GEN Printing from browser

Please note that ]po[ now offers support for Open Office templates. Financial documents created using an OO template can now be edited with either Open Office or Microsoft Office. Find addtional information here. A contribution (1), (2) from a community member to generate native PDF files is currently under revision.


Printing from browsers has been a lively discussed topic among users, developers and companies that provide browser software for more than one decade. Only when the Internet matured in the mid of the nineties and companies started using web technology to build intranet's, there had been a greater need for commerce oriented and reliable business printing. This text, dated from April 1996 was probably one of the first articles that described the problems involved more in depth. Meanwhile new technologies continue to emerge and there had been some improvement, but some of the annoyances still remain.

Printing pages from the browser using a HTML template

The default way of printing documents is using the browsers build-in functionality "Print Page". Several templates are available and can be easily adjusted to match the corporate design.

From experience it can be said that the standard template solution as currently implemented covers more than 90% of end user needs. Since positions on invoices, quotes, etc are usually accumulated, no more than one page needs to be created so we do not have to deal with page breaks. Another advantage of this solution is is that technologies used (HTML and CSS) are well known so that adjustments can be easily done by any web programmer familiar with this techniques.

HTML is a mark-up language (in opposite to a "Page Description Language") and is primarily thought for browsers, not for printers. Some problems that can't be resolved satisfactorily when it comes to print HTML documents, are the followings:

  • Different Browser Settings
    In most organization users have a variety of browsers installed. This usually implies that page settings ("Page Setup") varies. As a result, alignments are difficult to achieve
  • Different Printer
    Pre-settings for margins vary across different printer types and might overwrite in some cases browser settings
  • Output over more than one page
    In case a financial document spreads across several pages, current templates require adjustments so that are able to handle multi-page output. When this type of printing requirements come up, it is usually an indicator for advanced printing needs that suggest the installation of a "Print Server" (see below)

Best results are uually achived with the following settings:

Set Printing Options


Set page to Portrait and make sure that "Shrink To Fit Page Width" is enabled.

FILE->Page Setup
-> Format & Options:


Delete pre-set text in header and footer


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