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Print from the PDF viewer without page information

Posted

Had some clients contact us today saying that when they print PDF's out of our system, there's junk at the top of the page they don't want.

Looking into it, it's because when the user prints the page directly from firefox 19's pdf viewer, page information including url and file name get embedded at the top of the page (the same way a web page looks when you print that).

Obviously when you're printing a pdf, you really want the document in it's pure form. I can't find any options in the interface for switching off printing the page details. Here's an example pdf: http://cdn.arosoftware.com/files/IMG.pdf

Currently our solution is to tell clients to download the pdf first, then print it, but the explanation is a painful one.

Chosen solution

The headers and footers will be suppressed starting in Firefox 22, but hopefully it will get moved forward into an earlier release. Bug 743252 – Don't print the URL and other information when printing PDFs - note: please avoid posting comments in bugs because they are cc'd by email to over a dozen people.

Read this answer in context 2

Additional System Details

Application

  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_8_2) AppleWebKit/537.17 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/24.0.1312.57 Safari/537.17

More Information

jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
2365 solutions 20923 answers

Users also could use the Page Setup dialog (on Windows) or options in the Print dialog (on Mac) to clear all the headers and footers, but that's probably more hassle than using their external software.

For information on how to disable the PDF viewer, see this thread: https://support.mozilla.org/questions/951136

jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
2365 solutions 20923 answers

Chosen Solution

The headers and footers will be suppressed starting in Firefox 22, but hopefully it will get moved forward into an earlier release. Bug 743252 – Don't print the URL and other information when printing PDFs - note: please avoid posting comments in bugs because they are cc'd by email to over a dozen people.

Helpful Reply

Wow that was fast. Many thanks for the info. Fingers crossed they move the fix forward.

refaktorlabs 0 solutions 2 answers

This is very serious issue for a some use cases. I have an Invoicing App where FireFox was one of the browsers I highly recommended. Users wrote me about this problem and I can't seem to really help them next to saying "download and then open the PDF" - which degrades usability a lot, "fiddle with firefox internals" - which is even worse, or use another browser "until" version 22.

They can't have some URL-s printed in their invoices out of the blue.

I don't have a big userbase, but even here I have to nag 100s of users to change something to continue to normally use the webapp because of this 19 "upgrade".

jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
2365 solutions 20923 answers

Helpful Reply

Hi refaktorlabs, I can appreciate that changes affecting your users are an added headache for your business. Whether it's the browser, or the user selecting an alternate PDF viewer, you need clear simple instructions that help your users appreciate your support.

Mozilla's support article "View PDF files in Firefox without downloading them" covers a lot of ground and might not be the clearest reference. Here are the steps as I see them.

(1) Open your Firefox Options/Preferences dialog

  • On Windows, click the orange Firefox button or click the Tools menu, then choose Options.
  • On Mac, click the Firefox menu then Preferences.
  • On Linux, click the Edit menu then Preferences.

(2) Click Applications and pause while the list is displayed. Type pdf in the search box to filter the list.

(3) Click the drop-down control to the right of "Portable Document Format (PDF)" to change it from "Preview in Firefox" to your preferred handler for PDFs. This might be "Use Adobe Acrobat (in Firefox)" or another plugin or external program.

(4) Click OK to save your change and close the Options/Preferences dialog.

Hopefully all of your users can understand that.

(Edited screenshot to indicate "Firefox 19")

Modified by jscher2000

refaktorlabs 0 solutions 2 answers

This is very helpful reply and while it worries me that FF did this without thinking about effects on it's users you showed that it has more than awesome community!

I will write this down and translate it to local language. I hope it will help our users. Thank you!

Modified by refaktorlabs

jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
2365 solutions 20923 answers

This fix was moved up to Firefox 20, which released today.

However, there still seem to be some issues around the header and footer area which are causing part of the PDF to cut off when printing.

Sigh.

kings9la 0 solutions 1 answers

I must be missing something? Because I go in to about:config, set all headers and footers to "" and it just doesn't stick. The headers and footers are still printed when I select and "Print to File"!

Package: firefox State: installed Automatically installed: yes Version: 20.0+build1-0ubuntu0.12.04.3

jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
2365 solutions 20923 answers

Hi kings9la, when you set all the header and footer fields to --blank--, what actually prints out?

jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
2365 solutions 20923 answers

Hi kings9la, apologies for missing your reference to about:config. I was referring to setting the header and footer fields in the Page Setup Options tab of the print dialog as pictured in this article: How to print websites.

If the page doesn't automatically detect your OS, use the button next to the Firefox logo to switch it. (JavaScript needs to be enabled, I believe.)

Modified by jscher2000

djfoster 0 solutions 3 answers

I agree with jscher2000. The URL has been removed, but the alignment has not been restored. Firefox is leaving space for printing the URLs, which was not there in previous versions. Our application prints the PDF to labels, so alignment is critical.

We currently have a very large customer which is being impacted, and we are having to advise them to tell their users to use another browser.

Anyone know if Mozilla is aware this is still an issue?

djfoster 0 solutions 3 answers

FYI I filed a bug for the margin still being incorrectly adjusted, despite page URL being removed: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=864871

jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
2365 solutions 20923 answers

Hi djfoster, I appreciate your further explanation of the problem. So you want Firefox to print the PDF full sized, without shrinking it to fit inside a blank header/footer area. That makes sense, and it would provide parity with the option in Adobe Reader.

I don't understand the relationship between Firefox's implementation of pdf.js and the open source pdf.js project, but one of us could search to see whether a bug has been filed with Firefox or an issued has been filed with the project on this.

For your customer(s), can you point them to this article, since any update is likely to take several weeks at best: How to disable the built-in PDF viewer and use another viewer.

jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
2365 solutions 20923 answers

Hi djfoster, obviously I missed your earlier post about your bug. I think it might be a duplicate of this bug: 847049 – Printing from pdf.js rescales/resizes/shrinks output, and very poor print quality.

If forum members can contribute to the development, please feel free to pitch in. Otherwise, it's generally not helpful to add comments to bugs (unless there is a call for test cases), but you can register on the Bugzilla site and "vote" for them to be fixed. See:

djfoster 0 solutions 3 answers

Thanks for the info and the bug cross-reference - very helpful! We'll take a look at it-- it may indeed be the same issue. Will vote on it as well.

It is causing us an unbelievable amount of pain at the moment. We're seeing something similar in Chrome.

Unfortunately the end users of our product are generally not very sophisticated, so modifying their Preferences to choose another viewer was rejected by our customer as not feasible. They have always had direct print as their option for printing these labels, and they don't want workarounds. So I'm hoping Mozilla will put it back the way it was.