Make printing work better with the Web

As promised, I
want to talk today a little bit more about printing experience in IE7. Printing
is after navigation/search one of the most used features but it still lacks the
fidelity of like say a photo printing program. Why is that? Content for the Web
is in general not designed for printing. If laid out at 100% it generally
exceeds the space provided on the paper. In IE6, for example, you end up often
with cut-off right margins. Another very common problem when printing for
example receipts of the Web is that you end up with 2 pages of paper where the
second page only holds 2 lines of useless information like copy right statements
etc. These are all examples where the authors did not think of the user

Our goal for IE7 is to put more control in the
users hand to get the Web right for printing. In IE7 Beta1 you will see the
first steps in this direction. Keep in mind this is just a teaser of what you
will see in Beta2.

For Beta 1, I want to emphasize 3 changes to
printing and PrintPreview:


We now have Shrink-to-Fit on by default when you
print a page with IE7. This feature will determine the width of the document
and adjust it to fit on your paper. No more cut off right margins. Of course we
give you the ability to adjust scaling rates to really adjust it the way you
want it. 

Orphan Control:

If IE discovers that you are printing a document
that gets laid-out on two pages and the second page only covers minimal
white-space, we automatically shrink-to-fit the page to fit on only 1 page of
paper. Of course, you can manually adjust the scaling rate back if you rather
have it printed on 2 pages but we believe that we will save a lot of trees with
this feature. :-) 

UI-changes to put the user in control:

The look and feel right now is still very “bare
bones” but you can detect the new emphasis on user control. Notice that we
elevated the selection of landscape and portrait mode. The motivation behind is
that if content is much wider than suitable for portrait mode it should be easy
for the user to select an alternative. Also we provide now the capability to
turn on/off header and footers. Even though they provide useful information
(like origin of the page and page numbers etc.) they sometimes not wanted for
printable output (like images etc.).

We would love to hear your feedback on:

  • Currently
    we apply the orphan control if we detect that only 10% or less of the available whitespace is used. Does that work for you or would you rather see a bigger/smaller
  • Shrink-to-fit.
    Does it work for all of your pages? Since we are relying on the horizontal
    scroll-able area to report us the width of the pages, we want to ensure that
    this will work in all corner cases.


- Markus

Comments (94)

  1. Anonymous says:

    In my experience, the most common printing problem when dealing with internet browsers is with Acrobat files. People use "print" in the menu bar, instead of the "print" icon in the plugin bar, only to end up with blank papers.

    As I’m not a beta tester, I don’t know if this is a problem in IE7, and if it’s not – never mind little old me ;)


  2. Anonymous says:

    Please, please, please include a proper implementation of <thead></thead> and <tfoot></tfoot> in IE7!!

    For long tables of data, it’s not only critical that the page is shrunk to display all of the columns, but for multiple pages of data, it’s critical to have the table headers repeatable so you know what data you’re looking at.

  3. Anonymous says:

    "… … … boilerplate…. "

    yes, many of those problems/irritations are why many web users never print (unless being forced to print under duress of Xtreme torture by Der Internal Uber Securitatah-tah Pohleeze). Since I’ve just begun messing with css (for temporary reasons), I don’t have a strong impression of the RW usability of @media (spelling?) feature (print version). But… i like some of the style viewing options avail via menu in firefox/moz and opera. I sense a lot of potential in current hot stuff such as, user stylesheets… js: greasemonkey… platypus… html filters (proxomitron, proxomido (spelling?))

  4. Anonymous says:

    Not that this has anything to do with the topic, but please be aware that the shortcut for a forced refresh has always been CTRL+F5. You can see this for yourself using the keyboard shortcuts help topic in IE6.

    "Refresh the current Web page, even if the time stamp for the Web version and your locally stored version are the same. CTRL+F5 "

  5. Anonymous says:

    I vers 6, if we "Ignore font sizes specified on web pages" you ignore font heigh in style sheets, BUT YOU DON’T IGNORE LINE SPACING. So a page will retain say, a line spacing of 9 points, and the font is now 20 points? Can you imagine the unreadble crap that turns out to be?

