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Jan's Working with the Web

  Printing Web Documents: Print

It's time to practice printing web pages! There are too many different kinds of printers to give specific directions on operating them here. You will need to check out your printer yourself to learn the way it works.

What to know about your printer

PrintersHere is a list of things you need to know about your printer. Ask your instructor or network guru or (as a last resort?) read the printer's manual.

  • How to load paper
  • How to know if the printer is out of paper
  • How to know if the printer is out of ink or toner
  • How to change ink or toner cartridges
  • How to un-jam a paper jam
  • Where the no-print areas are
    (That is, how close to the edge of the paper can this printer print?)
  • Drop list of printers (Firefox 9)The name of the printer you are supposed to use- not Tom, Dick, or Harry, but what its name is in the list of printers.

You might have more than one printer with the same name, with the word Copy and a number after the name. This happens when you have unplugged the printer's USB cable and plugged it back into a different USB port. The computer installs the software all over again for each port that you have used. You need to know which one is alive!

Tip Printers talk back: Most modern printers can talk back to the computer, telling you that the paper is jammed or that it's low on ink. Pay attention and get ink or toner cartridges before you run out!

Icon: Warning Warning: Ink dries out
Even while it's still in the sealed package, ink cartridges can dry out. Even toner can dry out eventually. Do not buy too far ahead of need!

Managing the Print Queue

The print queue is just the stack of documents that are waiting in line to be printed.

  • View the print queue:
    If there is an icon for the printer in the Notification area at the right end of the Task bar, click it.
    Icon: WinXP Win XP: Start > Printers and Faxes > double click the printer's icon
    Icon: Vista Vista:    Start > Printers > double click the printer's icon
    Icon: Windows 7 Win 7: Start > Devices & Printers > right click the printer's icon > See what's printing
    Icon: Win8 Icon: Win8.1 Win8, 8.1: Start screen > Control Panel > Devices & Printers >right click the printer's icon > See what's printing  
    Icon: Win10 Win10: Search box on the Taskbar > Type printer > Click on Devices & Printers in the result > Right click the printer's icon > See what's printing
  • Cancel a print job while it is in the queue:
        Select the document in the printer's list of waiting documents and press the DELETE key.
  • Stop a print job after it starts:
    Depends on the printer and the size of the document.

    If the document is completely in the printer's memory, it is hard to stop a print job. You can remove all of the paper from the paper tray and then turn off the power for an emergency stop. But many printers will remember what they were doing and start again when they can. Read your owner's manual for help on this stubborn issue. Your printer may have a button or a combination of buttons that you can press to clear its memory. Maybe!

Dialog: Print Queue (Officejet 6300 - 4 documents in queue) (Win7)

The illustration above of a print queue shows four documents waiting to print from three different users (shown in the Owner column). The document at the top will print next. The printer shows as Offline in the window's title bar. Once that printer is reconnected to the computer or network, all of the documents in the queue will print.

Limited info on errors:
The print queue will show Error in the Status column when something goes wrong with a print job, but there may be no hint as to what kind of error has happened. Some printers have a message screen on the physical printer that tells more. Some printers have one or more lights to indicate errors. You may need to look at the owner's manual to interpret the messages or lights.

Common Errors:

  1. Out of paper

  2. Paper jam

  3. Out of toner or ink

  4. Printer is not connected - No error message! Nothing happens. The print queue list just sits there.

Icon: WarningNothing seemed to happen: If you try to print and nothing seems happen, find out why BEFORE trying to print again! Otherwise you will have multiple print-outs when the error is corrected!

Icon: Trouble Problem: Document was deleted from print queue but keeps trying to print
The printer's memory still has the document's data.

This problem occurs most often when there is a problem with the printer and you decide to delete the job and print later or on a different printer. When the problem is fixed, the printer tries to keep on printing! For long documents, this keeps the printer from being available for other print jobs, plus it wastes paper and ink or toner!

