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Why can I print a text selection from one user account on my Mac, but not from another user account?

  • 13 replies
  • 5 have this problem
  • 126 views
  • Last reply by jscher2000

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This has to be the most bizarre thing I have ever seen.

There are 2 users on my iMac - myself and my wife.

If I use my account to access a certain internet page on Firefox, then select some text and go to File>Print, I have the option to "Print Selection Only". If I don't select any text, that option is greyed-out. This is how I expect it to work.

However, if my wife uses her account to access the very same internet page on Firefox, then selects the very same text I selected and goes to File>Print, the option to "Print Selection Only" is greyed-out.

I have no trouble selecting text and printing the selection from my account, but my wife cannot do the same from her account on the same computer with the same web pages and the same printer and the same selected text.

What on earth is going on here?

All Replies (13)

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The problem is still present. I thought maybe it has something to do with who signs in to their account first, so I conducted a test. The test proved it doesn't matter who signs in first - "Print Selection Only" is always available in my account, but never available in my wife's account.

I would appreciate someone offering an opinion on this issue. Does it look like a Firefox issue? Does it look like an OS X issue? Is there some other possible explanation? Has anyone tried to replicate it? In the absence of any helpful response, how do I escalate the problem?

Modified by gazthewiz

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You can create a new profile to test if the currently used profile is causing the problem.

See "Creating a profile":

If the new profile works then you can transfer files from a previously used profile to the new profile, but be cautious not to copy corrupted files to avoid carrying over problems.

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I created a new profile for my wife's account, and verified that Firefox was indeed using a new profile (all her bookmarks were gone, and it came up with the Firefox welcome screen).

I navigated to one of the web pages that are known to cause a problem, and sure enough, after selecting some text, the "Print Selection Only" option was greyed-out. The very same text is able to be selected and printed from my account.

So a clean, new profile does not solve the problem.

Modified by gazthewiz

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Do you and your wife have identical add-ons that may modify pages or filter content (e.g., ad blockers)?

Is it a page you can post a link to? I'm wondering whether there's anything unusual about its design, or whether it might have some peculiar scripts running.

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We both have AdBlock Plus enabled. Avast online security addon is enabled on mine, but on hers it says that the add-on could not be verified. I also have WorldIP on mine, and not on hers.

There is nothing special about the text that will or won't enable "Print Selection Only". The vast majority of text works fine on my account, with few exceptions - for example I can select text from this box, but "Print Selection Only" is greyed out. I have not been able to find ANY text on ANY website that works on her account - "Print Selection Only" is ALWAYS greyed out on her account.

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And you use the same printer, I assume.

If I ever buy a Mac, I hope to be more helpful with this kind of question, but printing is one of those areas where the dialogs are quite different between Mac and Windows.

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Yes we only have one printer, and it is the one that is set up for both accounts.

Printing an entire webpage works fine on my wife's account. It is just the "Print Selection Only " that is the problem.

Modified by gazthewiz

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The suggestions offered so far have been somewhat useful, but they haven't led to the source of the problem being identified.

Is there nobody with any other ideas?

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I think that it would be better to ask about this specific issue on a Mac oriented forum.

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Could you elaborate on why?

Are you saying that you believe the problem is in OS X?

If so, why have you formed that opinion?

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I have tried another experiment.

I also have Apache OpenOffice installed on the iMac. If I open a text document in my account using OpenOffice and select some random text to print, the print menu comes up with "Print Selection Only" enabled.

If my wife does the same using her account, the "Print Selection Only" option is also enabled!

So OpenOffice behaves as I would expect, but Firefox does not.

In my opinion, this clearly indicates that the problem is most likely in Firefox, not in OS X.

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I have some more interesting information.

I tried creating a clean, new profile in MY account.

If I switch to that new profile, "Print Selection Only" is NOT available!

So for some reason, "Print Selection Only" is only available when I use MY current profile.

It now looks like the problem IS something to do with profiles. But creating a new profile does not solve the problem. Where do I go from here?

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I can't think of any preference or setting that would make print selection unavailable. Hopefully someone with more insight into Mac printing has an idea.