[whatwg] window.print() when printing is not supported

Markus Ernst derernst at gmx.ch
Thu Jan 7 01:47:20 PST 2010

Robert O'Callahan schrieb:
> On Tue, Dec 29, 2009 at 6:07 AM, Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky at mit.edu 
> <mailto:bzbarsky at mit.edu>> wrote:
>     Come to think of it, airline boarding passes are the only case in
>     which I print things from the web using either print buttons or the
>     browser's "print" functionality.  Are there other common printing
>     use cases?  What are they?
> I print anything that I might need access to while travelling, since I 
> don't have a smartphone and if I did I wouldn't necessarily want to 
> depend on its battery lasting the entire time spent in transit.
> Some users I know make hard copies of emails and other important 
> documents as a form of backup.

I agree to all points mentioned by Robert. And these first two are 
actually cases that are not covered well today, as web mail and map 
applications are often using frames or iframes. Printing from pages 
using frames and iframes is still an annoying part of the web user 
experience. Additionnally, print versions of timetable information i.e. 
for trains are often displayed in toolbar-less popup windows, another 
annoying print experience.

I.e. in Firefox there are no "print preview" and "print preview this 
frame" (or whatever) commands available from the context menu, which 
makes printing from framed pages or toolbar-less popups really 
difficult. (The Mozilla developers do not share this POV anyway: 

While this is not the place to critizise browser implementations, I 
think there is a relation between the importance of print buttons (and 
thus the window.print() function) and the browsers' printing interfaces. 
I am sure that if browsers would provide easy and intuitive printing 
functionalities, the use of window.print() would tend to get marginal 
within some years.

(I understand that this is not a contribution to the original question, 
as the handling of window.print() by kiosk browsers has to be specified 
anyway. It is only a contribution to Boris' question about printing use 

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