Solution: Clear the printer's memory.
Some printers have a button or combination of buttons to do this. Otherwise, power off the printer (power switch or unplug it from the electric outlet), wait about 30 seconds, turn the printer back on. That will usually delete all print jobs from the printer's memory. Downside: Any other print jobs in the print queue are also deleted. Hope everyone saved their work! Users will have to send those jobs to the printer again.

Network Printing

If you are using a network printer, you will also need to know how the network handles printing. There can be some tricks to sharing a printer with other users.

  • Where will your printed pages land?
    (Where is the physical printer?)
    It is very embarrassing to find that you printed something to your school principal's printer instead of to the one in the teachers' workroom! It's even worse if you printed to a networked printer in another town, like I did while working for a community college with 7 different campuses.
  • How can you tell which print job in the queue is yours?
    Will the document in the print queue show your name, your login name, or the computer's name?
    (If it is the computer's name, what is that name??)
  • How can you delete your print job?
    Usually you can delete only from the computer that sent it and using the same login.
    That's OK for your own print jobs. The worst problem is when someone else logged off but left a print job that was hung up. No one else can dump the job! Well, your IT department can. Sometimes turning off the printer, letting it sit for a while, and turning it back on will clear its memory of the problem print job... but that does not always work.
  • How do you know when your print job is done?
    Is there a message or a beep on your computer when your print job is actually done?

TipGet your print-out! It is easy to forget if the printer is not right by your elbow, especially if there are several print jobs in front of yours in the print queue.

Tip ID the document. Be sure that your documents include your name or some way to make it easy to tell whose document it is. You don't want someone else accidentally going off with your print out before you can get there! And, you don't want to be that person, walking off with someone else's document with no way to know whose it is.

TipDid it all print? The printer can easily run out of paper in the middle of a print job that needs several sheets of paper. Be sure to check your print-out to be sure you have all of the pages before you leave the room! It is especially easy to over look this issue for documents that use tens of pages or when you are in a hurry.

Icon Step-by-Step 

Step-by-Step: Printing

 Icon Step-by-Step

What you will learn: to change the page setup
to use Print Preview
to use Print dialog
to view a printer's properties
to print a page, a range of pages, or a selection

  Start with:    Icon: Browser Home Page Printer

Before you can print:

  1. Check your printer.
    Does it have paper?
    Does it have ink/toner?
    Is it turned on and connected to the computer or the network?
  2. Know which printer to choose from the list of printers.
  3. Display the page My Home Page by clicking the Home button in your browser (you set this page as Home earlier in the lessons), or from your resource files or ../start/index.html

Page Setup

IE and Firefox have dialogs that are somewhat similar. Chrome does not currently allow many changes to its default page setup.

  1. Open a dialog and manage the printed page:

    Icon: IE IE: Button: Customize and control (Chrome 34) > Print  >  Page Setup... .
    The Page Setup dialog opens.

    Inspect all of the choices and make any necessary changes to match the settings below:

    • Dialog: Page Setup > Custom header - center (IE11)Page Size- for the paper you are using, probably Letter (or A4 in the majority of the world outside the USA).
    • Orientation - Portrait
    • Check the box Enable Shrink-to-Fit
    • Header -
        Custom header that shows your name
        Page # of total pages
    • Footer -
        Date in short format
    • Margins - 0.75 in. (or 19.05 mm) for all margins (Find out if you can use smaller margins than this and still stay out of the no-print area. Check with your instructor or with your printer's manual.)

    Icon: Chrome Chrome: Button: Customize and control (Chrome 34) > Print... or right click on the page > Print...
    The Print page opens, with some choices and a print preview.

    This dialog is not an exact match for the Page Setup dialogs in IE and Firefox.

    Inspect all of the choices and make any necessary changes to match the settings below: 

    • Layout = Portrait
    • Margins = Default (0.40")
    • Check the box Headers and Footers
    Dialog: Page Setup and Preview (Chrome 34)

    Icon: IE Firefox: Button: Open menu (Firefox 29) > Print... to open print preview > Page Setup button
    The Page Setup dialog opens.  

