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Published on 05.29.06 by Brent Trahan

Internet Explorer Printing

Printing web pages just got a lot easier with the release of Internet Explorer 7. This guide shows you just about everything you need to print perfect copies of web pages.

Printing web pages just got a lot easier with the release of Internet Explorer 7.  This guide shows you just about everything you need to print perfect copies of web pages.

How do I print a website?

If you are not worried about how the page will look and you just want to print a website you can do it a number of ways.

1. Click the printer button on the top right of Internet Explorer.  Once you click the printer button you might have to select a printer and click print depending on your printer setup.
2. Press Ctrl+P on your keyboard.  You might have to select a printer and click print depending on your printer setup after you press Ctrl+P.
3. Click file, then select print in the classic menu.  This menu is hidden by default in
Internet Explorer 7
.  You might have to select a printer and click print depending on your printer configuration.

Print Preview

You can get a preview of what a website will look like on paper before you print it by using print preview.  Print preview is very useful because when you print a website it rarely looks the same on paper due to lots of reasons from Internet Explorer settings, website settings and dimensions, and many more.

A great example of getting very different results when printing a web site is this website.  When you print a guide (excluding the home page) what prints is not even close to what you see in your browser in most cases.  What prints out is a very printer friendly version of the guide with all the graphics and ads stripped from it.  This is a feature that’s built into this website.  Most websites don’t have this feature and printed versions of their websites don’t look right.

Internet Explorer 7 makes printing much easier.  In most cases Internet Explorer will automatically adjust the website to fit the page when printing.  Sometimes you need to adjust it more to get the best results.  That’s when the print preview window helps out.

The Print Preview Window

To open the print preview window click the down arrow to the right of the printer icon located near the top right of the Internet Explorer 7 window and select print preview.  Below is a screen shot of the print preview of this site’s home page.

Please note: If you run a print preview on any page other than the home page on this site you will get a very different view of the page.  This is a feature that is built into this website that makes printing more convenient for you.  In the example below I’m using the home page of this site.

What you see in the print preview is what is going to print on your printer if you choose to print this page.

Notice many of the graphics don’t show up in the print preview and don’t print.  You can change this setting by clicking tools in the top right of the Internet Explorer 7 window and selecting internet options.  In internet options click the advanced tab.  Scroll down and check off Print background colors and images under printing.

An example of printing the home page of this site with this feature enabled is shown below.

Notice how all the graphics show up in this version.  By default Internet Explorer doesn’t use this feature because it uses too much ink.  I don’t recommend using this feature unless you need to.  I just wanted to show you how to do this if you needed to.

Adjusting a Website for Printing

Open the print preview window by clicking the down arrow to the right of the printer button located on the top right of Internet Explorer 7 and select print preview.

The screen shot above is the print preview window.  This is where you can manipulate how the website you are printing will look on paper.  I’ll explain each button on the print preview window below.

Click the printer button to print the webpage at any time.

By default Internet Explorer 7 prints a webpage in portrait mode.  Portrait mode is printing a webpage where the width of the paper is less than the height.  Most website print best in portrait mode.

Some websites need to be printed in landscape mode.  Landscape mode is where the website is printed on paper where the width is greater than the height of the paper.  To change Internet Explorer 7 to landscape mode click the A (shown above) to the right.  When you change to landscape and close the print preview Internet Explorer returns to its default setting of printing in portrait mode.

The next button (shown above) is where you can change some of your printer options.  I’m not going to go into this because every printer is different and these options can change with different types of printers.

The next button (shown above) if clicked will remove the details added to the top and bottom of each page when you print a page.  Some of the details include the name of the site, the date it was printed, the full URL of the site, and the number of pages.

The next button (shown above) zooms in to the website so that if fill your screen according to the width of the site.  This doesn’t affect how it looks when printing the site.  This is only so that you can get a better look at the page if you need.

If you want to fit the whole page on one screen click the button shown above.  This doesn’t affect how the site looks when printed out.  This is only to let you see what the page will look like on paper.

The next button will let you view more than one page per screen.  If you have a web page that takes up two pages you can change it to 2 page view by dropping down the box and selecting 2 page view.  It will look something like the screen shot below.

You can view up to 12 pages per page with this feature.

This feature is one of my favorites in Internet Explorer 7 printing.  By default Internet Explorer 7 is set to shrink to fit.  What that means is Internet Explorer 7 will automatically resize a webpage (zoom in or out) for you so that it fits perfectly on a page.  In most cases this works flawlessly. 

Sometimes this feature will distort images and text.  You can choose to zoom in or out by selecting how much you want to zoom in or out where it says shrink to fit.

This website’s width is slightly wider than a papers width.  If you try printing the home page of MAXIMUMpcguides and changing the print size to %100 a little bit of right side of the page will be cut off.  The right side of the page is the part that is always but off when it’s too large.  An example of this is shown below.

If you want to print a webpage and use the maximum amount of paper area or make it fit on a page zoomed at %100 (its original size) you can adjust the margins.  Margins are the blank space on the top, bottom, and sides of a paper.

If you look at the corners of a page in the print preview window you will notice a few buttons that look like the one above.  You can adjust the margins of your page by clicking the buttons and while holding down your left mouse button (clicking on them) drag the button to the right, left, up, or down.

Below is an example of what a page looks like by moving all the margins to the very top, bottom, left, and right of the page.

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