    (And why do we ignore font size? Because WE CAN’T READ THE DAMN SMALL FONTS THE DAMN PAGE)

    - If I sound angry its because I’ve been fighting with webmasters for years because in generaly they don’t give a damn.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I continue to be amazed that most web designers don’t use a simple @media or <link media=x> bit o’ code to write some simple CSS hiding the nav, the footer, and/or the overly-large title image that forced the rest of the text to print off the edge of the paper, etc. It’s easy. Print-preview something at to see.

    Anyway, that sounds great, IE team. Saving trees, and users’ sanities! Yay!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Just a quick and probably not too significant request. Would it be possible to fix the text selection process to only select what you’re actually highlighting? The way it’s set up now, when you select a word(s) on a web page by highlighting it, it tries desperately to take the space before the word and/or after the word as well. Generally, I don’t want the spaces when I’m selecting text.


  8. Anonymous says:

    Sorry if this is a duplicate:

    How about letting the user specify the percentage that orphan control kicks in at? You mentioned 10%. How about letting the user choose a value between pre-defined limits? It might not have to be (but very well could be) a UI control. Instead, it could be a registry setting that could be controlled via script and/or group policy.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Tried some samples of shrink to fit. I went to because I knew they had a wider page and was curious to see what would happen. Both in PRINT, and PRINT PREVIEW, I got a windows error and was asked to close IE7b1. FYI.

    Also, if shrink to fit causes over a certain percent of shrinkage, why not offer user the option to print landscape?

    I’d also like to see the Print table and page backgrounds moved or added to the Print dialog rather than Internet Options.

    Thanks for allowing us to comment on this as it develops.

  10. Anonymous says:


    Can any one solve this problem I’m having regarding printing contents of a page in IE 6.0.

    The idea is to print the contents of a text editor by first transferring the contents onto a webpage and then using IE’s print preview. Now the problem is the layout of contents in preview does not appear as is in the web page.

    I’ve tried setting margins and page size but to no avail.

    Could you please suggest how to print the contents of a texteditor as is i.e. WYSIWYG?

  11. PatriotB says:

    "Print-preview something at to see."

    I went here and did a print preview and was suprised to see–a blank page! And then after several seconds, the page appeared. In cases like this, where print preview needs to fetch additional files from the internet, it would be great to show something to the user to that effect, so they know that the page is loading.

  12. hAl says:


    Making the orphan control user specified would not be a good idea. I cannot see any practical use in letting people set percentages between for instance 5% and 20%. Webdevelopers however would get complaints about printing that they cannot reproduce because people have used some personal orphan setting.

  13. hAl says:

    Someone here said that adding printing info to each webpage is fairly easy. However if you order a webapplication for lets’say €25.000 and the extra cost of for making all pages of the application printable (and testing that) in different browsers is an additional 5k or more, without really generating any more income, it is easy to see why companies won’t go for it. So a standard solution for printing of webpages will most likely be needed always.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I would just like to echo Dave’s comment above. It would be great if IE could repeat table headers on subsequent pages when printing goes beyond 1 page. Perhaps the thead tag could dictate what those headers are, or some css style if preferred.

  15. Looooooka says:

    oh well the beta thread was big and i’m sure this would be missed.

    will the SELECT input overlay bug be fixed in the final ie 7 version?

    because in the beta the select case still shows on top of a layer…annoying.and the only way to fix it is to have the layer in an iframe…or use javascript to crop the select case where the layer overdraws it.

    just an idea…the printing ideas sound cool we’ve been having the same wishes for programs we’re developing.Glad to see ie will be using this :)

  16. Anonymous says:

    The misinformation keeps coming:

    <<it’s critical to have the table headers repeatable so you know what data you’re looking at>>


    <<It would be great if IE could repeat table headers on subsequent pages when printing goes beyond 1 page>>

    IE and other browsers already provide for the Web coder to do that. Internet Explorer repeats headers and footers in data tables by means of CSS properties that are dropdead simple to use.