    • Dialog: Page Setup > Format & Options tab (Firefox 29)Orientation - Portrait
    • Check the box Shrink to Fit Page Width
    • Dialog: Page Setup > Margins & Header/Footer (Firefox 29)Header -
        Custom header that shows your name
        Page # of total pages
    • Footer -
    • Margins - 0.75 in. (or 19.05 mm) for all margins

      Find out if you can use smaller margins than this and still stay out of the no-print area. Check with your instructor or with your printer's manual.

  2. Close dialog.
    Icon: IE IE: Click on OK to close the Page Setup dialog.
    You are back to the browser. Your settings here will be remembered whenever you print from the browser.
    Icon: IE Firefox: Click on OK to close the Page Setup dialog.
    You are back to Print Preview.
    Icon: Chrome Chrome: Don't do anything. You are already in Print Preview.

Print Preview

Chrome and Firefox are already in Print Preview but IE makes you go to the menu again to get there. Print Preview shows you how many pages it takes to print the whole document. Each browser has different features in this view.

  1. Icon: IE IE: Button: Customize and control (Chrome 34) > Print  > Print Preview
    or, right click on the page > Print Preview... .

  2. Icon: Experiment Experiment: Print Preview
    the features available in your browser's Print Preview.

    Icon: IE IE:
    Do you see the margin arrows in your print preview? Can you find how to make them show?

    Can you show two or more pages at once? What tells you the number of pages in the print-out?

    What zoom levels are available?

    Dialog: Print Preview (IE11)

    Icon: ChromeChrome:
    How can you see the margins on the preview?

    Can you see two or more pages at once? What tells you the number of pages in the print-out?

    How can you open the system's own print dialog?

    Open the system print dialog and look for options are not showing in Chrome's Print page.

    Dialog: Page Setup-Print Preview (Chrome 34)

    Icon: IEFirefox:
    Can you show the margins on the preview?

    Can you show two or more pages at once? What tells you the number of pages in the print-out?

    Dialog: Print Preview (Firefox 29)

    Icon: Tip'Vanishing image: The house image at the top left of the My Home Page web page is actually white with a transparent background. In the browser the dark blue of the border background shows through. Since we are not printing the page's background, the image is white on white paper! In some cases you might want to print the background to handle this kind of problem.

  3. Close the preview by clicking:
    Icon: IE IE:  X button Button: Close window (IE11) at the top right of the window.
    Icon: Chrome Chrome: Cancel button Button: Cancel (Chrome 19) at the top left.
    Icon: IE Firefox: Close button Button: Close  - Print Preview (Firefox 9) on the toolbar
        OR, the X button Button: Close window (IE11) at the top right of the window.

    The window Close button Button: Close window (IE11) has different looks in different versions of Windows.

Dialog: Print 

Chrome handles these choices on the same page dialog that you have been working with. Whoops. You will need to open it again!

  1. Dialog: Print (IE11)Icon: IE IE: Button: Customize and control (Chrome 34) > Print > Print...
    or, right click on the page > Print...
    The Print dialog opens.
    Your list of available printers will be different from the illustrations, of course.
    Dialog: Print (Chrome 19)Icon: Chrome Chrome: Button: Customize and control (Chrome 34) > Print...
    or, right click > Print...
    The Print page opens, with choices and a print preview.

    Dialog: Print (Firefox 29)Icon: IEFirefox:  Button: Open menu (Firefox 29) > Print > Print... 
    The Print dialog opens.
    Your list of available printers will be different from the illustration, of course.

  2. Make the following selections:

        Page Range/Pages/Print Range = All

        Copies = 1

  3. Select an appropriate printer from the list in the dialog.
    Don't print yet!

Dialog: Printer Properties

  1. Icon: Chrome Chrome: Click the link 'Print using system dialog'
    The normal Windows print dialog appears.
  2. With the printer selected, click on the Preferences or Properties button at the upper right of the Print dialog.
    The dialog for your printer opens.

    Dialog: Print > General > Preferences (IE11) Dialog: Print - Properties button (Firefox 9)

    Examples of dialogs for printer properties:

    Various numbers of tabs and styles of inputs. Nothing standard here!

