Problems saving web pages to PDF in Firefox
November 4, 2009 9:51 AM   Subscribe

When I try to print certain web pages to PDF in Firefox, chunks of text go missing. Why?

I suspect this one will be speedily answered, but I've searched and searched to no avail. I've been trying to use Firefox's Save to PDF feature to preserve web content locally on my hard drive, but when I try this with certain blog posts, only part of the post makes it through to the PDF file, often with the layout completely screwed up. I don't need a perfect representation of the web page (though that'd be nice) but I do need all the text. Here's a random example of a blog post where the text of the post itself is missing when I save to PDF. Sorry if this is obvious. I assume frames or something like that may be to blame? Thanks for any suggestions.
posted by game warden to the events rhino to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You are on a mac, yes? (print to pdf, as far as I can tell, is not a built in option of firefox on windows) If yes, do the same bits go missing when you print in safari? What, if any, ad-blocking plug-in are you using?

What parts of text go missing from your example?
posted by nomisxid at 10:03 AM on November 4, 2009

Response by poster: I'm on a Mac. In my example, it's the one paragraph text of the posting itself ("After a tour of the island...") that doesn't appear in the PDF. In this example, it's the reader comments that aren't there. In other examples, much more text goes missing. The problem doesn't happen in Safari (but I would like to figure out a way to make it work in Firefox). Thanks.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 10:11 AM on November 4, 2009

Response by poster: ...and I'm not using any ad blocking in Firefox.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 10:12 AM on November 4, 2009

it may be that the CSS that the page is using is specific to whether it is for the screen or for print.
posted by elle.jeezy at 11:53 AM on November 4, 2009

Something to try, in firefox tools -> options -> content -> Font & Colors Advanced, uncheck the box "Allow webpages to choose their own font", then reload the page and try to print to pdf again.
posted by nomisxid at 12:33 PM on November 4, 2009

A slightly different take along the lines elle.jeezy was suggesting -- my quick scroll through the source for the page that you use as an example shows the LJ template code specifies alternate CSS for various types of feeds, but I didn't see any link in the code to a print specific style sheet, so that might lead to unpredictable results. In this case it looks like for whatever reason the two columns of the layout either no longer fit in the containing object/DIV in print mode or aren't set up to float correctly in the print mode, so the right column gets bumped to the next page. Lazy design.

On preview: nomisxid, my FF is set up as you suggest and the layout is still messed up. Good idea though.
posted by aught at 12:41 PM on November 4, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. nomixsid, I tried your suggestion but no dice. elle.jeezy and aught, I don't understand CSS at all, but am confused that this would be an issue in Firefox yet not in Safari...?

(I don't mind too much if columns getting bumped around, but when they vanish altogether, it's a problem...)

Ah well. I shall switch to Safari when necessary, for now, but if anyone has any other thoughts I'd welcome them!
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 2:22 PM on November 4, 2009

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