    Brett Merkey

  17. Anonymous says:

    I second Xepol’s request of adding IE7 to Ladybug (MSDN Product Feedback Center) for bugs, feature requests and other product feedback.

    Especially as the next time a team says that it is "listening to customers" there is hard proof for everyone to see :)

    At the moment, I also can’t find any way to report bugs for MSDN/Technet IE7 users who don’t have logins to the beta site/newsgroups.

    This will become much more important if there is a public Beta 2.


  18. Anonymous says:

    when is IE 7 thought to be released for the public?

  19. Anonymous says:

    I’ve found bugs with printing that when dealing with complex floating elements and layers that bringing up the print window crashes. The only way to make IE not crash was to add a print stylesheet that makes one of the floating layers display:none;

    I wonder/hope that the shrink to fit will fix this problem.

  20. Anonymous says:


    I mentioned a problem with printing in IE that happens even today; if you host an Office Document within a frameset, then try and print that document/frameset, it just doesn’t seem to work. When the document is the immediate child of the window, the Print function correctly invokes the application’s print dialog, but this relationship seems to get lost when the document is hosted in a sub frame?

  21. Anonymous says:

    I haven’t tested the beta, but Orphan Control sounds great! We’ve all groaned upon printing a web page that took up one page… plus a single line on a second page. A terrible waste indeed. The 10% rule sounds about right, though perhaps the program should also consider where on the page the whitespace occurs. If there’s text in the middle of a mostly blank page, perhaps it’s intentional.

  22. PatriotB says:

    Paul Armstrong: I’d suggest posting a link to a page that will cause the print preview to crash. That way, if the IE team doesn’t already know about this, they can have somewhere to start.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Your printing improvements to IE7 break the ability to print HTML e-mails from Outlook 2003

    Error : Object Required

    URL res://ieframe.dll/previes.dlg

  24. Anonymous says:

    Printing in IE has been killing me for 7 years now. I have written ActiveX controls to handle 4 things that should be built-in.

    1) Left, Right, Top & Bottom Margins

    2) Setting the Header/Footer

    3) Print orientation (normal/landscape)

    4) Better/more accurate page breaks (or support for page-break-before:avoid)

    IE is sooooooo close to being a usable means for implementing printing (think: replacement for Crystal Reports). If only there was better support for printing.

    Other things that would be nice, but I can live without include:

    1) rich content (html) in the header/footer

    2) trust zones for printing so a user can trust a web site to print via script without being prompted

    3) print-preview via script

    btw. Until these features are implemented in IE, it seems like InfoPath will continue to be another printing pain-in-the-wazoo (since InfoPath uses IE for its UI/Printing engine).

  25. UnexpectedBill says:

    Okay, so I was looking at the IE Blog today on a Mac OS X computer with IE5 for Macintosh…and it looked different!

    Figuring that perhaps there was some funny business going on with the browser, I tried again on my regular PC…and it’s still different.

    Was there any particular reason for the design change? Is there a way that a visitor to this blog can request to see the old version?

  26. Anonymous says:

    IE7 <b>the</b> choice for the next generation of virus and spyware deployment!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Printing a web page is always going to be difficult when there is a difference between the size of a character on paper to on screen.

    5 lines of text at 8pt on screen can end up being printed as 4. Expand that across the full length of a page and you end up needing different media print line-height styles just to make up for the extra spaced gained. Whilst you can almost live with this, its made even worse in that the reverse occurs with fonts greater than 11pt. (and yes the same problem occurs irrespective of whether you use pt, px, mm etc!)

  28. Anonymous says:

    How do you plan on handling "media=print" in IE7 in regards to this? Will these user settings automatically override any stylesheet set for "media=print"?

