Printing improvements within the User Interface of Internet Explorer 8.0

Hi everyone!

We have made several CSS related improvements around printing to improve the readability of printed Web content and offer more control and functionality in the print medium.  To read more about that, click here.

Today, I will discuss two non-CSS related feature improvements that enhances printing experience in IE8:

  • Improved header and footer user interface

  • Improve control over shrink to fit

Headers and Footers

Internet Explorer 8 makes it easier than ever to customize headers and footers.  Although the capabilities of the headers and footers section for printing hasn’t changed much, the user interface has.  Internet Explorer 7 used cryptic characters to code the format of the headers and footers.  See the dialog below:


The new user interface in Internet Explorer 8 now makes it easier for the user to discover and apply the various header and footer parts.  Below is the new user interface:


The three parts of each line represent the left, center, and right section of the headers or footer.  Each item in the drop down represents a selection from one of the existing text codes.  Below is the chart mapping the drop down item name to the IE7 text code:

String in drop down

Text code it maps to


Empty String.





Page number


Page # of total pages

Page &p of &P

Total Pages


Date in short format


Date in long format




Time in 24 hr format



Custom String.

Please note:  You can also apply a custom string.  The string is entered when Custom is selected.  A dialog for this will popup.


Finally, there’s also a font button you can use to change the font used for the header and footer.  The font feature is a new capability in IE8. The header and footer settings are persistent between IE sessions.

Shrink to Fit

Internet Explorer 8 improves how users can control the shrink to fit feature.  This was a new feature in IE7, but can sometimes be over aggressive by default and there was no way to control it.

You can toggle shrink to fit via the page setup dialog.


This blog was brought to you by Veena Karanam, Escalation Engineer for Internet Explorer.


The IE Support Team

Comments (1)

  1. Khuzema says:

    How we can manipulate the printing capabilities thru Javascript.

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