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Printing Wide Web Pages? 71

Posted by Cliff
from the they-don't-make-printers-this-size dept.
dmayle asks: "I'm an origami folder, and I have some diagrams stored as web pages on a cd. I'd like to print them out (since folding in front of a computer monitor is not the easiest of tasks), but the web pages have all of the steps laid out horizontally. I've tried using Mozilla, Opera, Netscape, and even IE (on a windows platform), but I can't seem to find a printing engine that can handle wide web pages. Am I missing something? Hasn't anyone ever tried to print wide web pages before? What I'm asking is: Do you folks know of any utilities (or browsers) that I've missed that can handle printing wide web pages?"
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Printing Wide Web Pages?

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  • Landscape (Score:1, Informative)

    by halgary (589791)
    Can't you just set the paper orientation to Landscape and click Print? What is so hard about that?
    • Re:Landscape (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Mister Proper (567223)
      This is pretty lame.

      A stupid question was asked and posted by an editor. Everyone (at this moment) giving the correct answer is moderated down as Flamebait.

      Is this an all-time low for /.?

      • Re:Landscape (Score:3, Informative)

        It's the wrong answer. Printing out in landscape will still print the page vertically. Vertical printing is different to printing on a wider page (which is all landscape is). For example,

        They want a page printed like (pipe is the page's edge)

        1,2,3,4 | 5,6,7,8 | 9,10,11 | 12

        and not jumbled like

        1,2 | 5,6 | 9,10 | 12

        3,4 | 7,8 | 11

        The former can be joined together and the content will still be readable across the page.

        Horizontal printing is about continuing sentences and content across all 4 pages before making a line-break, when you return to the 1st page again. I wouldn't do this for text but for diagrams it makes a lot of sense.

        • I seem to recall circa 1993 Acorn A3020's being able to split printjobs up like that...

          I'm actually rather surprised that modern machines can't >:(

          two steps forward, three steps back and all that.
  • Huh? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by spencerogden (49254)
    Can't the pictures just be downloaded seperately and then printed with a proper photo program?

    Did ask Slashdot just become tech support?
    • Can't the pictures just be downloaded seperately and then printed with a proper photo program?

      I'll go out on a limb here and guess that these are webpages with a mix of text and images? If so, it'd be nice to print them out as webpages, instead of printing out the separate photos.

      Did ask Slashdot just become tech support?

      Tech support is, "this is broken, how do I fix it?" This question is, "there doesn't seem to be any browser capable of printing wide web pages, does anyone on slashdot know how to do this?"
  • Why can't you just edit it and change the layout so the diagrams go down the page instead of across?

    If you can't do HTML try one of the many WYSIWYG editors (Frontpage et al, bleurgh).

    Otherwise, post links to the pages - it'd be pretty trivial to knock up a script to do it for you...
  • by Phexro (9814)
    Why not just edit the HTML so the steps are laid out vertically?
  • Is it just me... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dimator (71399)
    ...or are Ask Slashdot questions slowly degrading to crap?

    • It's not just you, but the people vetting the questions do not give credit to their readers. Go ahead think of a tough techie type question, submit it and watch it get rejected.

      /. is going for page hits.
    • yeah, but the trolls [slashdot.org] are getting better...
    • by dev0n (313063)
      just wondering how this can be considered crap.. upon reading the question, all i could think was "damn, i have no idea how i'd go about doing that" -- and that, to me, is something that a GOOD question does. makes me think.

      grr, i'm off topic. it just pisses me off when idiots slam a topic just because they don't care about it or already know the answer. if you don't care, don't read it. and if you already know the answer.. post it, for christ's sake.

      phew. bedtime for this cranky girl, i think. heh.
  • Hmmm.... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Try turning your printer sideways - there were some monitors that could do this.

  • What about just using the landscape format?
    Or a continuous feed printer in landscape mode, and the paper width set to the width of the page?
  • by droyad (412569)
    Open the html document in M$ word and set the margins appropriately. Then get it to scale down and print on one page.

    OR

    Open it the pictures in Paint Shop Pro (excelent program, free evaluation) and got to print set up and select landscape and fit to page
  • IE for mac has had really nice fit-to-page printing for a while now. Since 4.5 I think. I'll make sure paragraphs and images don't get cut off and such.

    Dunno why the PC version, which is so much faster with a better DOM, is like the worstest ever at printing.