  29. Anonymous says:

    As a user who prints many webpages:

    (1) I am totally convinced that many-most developers will never provide properly printable pages. Therefore i cringe when i see developer posts above suggesting that the print formatting be left to the developers. For many reasons, most of them will not ever do it.

    (2) When i see the posts oriented to ‘Well I never print’ — so why should anyone else ever print, i get angry. And the variations on that which say ‘well i (and therefore of course everyone else) want to print ONLY the text (picture)’ i also get totally baffled by such blind attitudes. Please ignore such comments. Some of us print a lot. And want to print the full width of the page.

    (3) Orphan control is a start but does not go far enough. Consider the many pages that require printing ten pages of promo materials in order to get one page of genuine content. It it not just a ‘white space waste’ issue. Eg, print 10 articles from PC Magazine — you’ll print 50 plus pages of paper, and it will be 10 pages of genuine content — plus the SAME 4+ pages of bottom-of-the-webpage material printed 10 TIMES — over and over for each of the 10 stories. Similarly with many websites.

    (4) I’ve given up on the ‘Print Version’ most of the time because those increasingly also cut off the right side. And as the other poster said, it’s a damn nuisance. Additionally, when i print a page from a site that is new to me (and most are because i do a lot of research) i want to print the whole page, including the left and right columns, so i can later review what’s in those. I print the article, and scan the other stuff later, on paper — where it is faster to scan than on-screen.

    (5) pdf solution is terrible for printing webpages. Similarly the turn-the-page-into-graphics format idea is also terrible.

    (6) Shrink-to-fit so as to stop losing the right side is of course excellent. But, since i’ve encountered screwed up Print Preview instances, please don’t allow developers to screw that up — and thereby defeat the printing.

    (6) In addition to or instead of automatic orphan handling i want a simple page-cut-off control — move the cursor to the location of the desired page-bottom/new-page and click to force new page — eg like Office programs.

    (7) And nice extra feature added to that would be option to not just force a new page, but to also cut off printing the remainder of it.

    (8) Note 2 situations related to those features: Currently there are many pages that print one last line of genuine content on the next page — followed by many pages of bottom-of-page boilerplate. I want to force a new page after that last line, so as to keep it on the prior page.

    Additionally, no matter where the page is split now, a line of readable text is often distorted — eg, bottom half of the bottom text line lost in the bottom-top gutters. User-selected force-new-page-here control would solve those problems.

    (9) One last nicety would be to allow force vertical new page also (in same way as in Excel etc). Especially for the ‘Compare’ column situations in which the developer has not provided for printing.

    (10) Thank you much for dealing with the problem that has me angry with website developers every day, many times every day. The right side problem has been increasing over the past months as fewer and fewer pages will print properly — 90% lose the right side.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I’m quite happy with Opera’s solution – they have years experience in small screen rendering which they’ve applied to printing and got fantastic results (not just by scaling page down, but smart use of CSS to relayout page).

  31. Anonymous says:


    There is one thing that is missing in all browsers as far as printing goes. That is user-interaction with the web developer. On all other levels I can communicate with my surfers but when it comes to printing the communication is broken. They can’t talk to me and I can’t talk to them. This needs to be fixed. If a user comes to my site (buys a ticket giving me everything from their credit card number to their address), I should be able to interact with them and ask them if they want the ticket printed my way or their browser’s way. Right now I can’t do that. I need to send them a "printing-pretty" page. They are still going to get the header and footer. What if they don’t want that? There needs to be a way for the user to tell me what they want so that I can dish it out. Until you make that available you are pretty much wasting your time messing with the printing stuff.

    To bring it to basics, this is what is needed – The surfer must have the ability to tell me (the web developer) what they want printed. Be the first to do that and you’ll probably be back up over 90% in the browser market. Ken.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I just want to say shrink to fit is a brilliant implementation and thank you for it.

  33. Anonymous says:

    >Content for the Web is in general not designed for printing.

