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How to print whole page containing pdfs at once?

Posted on 2012-04-04
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Last Modified: 2012-04-15
Hi Experts!

As in title, I want to print a page containing pdf files, images, text etc. at once with one print button, for now when I print the page, it prints everything except pdf files, then I have to print each pdf individually and it's not easy with 20 or 30 pdfs. I don't know how to do this, but maybe drop all the files into php array or do it with javascript somehow?

Thanks for any help.
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Question by:Zado
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Expert Comment

by:ajbarron
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Can you select all the files you want printed and then right click > print?
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by:Zado
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No, it doesn't work that way, I tried. I'm looking for a button solution, I mean: click 'print' button (javascript or html one) and then everything prints included pdfs.
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Expert Comment

by:Lalit Chandra
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by:Zado
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Thanks Lalit, but it doesn't work for pdfs.
Guys, I'm more interested in printing the multiple pdfs here than print button itself.
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gr8gonzo earned 500 total points
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The short answer is you can't do exactly what you're asking for, but you could probably come pretty close.

Each PDF and the web page are all individual objects that each require their own "print" command. The web page is printed via the web browser's layout engine, while the PDFs are printed via Acrobat Reader (or other installed PDF reader), so it's impossible to have one click invoke all the print jobs via one print prompt.

Even if you could pop up the print prompts for everything all at once, you'd end up with 30 printing prompts, which is not user-friendly (the printer queue receives print jobs one at a time).

However, I understand you want to reduce the amount of printing, so what you COULD do to dramatically improve the user experience is to offer a button that provides them with a single PDF that contains ALL of the other PDFs merged together.

Then you could use PHP to merge all your PDFs into one document and then provide that one to the user to download/print:

PDF Merge Solution #1:
http://neo22s.com/concatenate-pdf-in-php/

PDF Merge Solution #2:
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1630016/creating-a-new-pdf-by-merging-pdf-documents-using-tcpdf-php (check out the bottom comment that talks about Zend PDF)

I would also recommend against trying to FORCE/auto-start the print job (in case you were thinking about it). There are a lot of PDF-capable devices that do not support printing, or computers with their default printers set incorrectly. It's the equivalent of putting a music / MIDI file on a web page and have it automatically start playing. It's a bad user experience - it's far better to give the -capabilities- to the user and let them do their own printing.
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Expert Comment

by:Lalit Chandra
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yes, gr8gonzo is absolutely RIGHT.
You can instruct other objects/components to initiate Print action from inside the another component (i.e Web Browser).
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Expert Comment

by:Ray Paseur
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Please post a link to the page you want to print.  I'd like to see what the HTML shows us.  Thanks, ~Ray
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Author Closing Comment

by:Zado
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Thanks :-)
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Expert Comment

by:Ray Paseur
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No link, eh?  It's so much easier to help you if we can get the answers to questions we ask you.  Best of luck with your project, ~Ray
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