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Browser Print Preview Problem

Posted on 2005-04-15
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Last Modified: 2010-04-12
First I apologize if I'm posting this in the wrong area, but I'm not sure what is causing our problem!  We have written a custom report card application using Cold Fusion and running the report cards through Firefox.  The OS is either Win2k SP or WinXP SP 1 and SP 2.  We were testing this application on Dell computers and everything was going great until we switched computers.  When we run the report card from the Dell using Firefox the print preview of the report card looks great and prints just fine.  However, once we do the same thing on a differnt brand of computer, on the print preview some of the lines have creeped up.  We have tried this on an older Compaq, a new HP, and an older IBM Thinkpad and all of them give us the same results of the page creeping.  We have tried different versions of Firefox and that changes nothing.  The only other thing that seemed to come into play was the type of default printer we had picked.  These report cards will be printed on a Xerox printer and when we look at the print preview the lines have crept even more than if we have a Lexmark chosen as the default printer.  These printers are all coming from a network print server, but we have also tried to install the printer locally and had the same results.  Today we even tried to print to a PDF and the same thing happened.  So basically, it looks as if it works on the Dell computers only.  For the life of me I cannot think of what could be so different on a Dell from all the other systems to cause such a problem!  I wold appreciate any help you could provide me in solving this issue.


 


 
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Question by:lbogus
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Expert Comment

by:Watzman
ID: 13792213

The computer itself isn't the cause of this per se; the only possible hardware cause is the video card, or the different printers installed on the different computers.  In terms of software, it could be a lot of things, including the OS, video drivers, printer drivers or quite a few other pieces of software.

Forgetting print preview for the moment, what happens with the actual printout to the printer on paper?  Are they the same, the print preview not withstanding?

When you do a "print preview", the video card and it's driver become the "printer" and the "printer drivers", so if you have different video systems in the different computers, that could explain what's happening (doesn't make it right, but might explain it).  Potentially it gives you a solution, as well, although changing the video systems is kind of drastic.  This could also end up involving a lot of other software, things you'd never think about (things like, for example, DirectX).  But let's start by finding out if the actual printouts to the same printer are the same, print preview not withstanding.
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Author Comment

by:lbogus
ID: 13792594
Thanks for the response.  I appreciate you giving me the understanding of the "print preview" and what happens there.  That helps explain some of the stuff.  As for how the print jobs print out......they print out perfectly fine from the Dell computer but every other "brand" of computer we have tried they will print out with the "creeping lines".
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Expert Comment

by:wyliecoyoteuk
ID: 13810635
To expand on Watzman`s explanation, when you do a "print preview", the system attempts to render the file using the printer parameters for your selected printer:

This means it takes into account the page size, line spacing, cpi, unprintable area, fonts, margins, etc

Suggestions:

The first thing to do is to check that these settings are the same for all the pcs, especially the page size, fonts and screen resolution.

The default "code page" for the pcs may differ, check settings in control panel>Region and language.

Check the page setup in Firefox  file>page setup. Unchecking "fit to page width " may help

Run "msconfig" at a dos prompt, and check for differences in the win.ini snd system.ini files (especially 386Enh )

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Author Comment

by:lbogus
ID: 13818379
I have checked all settings and am not able to see any difference that would cause the problem.  I cannot run the msconfig as I'm dealing with 2000 and XP machines.  I've just been informed that we tried to send this printout to a Brother printer instead of a Xerox and Lexmark and that it printed correctly on the Brother.
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Expert Comment

by:wyliecoyoteuk
ID: 13851753
msconfig works with XP aand 2000 pcs
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Author Comment

by:lbogus
ID: 13858313
Oh you are right...must have had another one of my "moments"!  Getting too flustered with all of this stuff.  I will check into the msconfig findings.  Thanks for setting me straight!
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Author Comment

by:lbogus
ID: 13938909
I have ran the msconfig and I cannot see any differences, and I really looked through the 386Enh.
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Expert Comment

by:wyliecoyoteuk
ID: 13940608
It may be a font problem.
Some fonts with the same names my function differently in different OSes, and   different printers.
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Author Comment

by:lbogus
ID: 13944618
So really, there would be no way around this problem?
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Accepted Solution

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wyliecoyoteuk earned 1500 total points
ID: 13947449
There probably is a solution, but it may be difficult to find.

In the firefox menu,  edit>preferences> advanced,  there is a "resize large images to fit browser window" tickbox.
Try unticking that.
Also look at the fonts in general>fonts and colours button.
There is an option to set resolution to system settings or lock it to 72dpi, for instance. that may be the cause.

I am running Firefox on Suse Linux, but I think the windows options are the same.
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Author Comment

by:lbogus
ID: 14069554
wyliecoyoteuk, thanks for all the suggestions.  I did try them and the result was a little better but we have never gotten it to look correctly.  We are in the process of rewriting the application so we will be a little wiser the next time around.
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