    That’s why you, with CSS, can design the content for printing! I do agree that a shrink-to-fit-function is great for large images, but when it comes to designing web content for printing – it’s really a question of how high the CSS-knowledge is of the developer.

    What do you print? Perhaps pictures, and most likely text. I have never in my life wanted to print the design of a web page, I want the content of the page – not the design. If the page is badly designed I copy the text and print it from elsewhere.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Print quality is very important for browser-based applications. I am concerned that the planned automatic IE7 print behaviors will actually reduce print quality in many situations.

    If we can *design* for the user with the CSS properties relating to page orientation, widows and orphans, and flexible page breaking, creating a seamless user experience would be far more likely.

    I constantly must adjust for IE’s clumsy approach for basic print features with hacks like: (

    Implementation of the CSS page-break properties and values alone would help transform the possibilities for print quality meeting industry standards.

    Brett Merkey

  35. Anonymous says:


    > I need to send them a "printing-pretty" page. They are still going to get the header and footer. What if they don’t want that?

    This is what print stylesheets are for. Just display: none the header and footer.

  36. Anonymous says:

    I just want to echo the sentiments regarding CSS print stylesheets. I’ve been hankering for years for a browser to fully implement the print media type, as having alternative stylesheets seems to be to be a very elegant solution to solving the problem of serving content for various display devices.

    The shrink-to-fit and other such things will be great for the sites which don’t bother, but I’d like it if web developers were given the ability to do the right thing in the first place. They know better than IE how best to present the content, after all.

    Of course, the user should still be able to override some of the print media suggestions. For example, it’s possible to specify headers and footers in a print stylesheet, but in lots of cases I’d prefer the browser to provide them to ensure I get an accurate URL, page numbering and so forth. The browser generating a "user stylesheet" (which doesn’t really have to be stylesheet at all as long as the browser acts like it is) is perfectly acceptable, and is already done to a certain extent when users choose preferred font families and colors in the preferences.

  37. Anonymous says:

    I want to clear a misconception in a few posts. Print headers and footers are not modifiable with CSS in the following ways:

    >>Just display: none the header and footer

    No, won’t work.

    >>For example, it’s possible to specify headers and footers in a print stylesheet

    No, no possible.

    Headers and footers specified in HTML are not true headers and footers as currently implemented in browsers. Mozilla-spawn and IE can approximate one aspect of those features in their respective implementation of repeating data table headers and footers in print (see )

    but that is as far as coded HTML goes.

  38. Anonymous says:

    CSS2 Paged Media has some interesting things to say about printing:

    I don’t think that CSS2 has all the answers though. Shrink-to-fit sounds like a good idea especially if it works well in conjunction with the page-break instructions. Since different clients render the page differently and different printers render the text with different size, an application that makes an HTML report needs to let the user have some control over how the page prints.

    Which brings up a side issue about TrueType, it is optimized for readability (which is probably a good thing (thank Bill Hill and crew)), but the drawback is that screen and printer representation do not break the word-wrap in the same place. Perhaps TrueType is a little less true than it represents itself to be? In an ideal world, we could format some text and it would display and print the same on any device.

  39. Anonymous says:

    I heared some rumors that they are not going to include in IE7 pop-up blocking technology. If this technology is already in SP2 they shouldn’t take it away. Internet Explorer without pop-up blocking is an open door to welcome new spyware and adware to the new browser.

  40. Anonymous says:

    All sounds great.

    Now, please please please enable the CSS stuff that is supposed to control this stuff including the landscape printing, so that if a developer actually uses their head and wants to control the printing capabilities of their pages, they can, and it will be done automatically so that the user gets the best possible presentation of the page.

  41. Anonymous says:

    IE does support media=print; it has for a long time. (IE 4.0? I seem to remember personally coding it…) We parse and store @page blocks, but don’t apply them – though it’s possible for third parties to write print templates that do so.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Shrink to fit seems to work on mapquest. I would like to make a suggestion, I would like IE to default put http in front of things. Firefox does this. Fore example, my router…I have to type in ‘‘ instead of just ‘′ it is kinda annoying.