    Dialog: Printer Properties - HP500C on Vista Dialog: Printer properties for Samsun ML 1200 Dialog: Printing Preferences - a color laser printer (Win8.1)

    Your dialog probably looks different from the examples here. Each company provides their own dialog for managing each of their printers.

    The Orientation and Media Size should agree with what you set in Page Setup - Portrait and Letter, probably.

  3. Icon: Experiment Experiment: Printing Preferences
    Explore the choices available in your printer's dialog and make changes, if necessary.
    • What sizes of media can it print on? Envelopes? Index cards?
    • What types of media can your printer print on? Photo paper? High gloss papers? Card stock?
    • Can it print in color?
    • Can it print on both sides at once (called duplexing)?
    • Does it have any unusual features?
  4. Print Quality: For this exercise Draft/Fast is fine.
  5. Color type: Automatic will print in color if there are colors anywhere on the page.

    If you don't wish to print in color, check Black text. Use gray scale when there are photos on the page but you don't want to print in color. 

  6. Media: Be sure that your printer is set appropriately for your paper type. 
  7. Click on OK to return to the Print dialog.

Print Web Page

  1. Print Click on the button OK in the Print dialog to print the web page. Three pages will print.
    All pages show the header and footer you set above. The background does not print since we are using the default settings. Each browser fits the page onto paper a little bit differently.

Print preview of My Home Page (IE11)Print Preview - My Home Pages, 2 pages (Chrome 34) Preview: My Home Page - 3 pages (Firefox 29)

Print Range of Pages

Icon: Tip'Print only what you need - specific pages
You can save a lot of paper, ink, and time by checking the print preview to see which paper pages you actually need to print. It is very common for the last page to have only web page footer info or just a copyright line. A wasted page!

  1. Open the Print dialog again.
  2. Match the appropriate setting below to print exactly one sheet of paper:
    Icon: IE IE:      Dialog: Print - Page 1 (IE11)
    Icon: Chrome Chrome:
    Dialog: Print - Page 1 (Chrome 34)
    Icon: IE Firefox: 
    Dialog: Print - Page 1 to 1 (Firefox 29)
  3. Click on OK to print.
    Only the first page should be printed.

Print Selection

You can print only what you need - a selected part of a page. Just drag over what you want on the web page to highlight it and print with Print Selection chosen.

Icon: Chrome Chrome:
Icon: WarningImages are not printed from selection if the web page is actually on your computer. Full pages print normally. Selections from page on the web print normally. Very odd!
  1. Selected text on My Home PageOn the page My Home Page (NOT in the print preview), drag from "Types of Places..." down to "Yahoo" to select these lines.
  2. Open the Print dialog with a key combo:
    Icon: IE IE:          CTRL + P
    Icon: Chrome Chrome: CTRL + SHIFT + P
    Icon: IE Firefox:  CTRL + P
    You cannot print a selection in Firefox unless you use the key combo to open the Print dialog. 'Selection' will be grayed out if you go through the menu. Very odd!

    The choice 'Selection' is not available unless you have selected part of the page.

  3. Dialog: Print > Selection (Firefox 29)Dialog: Print  > Selection (IE11)Choose Selection.
    (Chrome automatically shows and selects 'Selection' when you have selected part of the page.)
  4. Print selection onlyPrint icon Click on the OK button to print just the selected material.
    The same settings for header and footer, color, paper size, etc. are used as before.

    Notice that the total number of pages shown in the header refers to the print job rather than the original document.

TipPrint Preview for a selection: First select part of the web page and then open Print Preview. What happens depends on the browser:

Button: As laid out on screen/As selected on screen (IE11)Icon: IE IE: The default preview is of the whole page, even if you have selected part of the page. Change the drop list on the toolbar from 'As laid out on screen' to 'As selected on screen' and the preview changes to show just the selection. Sweet feature!

Icon: Chrome Chrome: Shows a preview of printing just what you selected by default. If you uncheck the box "Selection", the preview changes to show the whole page.

Icon: IE Firefox: Will not show a preview of the selection, only the whole page.