Firefox/Feature Brainstorming:Printing

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« Firefox/Feature Brainstorming

General Tasks

  • Improve Print UI, Preview and Handling
  • Improve Page Setup
  • Improve Unix/Linux Printing
  • Improve FLASH printing
  • Scripting support similar to what ScriptX
  • Allow printing 2 or 4 pages per page (some HP print drivers allow you to do this but native support would be nice). i.e. when you print two per page it shrinks the document, turns the page landscape and prints two pages on that landscape page.
  • The possibility to print what you see (WYSIWYP)

Full page print preview/control

  • Better print preview
  • Print cropping
  • Custom margins (ideally adjustable in print preview)
  • User-controllable print scaling
  • Fully editable document within print preview utilizing simple text editor
  • Print documents last-page to first-page for printers that stack face up
  • Printing-related web standards support, e.g., page-break-after
  • Automatic resize-to-fit-on-paper (like febooti ieZoom or IE7 can do) and/or resize to x * y sheets of paper (like MS Excel)
  • Print multiple pages (for sites that only print first page - see bug in references - requires reflow work to land).
  • Add a print-preview toolbar icon.
  • Add "Print" to context menu for page

Settings management

  • Ability to set printing options (portrait/landscape, zoom, &c) so that they always return to the same desired settings each time the browser is closed (or each time it's started), rather than staying on the last-used setting.
  • Multiple saved settings
  • Option to overwrite CSS print styles with your own print-styles. Quick edit mode for headline, p, ul, li-Tags or choose from a list of preset skins.
  • Ability to set printer based on script (internal applications, IE shipping labels)
  • Ability to set printer based on paper size (IE send letter to main printer, send 4x6 shipping labels to thermal printer)
  • javascript option to temporarily supress print dialog (similar to print.always_print_silent, but for select tasks)

Selective printing

  • Print selected without requiring add-ons
  • "Print Selection" in context menu when text is selected
  • Add a way to "Print Preview" the selected text, either from the context menu or the Firefox menu
  • "Print image" and "Print page" in context menu
  • Add Tab-related "Print Range" options to the Print Dialog, along the lines of "Print Active Tab" and "Print Selected Tabs". Requires ability to select multiple open tabs at once
  • Alternatively, one simple "Print all tabs" option that concatenates all open tabs in the window into one document, and allows it to be printed and previewed as usual.
  • Ability to select which section(or frame) of the webpage that will be printed, excluding other frames on the page which would normally be printed.
  • The "print preview" option is useless unless you can do some edition : add the ability to delete a block on the page (like with the Aardvark extension) before printing/saving/exporting in pdf.


  • Duplex printing (printing on both sides of the paper)
  • N-Up printing (multiple pages on the same sheet)
  • Get available paper sizes from the printing backend (e.g. CUPS), don't inflict Letter + inch margins on everyone
  • Support OpenPrinting PAPI
  • Autodetect printers when printing through lpr and lp
  • Integrate printing with the desktop environment
    • Printing in KDE, for instance, does not integrate with the KDE print system. It would be nice to have some of KDE's virtual printers available in Firefox, such as the pdf and postscript file creation print drivers.
    • You can print with kprinter in Firefox ( Firefox should have the mechanisms for this built-in though. (Maybe someone should write a simple extension that takes care of this.) --Micahgeek 07:41, 25 October 2006 (PDT)

Summary Sheet

  • Ability to print a "summary sheet" before/after main printout showing things like number of pages printed, full url for page printed, nicely formatted list of full URL's contained within the doc being printed, date+time, version of FF etc. (Idea inspired by fact that url printing in FF is flaky at best, and can be truncated).

Improvement in printing Wikipedia pages

  • Don't know if it's fixed in the 2.0 version, but when you print an article in Wikipedia that contains a long URL, FF doesn't cut it as IE or Opera do. The result is not acurate.

Better CSS Print support

  • Should have the ability to choose to use the print CSS.
  • Should handle better the CSS print media-type.
  • Should allow the preview of CSS, showing the results like an Word document (each paper with his contents).

--Alenonimo 15:57, 27 October 2006 (PDT)

A very important point is page : size property as you can see here : [2]

Authors html's page must can define the orientation (portrait or landscape)

--Orouk 13:31, 9 January 2007 (PST)

Provide Ability to Hide Certain HTML Elements

What about the ability to hide certain HTML elements in the print preview window? The elements would be selected exactly as in DOM Explorer (with a flashing red outline when you mouse-over them) and via clicking they would get hidden. This would be good, e. g. if you don't need a site's menu or an image or a table etc. I always waste a lot of time copying all the content of a web site to notepad (to get rid of all the formatting, because text processing software seems increase the font size automatically) and OOo Writer (to make it look neat in a nice font, though) afterwards to print just the information I wanted.

Same Printing Features like Adobe Acrobat

  • print multiple pages (2-4-6-9-custom)
  • Auto-rotate pages
  • Print Page boarders
  • Print to pdf
  • Zoom-factor
  • print grayscale

This would be helpfull, especially if your printer-driver-software does not support these features; to save ink and sheets.

Command Line Printing

It would be helpful/useful for developers if Firefox could provide the print functionality from the command line. For example, if you could run something like this:

> firefox.exe -print \\MYCOMP\MYPRINTER 

Or like this:

> firefox.exe -print \\MYCOMP\MYPRINTER file:///C:/local-file.html 

This would provide an incredibly valuable functionality for developers, as it would allow programmers to generate reports in HTML and then use Firefox to quietly print them in the background via a batch/shell script. Furthermore, since Firefox already supports printing HTML documents extensively, porting it to a silent command-line method doesn't seem like it's asking too much.

Note : on 2011/01/11 I've just discovered this nice add-on allowing this : Enjoy ! :-) Note 2: Unfortunately this add-on only works with Firefox up to 3.6... It would be great if someone updated it to work with newer versions, or if this became a built-in firefox feature as originally suggested.

Print on right click context menu

There needs to be a print on the right click context to menu to allow the users to print popup windows. The print on in the menus on the main firefox window rightly only prints the main firefox window.