  43. Anonymous says:

    I can jump through hoops to get access to the beta version of IE 7. Or I can just download a nightly build of Firefox to stay on the bleeding edge.

    Which do I choose?

  44. Anonymous says:

    So far I am not as happy with IE7 than I am with Firefox because the toolbar is very blah. You need to implement themes. I think the printing features are excellent, but I agree that the resolution could be worse with this automatic downsizing, however, this is an EXCELLENT idea. Good job.


    It would do well to make your download smaller like Firefox for us dial-up users.

  45. Anonymous says:

    My most wanted print CSS support is for page-break-after: avoid to work and for the widows and orphans properties to work. Perhaps you’ve snuck it in when I wasn’t paying attention, but last I looked no major browser supported these.

    It also seems reasonable to provide some built-in defaults in this vein, such as avoiding a page break right after a heading and avoiding less than four orphans and widows.

    However, I’d guess that the layout code for all this, bearing in mind crazy things like tables, floats and generated content, would be non-trivial.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Sheesh, people, stop constantly trying to turn IE into FireFox. It’s not Firefox…. sure, the browser is decent, but they’re many better out there. IE works on more pages, renders (now) faster, and has a much faster load time. Admittedly, it can have improvments–but by that, I mean something like mouse gestures or innovative ideas to keep that Favorites menu clean, that sort of thing. Skins are an OK idea, but something nice and clean like we have is always nice. Great job on the print, though! Thats always been a gripe.

    However, a PR suggestion: open the next beta wholly publicly. It doesn’t hurt, really, and it looks better. It also will let more people put in input, and the more user options and prefrences you have, the better browser you get out of it.

    I eagerly await the second beta!

  47. Anonymous says:

    At first sight, this sounds like a real improvement. Valid question: How will CSS’s "print" media type be taken into account?

  48. Anonymous says:


    I read Ken’s problem as referring to the headers and footers included on the page itself, e.g. the site logo etc. That you can alter with display: none.

    He says:

    > They are still going to get the header and footer. What if they don’t want that? There needs to be a way for the user to tell me what they want so that I can dish it out.

    If he’s referring to the headers and footers included by the browser, e.g. "page 1 of 2" etc, then I don’t really think it involves the author at any level. If the user wants the headers, they should be able to set this like any other printer option – it’s not for the site author to decide their printing options. If their browser doesn’t let them do that, then that’s something between the user and the browser developers, not something the page author needs to worry about.

  49. Anonymous says:

    more printing control on user end is good news; but I’d love to request for *solid provider-control printing, total control*

    I’ve worked in apps where the typically non-savvy users have existing, other vendor (mission critical) solutions relying on how the desktop’s printing preferences are set exactly (hey, not my fault but what can i do?)

    adjusting borders and etc was hell, and we simply couldn’t adjust borders/pagebreaks good enuf for our new app. in the end we had to suggest using firefox / using another login for a vanila ‘printing preference’.

  50. hAl says:

    In webapplications it would be good if the developers could have some good control over printing voor certain pages that are often printed like for billing/trainschedules/route-info. It seems unlikely however that webapplications will specify printing information for each and every page that there application will generate as that is a very castly extra effort. So even in applications that generate pages developed for printing most pages will not have those features.

    But off course certain people will print all kinds of other pages as well. So any feature that allows for a good print of a non print-optimized page will be very usefull.

    Something I would like (as a non IE7 user yet) is an automatic quick preview of the print and making landscape the default printing style for pages that render wider than they are long.

  51. Xepol says:

    ok, comments about printing :

    1. in the print dialog is a check box for shrink to fit. Once you check it, it disappears forever. I imagine that I can set something in tools|options, but that’s not the point. If it was a good enough place to turn it on, its a good enough place to turn it off. Don’t randomly change the UI, people will get confused and annoyed.

