthand side of the paper.
> However, this is not consistent, and sometimes it
> cuts it off at the right.

... Wait for it ...

>  I've messed around the the
> table holding the page (hardcoding it to 600px wide,
> etc) but to no avail

...that may well be the problem. This is going to make me sound like a
whinging evangelist, but have you considered trying a layout for printable
pages that doesn't use tables? If you use CSS to control the page layout*,
then calling the CSS file using media="screen", you'll do away with any most
printing problems except for those caused by extra-wide images. With no
width definitions on a page, such as that imposed by an HTML <table> layout,
the printer should be able to work out what's going on much better.

If you absolutely can't make the change, then I'd suggest the devil's
alternative of a printer friendly version of the page(s).

(* Try printing a page from my own site to see an example of using print-
and screen-based CSS.)

Mark Howells

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