Problems printing web pages

From MozillaZine Knowledge Base

If you have problems printing web pages in Firefox (or another Mozilla browser) try these solutions [1]:


Reset printer

As a first step, reset the selected printer in your Firefox preferences:

  1. Type about:config in the Location Bar and press Enter. A list of preferences will appear.
  2. Find the preference print_printer (Note: this preference is missing in Firefox profiles where you've never used the printer.)
  3. Right-click (context-click) that preference and select Reset. (Some users may need to reset all the printer_ preferences for a particular printer, if resetting this one master preference doesn't solve the problem.)
  4. Restart Firefox and see if the problem is resolved.

Note: If you get the warning dialog, "Printing failed when starting the document" and if the print_printer preference has no printer shown or is missing, if you don't have a printer selected, or Firefox doesn't know it is installed on your system. Note 2: In Firefox 5.0 and earlier versions print.print_printer was used for this preference.

Does not print to paper at all

If you are having a problem with Firefox not printing to paper at all, and you don't receive a warning dialog:

  • Press {Ctrl + P} on the keyboard and make sure that you don't have Print to file selected under Printer > Comment:
  • Make sure that your correct printer is selected at Printer > Name:. (You might be "printing" to a Program such as Adobe PDF or Intuit.)

Prints to a small portion of the page

If you are having a problem with Firefox printing only on a small portion of the page:

  • Press {Ctrl + P} on the keyboard and verify the correct Printer is selected,
  • Click the Properties button and look at the Paper tab and Layout tab (or whatever your particular printer brand calls those items):
    • Paper: Is the correct size selected? (usually 8.5"x11" or A4). Is the Orientation correct? Is the Printable Area correct?
    • Layout: -Is Reduce/Enlarge check-marked? It shouldn't be. Is Multi-Page check-marked? It shouldn't be unless that is what you want.

Print spooler service is not running

If you attempt to print a web page, a dialog box may appear with the message, Before you can perform printer-related tasks such as a page setup or printing a document, you need to install a printer. Do you want to install a printer now?. If you click Yes, you may see the message, Operation could not be completed. The print spooler service is not running. If you are not having problems printing with other applications and if, on Windows, the print spooler service (spoolsv.exe) is already running and is set to automatic [2] you'll need to turn on the Print Spooler in your printer's preferences dialog box, through Firefox and the "native print dialog". Changing the spooler setting anywhere else except from the "native print dialog" when accessed through Firefox, may not set that preference to affect Firefox. When you press {Ctrl + P} you will see what is called the "native print dialog box", click the "Properties" button in the upper right of that window, with the correct printer showing in the Printer - Name: box. Note that not all brands of printer drivers will give you access to the spooler settings through that specific Properties button. This can also vary by operating system. [3] [4]

Delayed printing or freezes when trying to print

Check your printer Properties -> Advanced section to make sure that print spooling is turned on.

Does not print entire page content

If images are cut off, click "File -> Print Preview" and, on the toolbar, set "Scale:" to "Shrink to fit", if a different setting is shown. [5]

If part of the text is cut off, try setting "Scale:" to 100% in Print Preview. If that doesn't help, try selecting the Monospace font to something other than "Courier" or "Courier New" in your Firefox options ("Content / Fonts & Colors -> Advanced") and UNcheck the option to allow pages to use their own fonts. This may be necessary on certain web pages that specify Courier fonts since those fonts may cause printing problems in Firefox [6]

When trying to print web pages with text areas, if the text area contains a misspelled word and spell checking is enabled, all the following content of the text area will not be printed. You can right-click in the text area and uncheck "Spell check this field" to turn off spell checking temporarily while you print. [7]

Does not print multiple pages

DIVs, I-Frames, and Tables that extend beyond the end of a page can cause this problem. [8] Related bug reports include:

Prints garbled text

Printing to Adobe PDF Writer produces garbled text in Firefox 3 (but not Firefox 2). Firefox 3 also prints garbled text with some printers using older printer drivers (examples are illustrated here). Related bug reports include:

External links