    2. Shrink to fit does some nice things, it also does some very bad things if you turn it off (like clipping off the right side, forever gone)

    3. Forget the orphan control stuff. A change in the webpage of 1 pixel should NOT make the page print THAT differently. This will drive people insane trying to figure out why 2 nearly identical pages print totally differently. If I turn it on, its on, if I turn it off, it is off. Period. Random software behaviour drives people insane and makes them hate you, your company, your offspring and all your favorite bands. Bad ju-ju there, don’t do it.

    So far, all the print previews I have asked for contain no more than the usual number of bugs (if you print my homepage, you get corner marks, but no top, bottom, left, right or body styles on the text regions) that IE 6.0 has, so that at least is ok (but it would be nice if it actually printed the page PROPERLY for a change…)

    I have to say, however, that the last time I actually printed a webpage was probably like over 2 years ago (a cake recipe I think)… But frankly, I don’t see printing a lot of pages, pen ink is MUCH cheaper than printer ink. When I want something, I usually just save the page to a web archive (.MHT) locally.

    Yes, a web archive -> the whole thing, graphics embeeded and all. This is my favorite method of archiving webpage data. I have a copy, and if I ever actually need a paper copy in some far off distant future, I could conceivably print it then. It would be handy if something actually fixed this.

    There are some pages that just don’t save right. A good example is that when you make an e-purchase, some receipt pages will save, some won’t. Since I don’t like printing (besides, with all the junk printers on the market and notably in my house, there is no assurance that I can print at any given time anyways). Annoyingly, perfectly normal webpages sometimes won’t save for no specified reason whatsoever.

    What would be REALLY useful is if you could print the page image directly to a series of bitmaps. (page001.bmp, page002.bmp, page003.bmp) etc etc. Since print previewing involves rendering to enhanced meta-files, and then playing this out to the printer-dc, it would probably be just as easy to play it out to a series of bitmap-DCs as well. Think about it – This would be a VERY handy feature for when the web archive doesn’t work, my printer is dead, I am out of ink and I just have to have a copy of that e-receipt for next my mail order mexlark printer of the week…

    - Xepol

  52. Xepol says:


    Holding the shift key while clicking the refresh button beside the address box does not appear to perform a hard-refresh.

    Shift-F5 no longer does a hard refresh either, apparently now it is Ctrl-F5. Shift-F5 no longer does ANYTHING. Very annoying.

    If there is a proper place to log these many many quicks and glitches like the VS team has, could someone email me a link to it?

  53. PatriotB says:

    "So far I am not as happy with IE7 than I am with Firefox because the toolbar is very blah. You need to implement themes."

    Like IE6, IE7 uses the Windows visual style (theme) that the user chooses. I don’t think that they should go and develop their own skinning mechanism–IE should use what the OS provides so that it looks and feels like all the other programs the user uses.

    What they should do is open up the Windows visual style engine to third parties (without people having to hack uxtheme.dll). This would benefit all applications.

  54. IMarvinTPA says:


    You could also get some form of PDF printer. A free PDF printer can be cobbled together with Ghostscript. There are instructions floating around here and there that are simple enough to follow. It’ll also be smaller than a BMP archive, as the text will still be text.


  55. Anonymous says:

    Just implement the CSS2 properties defined in and let the user override them (like page rotation, header/footer, custom margins, etc.) in ‘advanced’ mode. This way the user will get reasonable defaults (the way the author wanted the page to be printed) but will also be free to customize them for his/her own liking.

    Shrink to fit is a very good feature for lame web pages (the ones that don’t have media="print" stylesheet), but I’d like to see a "print this area" feature also.

    Imagine this:

    file -> print -> print custom area -> [back to browser] -> [select (by draging) a desired ractangle area (text content, image, etc.)] -> [the browser performs something like ‘image crop’ in photoshop] -> [desired content prints out.]

    I think most of the users would benefit of either the ‘shrink to fit’ or ‘print selected area’ features, as most of the web pages are lame and do not have print stylesheets.

