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RE: Printing in a user agent

From: Gregory J. Rosmaita <unagi69@unagi69.cnc.net>
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2008 21:51:36 -0400 (EDT)
To: Jim Allan <jimallan@tsbvi.edu>,'WAI-UA list' <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
Message-Id: <20080425015136.BBE7038AB@theseus.cnc.net>

aloha, jim & kelly!

i agree strongly with jim that this is an accessibility issue, for several 
reasons, the most germane being the ability to control pre-set print 
styling so that a user can receive whatever is perceivable to him/her -- 
large print (which, legally is 16 point arial/sans-serif, at least in the
U.S.) and those with eyestrain, photosensitivity (such as when one can read 
from a properly formatted piece of paper, but who gets severe headaches 
and eye pain when attempting to read on-screen); contrast control/negative 
image viewing; and because "embossed" media is included in the "paged" 
media group along with "print" and "projection"


so i think the question to concentrate upon first is, what is our baseline 
when we speak of control over printing?

is what is available via CSS 2.1 Section 13 "Paged Media"


sufficient, or are the CSS3 Paged Media Module:


and the CSS Print Profile:


which is intended to be used with XHTML Print

to be considered/required?

the first step in consideration is finding and using test suites to 
ascertain what is and isn't supported, by which UA, etc.

there is a CSS1 test suite located at:


there is a CSS 2.1 test suite located at:


which includes an html4 version:


an xhtml1 version:


as well as an xhtml1print version:


NOTE: one needs an xml/xhtml parser for the dot x h t files - consult:


for more information about which rendering engine your browser is using 
and whether it has native support for xhtml/xml or whether there is an 
xml/xhtml parser plugin (such as MozzIE, which makes XForms and dot x h t 
and dot x h t m l files parseable in IE)

there is also a "CSS Print Test Suite" located at:


the "cover letter" for which is located at:


if you prefer a translation (non-english) version of the test suites,
you can pick from 14 languages using the links at:


not all test suites may be available in all languages, and as per W3C
norm, the version marked lang="en" is the "official" normative version,
while the translations are just that -- translations...

Freedom of the press should not apply only to those who own one.
Gregory J. Rosmaita, oedipus@hicom.net / unagi69@concentric.net
    Camera Obscura: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/index.html
           Oedipus' Online Complex: http://my.opera.com/oedipus/

---- Jim Allan <jimallan@tsbvi.edu> wrote:

> I think it does come under accessibility requirements. User agents provide
> mechanisms for changing the font-size of the content and adjust the content
> (wrapping text and images) or viewport (adding horizontal and vertical
> scrolling) as necessary. When printing (another viewport by definition) oft
> times some of the content is not visible (right margin truncation in left to
> right languages), and there is no way to recover/retrieve/view the missing
> text. This is independent of the font size selected. User agents have a
> 'default' style sheet for rendering onscreen content. I am sure some style
> sheet exists for printing, but it is not adequate, or I should say does not
> provide an accessible experience in the absence of author supplied printing
> styles. Even with author print style sheets the printing mechanism does not
> allow for selection of font size and consistent presentation of relevant
> content on the paper viewport.
> Jim
> -----Original Message-----
> From: w3c-wai-ua-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ua-request@w3.org] On Behalf
> Of Kelly Ford
> Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2008 5:58 PM
> To: Jim Allan; 'WAI-UA list'
> Subject: RE: Printing in a user agent
> You are really asking two questions here:
> The first is the specific question you've asked but to me there's an implied
> second question which is does this come under the accessibility requirements
> for a user agent?
> Kelly
> -----Original Message-----
> From: w3c-wai-ua-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ua-request@w3.org] On Behalf
> Of Jim Allan
> Sent: Tuesday, April 22, 2008 3:29 PM
> To: 'WAI-UA list'
> Subject: Printing in a user agent
> A colleague asked how to easily print a web document in different sizes when
> the page author did not provide a printing style sheet.'
> Depending on the browser and the authored content this can be as simple as
> choosing a font size (largest) or page scale and printing. The text wraps
> within the page margins, images move as needed, nothing is truncated. With
> other content, printing at other than author defined font size is near
> impossible from the browser. Sometimes, even printing at author default font
> sizes and layout results in content being truncated at the right margin.
> Should a user agent repair a page and allow a user to scale a page, have all
> of the content wrap appropriately (within reason - I know this is soft -
> exact wording can come later), and print the print the page?
> Jim
Received on Friday, 25 April 2008 01:52:10 UTC

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