    P.S. I love using "worstest".
    • Windows 2000 offers fit-to-page printing for anything. I don't know if Win9x offers such a thing as I've never needed it at home, and of course I'm not using Windows at the moment so I can't check it out.

      Anyway, I don't think it's an IE thing but rather an OS/driver thing.

  • Try printing with your printer set to "Landscape." If need be, you can get yourself an 11x17 printer.

    -sid
  • How about doing a screen capture of your browser and printing the image with gimp or some other paint program?

    • Here's a quote from a newsgroup message:
      The Real Bev wrote:

      >
      > TenThumbs wrote:
      >
      > > BTW, what's the URL for the C-Band thing?
      >
      > http://www.21st-satellite.com/satellite_tv.html
      >
      > We have a 10' and a 12'. We used to have a 6', but it was right by the
      > south fence and the neighbors worried about it :-) (Friend in the business
      > who gave us his discards.)
      >

      The page sets up a 2200 pxiel wide table. There aren't too many monitors
      that wide. Never frae, though; there's always a virtual frame buffer.

      A little experimentation and you discover that you can do
      Xvfb :1 -screen 0 2800x2100x8 &
      netscape -display :1 -geometry =2600x1900 <URL> &
      Since you can't see anything you have to guess when netscape is finished but
      eventually you just do
      xwd -display :1 -root >foo.xwd
      and you now have a screen shot. You have to crop it, of course, but that's
      not hard. Printing it may be a problem but it's a different problem.

      Are we having fun yet?
      The followup message had attached proof.
  • ... just buy a bigger monitor dude. Then it'll all fit on one screen. Trust me.

  • by CoolCash (528004)
    Just get a wider printer... HP has a nice 60" wide one!
  • Pathetic (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Qrlx (258924)
    This is the most pathetic response to an ask slashdot ever.

    Like half of the people have suggested "landscape" when it's pretty obvious that's not what the guy is asking about. He's got a page that's like ten screens wide. Printing in landscape will give him maybe another half-a-screen of width. The question is: How to get the next eight screens of width?

    The only thing I can think of on this one would be to somehow render the HTML page in PostScript (or eps). I don't know what out there would do that. Once you have PostScript, it should be pretty easy to make the printer do what you want, even if it means rotating it 90 degrees so it's on its side.

    If someone could post a link to a nefarious page-widening post that would be cool, too. I can't see them anymore since I stopped using IE.
    • html2ps does a pretty nice job of rendering static webpages into PostScript files and KWord can load the webpage then save it to a PostScript file.

      As Larry Wall says of Perl "TMTOWTDI"
    • One of the points of HTML is supposed to be that it does not care how wide the display device is. But I keep finding pages that are set up so that they can only be printed in landscape on US letter lest the text fall off the page. Poor design.

      But to answer the question:

      Use a printer driver for an A0 postscript plotter and print to file. I have exactly that set up, and can't see why it shouldn't work (but I am not going to print an A0 copy of goatse for /. karma).

      Hmmm... I just created an A0 poster of Theo de Raadt using IE... now there's a troll. :o)

      Xix.
  • Could you import the data into software that would give you more flexibility? One of the reasons you can't find a browser that supports this kind of thing is that browsers are *browsers* and aren't really built for page layout of print media.

  • by foniksonik (573572) on Tuesday July 02, 2002 @11:02PM (#3812143) Homepage Journal
    Save it as a PDF. Easier if you're in OS X but MS Word can probably do it as well. Then print landscape on a large format poster/banner printer.

    Some Epsons and HP's can print unlimited length or very long 'banner' sized images on rolls of paper.

    Take your PDF to Kinkos and have them do it for you.
  • by Photar (5491)
    Editing the HTML sounds like the best option to me. If its all layed out in tables just exchange some TDs with some TRs and it would work fine.

