How Browser-Based Printing Should Work

By Deane Barker on January 4, 2005

My post about MeadCo ScriptX and browser-based printing got me thinking that browsers should allow print configuration on a per site basis.

Think about it: you print different vastly things from different sites, and with the proliferation of Web apps, there are so many more times when you need to make a hardcopy of a Web page. But browser-based printing remains stuck back in the late-90s. I haven’t seen any page printing advancements built into the browser since IE added Print Preview in 5.5 — and really nothing before that.

How I think it should work —

The user should have a default printing set-up (header, footer, margins, orientation), but should be allowed to override this for certain URL patterns. The user should be able to use wildcards to say, “Everything that starts with this URL pattern should print in landscape with half-inch margins and no header or footer…” You could set this for the “reports” directory of your company’s intranet, for example.

Just my two cents. (It’s worth a nickel. Keep the change.)