Re: Printing HTML

Peter Flynn (
25 Sep 1997 22:33:32 +0100

Date: 25 Sep 1997 22:33:32 +0100
From: Peter Flynn <>
Message-id: <>
Subject: Re: Printing HTML

   >From: []
   >I have just read an article of yours that you posted earlier this month
   >about printing HTML. It seems that you are an expert in HTML.
   >I have a question regarding printing in HTML, and I was hoping that you
   >could help me:
   >I would like to add a button to an HTML document. The button would say
   >simply "Print this page".
   >When the user clicks this button, the current web page would be printed.

Why bother when the browser already provides a button labelled "Print"?

Erik replied:
   Problem is, that simple request almost impossible!  

You could perform the button-detection with an inline script.

   In order to achieve an acceptable printout, 
   you need to write a program that converts the web page into EPS or RTF.

But as you say, you'd need to ship a whopping app to do the printing.

   Currently, most browsers will do a poor job of laying out your HTML
   and don't provide the ability to hide forms from a printout, add
   footers, draw table headers, etc.

See my paper to SGML'95 on this topic [1]. Plus ca change, plus c'est
la meme chose.


[1] Flynn, P. Making More Use of Markup. SGML'95 Conference
    Proceedings, GCA, Alexandria VA, Dec 1995.