    Too bad there isn't a built in way to do it though... But from a programming standpoint it doesn't seem like it should be too hard to in software just rotate the whole page 90 degrees and send it to the printer.
  • A very nice tool for converting HTML to PDF is "HTMLDoc". It's GPL'ed. The HTMLDOC home page is located at http://www.easysw.com/htmldoc [easysw.com]. It's not clear to me that it will really meet your needs, but if not, it may be possible to modify it to do what you want.
  • by realgone (147744) on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @01:15AM (#3812464)
    ...and probably most other 5.X versons of IE for Mac.
    1. File -> Print Preview
    2. Click the radio button for "Print Wide Pages"
    3. There is no step 3. There is no step 3! =)
    This will force the printer to tile out-of-bounds content in all directions, so that a web page 3 screens wide and 2 screens deep will print as:

    +---+---+---+
    | 1 | 3 | 5 |
    +---+---+---+
    | 2 | 4 | 6 |
    +---+---+---+

    All this hinges on you having access to a Mac, of course. Can't really help you there. *cough* [apple.com]

  • This is a 3 step process and likely more than you were after. I suspect you were hoping for a, "Gee, just use this obscure browser parameter." instead. Anyway here goes:

    1 - Print to a custom page size using a PDF writer or "print to file". I was able to print to an A3 size Postscript file just using Mozilla for Linux. I could also generate a custom page up to 45 inches wide using an old Adobe PDF writer under Windows. I was also able to scale the output to get much more on a page. The scaling trick will work quite well even to very small scales for text and lines but will not work for raster images. If you only have raster images then simply save them individually and print them from Gimp.

    2 - Manipulate the file in a graphics application. A vector based application like Illustrator or Corel Draw will work best (sorry I don't do much drawing so I don't know the Linux equivalent - Sketch?, Kontour?) for rotating and scaling. I was also able to use Gimp to import my mozilla.ps file at a high res (600 dpi) and achieve acceptable results.

    3 - Print the file at whatever scale, in whatever chunk configuration you like.
  • if you have acrobat installed you can just print to distiller of PDF maker and then you can size the pages accordingly in acrobat when you go to actually print the pages.

  • Oh yeah, it was only mentioned 5 TIMES! I could have asked this question in one sentence, 2 tops.
  • Easy, just stick a coupla A4 pages together with some masking tape and force them through the printer with a kitchen knife.

    Alternatively, you could actually try using your brain to figure it out as opposed to asking such a totally lame question.
  • It is not an issue unique to web pages. It is a potential issue for printing from any application.

    Five years ago, when I was an avid user of Acorn RiscOS computers [riscos.com] I had a neat applet which solves this problem for printing from any program. (I can't remember the name, and I have done a search).

    What it did was to setup a virtual printer that could print arbitrary page sizes by printing tiles through a real printer.

    The user would select what size paper they wished to emulate (A1, A0, etc or arbitrary dimensions), and the real printer to print through. The user would then press print from their application. The applet would create and print the tiles, with crop marks etc.

    At the time I found the application quite useful, and found it easy to print out A2 or larger posters from any application, through my humble laser jet, and then paste them together.

    I am quite surprised that there is no similar feature in CUPS, as IMHO, it would be relatively straight forward to implement, especially for GDI printers, and would be genuinely useful.

  • That's what I do when having problems with Internet Explorer printing. You have to make sure to select optimize for compatibility in the properties.
  • This is just another variation on the suggestions offered by others. If you want to print at full size on a normal printer, you can print to postscript in the browser, then run the postscript through poster [geocities.com], which will break it into pages that you can print out and tape together.
  • Contrary to many posters, this is a good question. It is actually rather hard to do.

    Of course, a web page is meant to be rendered in a browser and printing is a secondary consideration for most. Some material just has to be printed - for legal, archival purposes, for usefulness out on the shop floor by machine operators, etc.

    I've encountered the problem often. The extremely wide web pages are typically generated by a database (for example, SAP (accounting) reports, HUD material) or converted spreadsheets.

    HUD (US Housing and Urban Development agency) uses specific tags in their database generated web pages and a tool (HTML Scissors - http://www.faico.net/hscissor/) to split the pages up into printable chunks. The tool works, albeit the solution is imperfect.

    The better solution that several have mentioned is to print to PDF and manipulate that. If you have Adobe Acrobat (the Writer) or Distiller, that works.

    The last is to import into some HTML editor and reformat it. This requires the most effort, and, if the material is many columns of numbers, can be difficult to see if you've bolixed something up.

    Other than the Mac IE print to fit feature, I have not found a simple solution - and would like to myself.
    • I neglected to include a very useful tool: HTMLDOC (http://www.easysw.com/htmldoc/). It will convert an HTML page into PDF without Distiller, etc. It is GPL.

      You can then print the HTML document scaled to paper size using Adobe Acrobat.

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