    However do us a favor and PLEASE implement the @page CSS2 rules…

  56. Xepol says:

    I find many of the free PDF printers to be feature lacking, and on the whole, I’m not thrilled with PDF. I had version 4 of the full package, and when they released 5, I had to either stick with 4 everywhere or upgrade to the commercial version of 5. Left a bad taste in my mouth.

    I really question the total amount of memory consumed by the pdf viewer just to see a simple document (I think it loads a plugin for the kitchen sink, just in case I might want to render images, adjusted for the bends in the aluminum.) Yes, they are smaller than bitmaps, but sometime simple is better. I can hand edit a bitmap, I don’t need 500$ software, any software can view it (bitmaps are basic OS), I’m bound to a vendor to print, and I don’t need to pick if my sink is a standard or a pfiser when I render it…

    And if I worry about size, I can always choose to convert it to an PNG, GIF or even a JPG. Bitmaps have never gone out of style. I have bitmaps from Windows 3.1 that still work just fine in windows XP, and many a bitmap from WinXP that I could load into a 95 machine, and NEVER need to download software from a third party to use.

  57. Anonymous says:

    First inclination would be to say to be sure to handle the printing aspects allowed under CSS 2.1. The ability to use print stylesheets is wonderful.

    That being said, if the page won’t fit, perhaps having the ability to print to landscape when it will fit in that situation might be better than only having shrink-to-fit. A number of web pages that are built to fit in a 1024 x 768 screen will fit just fit into a landscape page (when they don’t scroll).

  58. Anonymous says:

    What would be good would be full support for <a href="; rel="external">Paged Media</a>. Is there anychance of working this into the build. You’ve said previously that you intend to fully support CSS2.0, and though the Paged Media module is CSS3, that would really enhance online report development, meaning we wouldn’t have to rely so much on proprietory formats such as PDF and indeed Word for that matter.

    What saith ye?

  59. ieblog says:


    Please report the bug on MSDN at the IE location where you downloaded Beta 1.

    Your other option is to send feedback via the links here but since feedback goes to those that run and write for the blog and not to the Beta program, this is not preferable.


    Al Billings [MSFT]

  60. Maurits says:

    I’ve noticed several "print preview" related bugs in many applications. Would it be simpler to include a system "print-to-pdf" virtual printer, and have "print preview" just send to this? That way the application would only need to know how to print, and not how to do preview as well.

  61. Xepol says:

    Al Billings :

    Actually, maybe this is my mis-navigation, but I download IE7 from the MSDN subscription download center (professional level), under Operating Systems|Internet Explorer|Internet Explorer 7 Beta 1 for Windows XP with SP2|Internet Explorer 7 Beta 1 for Windows XP with SP2, and I can’t seem to find anywhere near there to report bugs for IE.

    Visual Studio’s bug tracking system, which I’ve refered to in several posts, is located at, and it doesn’t cover IE (obviously and unfortunately, because they have an excellent reporting and tracking system for bugs and product suggestions)

    So, any suggestions, or perhaps actual URLS I might visit and fill with various bug reports would be appreciated. I just can’t seem to find anywhere more official than here.


    Maurits: printing and previewing are normally VERY closely related techniques. Most programmers render everything to an enhanced meta-file(emf) configured for the printer page (size, capabilities etc), and then render the emfs to the screen, scaled for preview and then again unscaled directly to the printer device for printing. USUALLY, there is no room for significant differences, except when your print driver itself doesn’t handle things properly (or you run out of ram). Which isn’t to say that some groups don’t do things differently, but EMFs are the simple and easy way…

    - Xepol

  62. Anonymous says:

    IE7 security changes: Rob Franco of Microsoft provides guidance on some of the security work being done in IE7. The first beta, now in private release, adds additional constraints on some uses of URLs and browser scripts. Rob also describes…

  63. IEBlog says:

    In my previous post, I gave a glimpse of what to come in IE7 and printing. Now that the Beta 2 Preview…