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Firefox print preview is a lie.

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  • 1 has this problem
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  • Last reply by john425

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Print preview shows a single page, which is totally appropriate for the content. It says "1 of 1" at the bottom. Click the print button, and it prints 2 pages. (No changes done to formatting, selected printer or anything else.) The second page is completely unnecessary and consists only of a header line at the top, identical to the first page, and a footer at the bottom, which says "2 of 2" and the date and time.

'Print preview is NOT a preview' of what it actually is going to print and reformats the document without warning or permission.

All Replies (4)

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The following reply is from another Mozilla support contributor;

Does this happen with every page you try to print from Firefox?

This quite often happens when the page to be printed looks like it will fit on the page, but actually has some extra padding or white-space at the bottom, which runs on to a second page.

If the latter is true, then the simplest solution is to enter a print range in the print dialog box ("Pages from: 1 to: 1").

Helpful?

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Not really helpful. I wouldn't be able to tell it was going to print 2 pages until it actually did so. Reprinting just the 1st page would be tedious and would waste yet another piece of paper. The whole point of Print Preview instead of just printing is to check that it fits and is going to be legible before committing it to paper. If Print Preview doesn't work, than what is the point of it?

I see no benefit of going to print preview, seeing that it is going to fit on one page (or two or whatever), printing it, and having it actually print 2 or 3 or whatever extra pages, which I then have to throw away because they have some useless information (like "Page 2 of 2") printed on them, which means I can't just put them back in the "In" tray of the printer.

Also, if I only save the first page (e.g. it's a receipt I need to file), the recipient might want to know why it says "Page 1 of 2" at the bottom, but there is no page 2.

By the way, don't blame the printer. Sending more data (like blank lines at the end) might cause it to feed an extra sheet, but it won't change the bottom of the 1st page from "Page 1 of 1" (as shown in Print Preview) to "Page 1 of 2" and won't cause "Page 2 of 2" to appear at the bottom of the second page. This information is supplied by the print formatting software, and Print Preview should use the exact same formatting as the actual Print uses. If one thinks there is only one page, then both should think there is only one page. On the other hand, if there are multiple blank lines at the end, both Print Preview and what gets sent to the printer should both show that. If not, then it is a bug in Print Preview.

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Can you give an example of a public page that has this issue? Please note that there is a link moderation queue (as an anti-spam measure), so sharing a URL will briefly delay the appearance of your reply in this thread.


In case Firefox has stored some faulty information for your printer that is affecting layout, you can flush those preferences as follows:

(1) In a new tab, type or paste about:config in the address bar and press Enter/Return. Click the button accepting the risk.

(2) In the search box in the page, type or paste part of the printer name and pause while the list is filtered

(3) For each preference that has a trash can icon at the right, click the trash can to clear the value. You can skip customized headers and footers so you don't have to set those up again, I don't think they affect pagination.

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Thanks. I assume by clearing everything, Firefox will reset defaults next time I try to print something and hopefully will get the printer and the print preview settings back in sync.

Unfortunately, the particular page is gone (I tried re-opening the tab and all I got was an empty page.) It was a receipt for a donation (might need it for the IRS), and so not public. They also emailed me a "copy" of the receipt, which wasn't really a copy since it is formatted very differently, and definitely would take 2 pages to print, so it's not a good test case.

The next time I want to print something, I'll confirm whether the print preview now matches the actual printer output and post the results here.

Thanks in advance! I hope this works.

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