My question concerns a problem I have had since day one: Printing! When I print a page, words on the right hand side are cut off all the way down the page. My Printer is a HP Business Inkjet2250 and nobody seems to understand why it does this.

Very frustrating, I know. It’s quite common.

The good news is that it’s not necessarily your printer. It’s more likely to be the program that you’re printing from.

And I’ll bet that program is Internet Explorer.

So before I place all the blame on Internet Explorer, if you’re using some other program, for example, Microsoft Word, then you need to play with your application’s printer settings. Typically that would be in the File menu, Page Setup… item. Different applications put it in different places, or give it different names, bit that’s the most common.

In there you should experiment with things like page margins, and if the application supports it, something called “scaling.” Scaling, often called “Fit to page,” is a way to tell the application to shrink what’s being printed so that it actually fits between the margins you’ve defined.

And there’s the rub. Not all applications have the ability to “shrink to fit.”

Most notably Internet Explorer. If you print from within the Internet Explorer browser, you pretty much get what you get. You can play with margins somewhat in the Page Setup… menu item, or perhaps try printing in “landscape” (sideways) instead or “portrait.” But those are about your only options.

One solution is to use Firefox as a browser. Click on its File menu, and then Page Setup… menu item, and right there on the Format & Options tab is the setting we want to see: Shrink To Fit Page Width. Make sure that’s selected, and you should get the results you’re looking for.

I continue to run Firefox as my primary browser and am quite happy with it. Flexibility in printing is just another nifty feature that’s frosting on the cake for me.

But I’m hopeful that IE 7, when it is finally released, will have a similar feature.

Ask Leo! – Should I switch to Firefox?
Ask Leo! – How do I keep my computer safe on the Internet?

[tags]ask leo!,leo notenboom,printing problem,internet explorer print,shrink to fit page[/tags]