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Re: Print Margins


From: Paul Bohman
Date: Jan 26, 2005 7:28PM

> intern.wincog wrote:
> Does anyone have suggestions regarding how wide margins should be to
> be most
> accessible to the widest range of printers possible?

Many modern browsers--with Internet Explorer for Windows being a notable
exception--allow users to set not only the margin size but the percent
size on the page. Firefox (Mozilla) and Opera browsers handle this quite
well. You can print a page at 75% size, 35% size, or whatever size is
necessary or desired. So with these browsers, page width is, in some
ways, a non-issue. Internet Explorer is much less flexible.

On my computer, the width of the printed page in Internet Explorer seems
to be roughly 765 pixels, when converted into screen units. I don't
guarantee that my results on a Windows XP system will match someone
else's on a Mac or Linux, or with other variables (such as printer type)
at play, but it's a starting point for discussion at least. To be on the
safe side, you might consider 700 pixels to be a reasonable maximum
value, but it would be even better to test this out (and report test
results to this list!).

Oh, and one more thing... the printed font size *is* affected by the
screen font size in Internet Explorer. If you set the font to "largest"
or "smallest" (or anything in between), your setting will affect the
printed font size proportionally.

This means that in many ways there is no such thing as an equivalent of
on-screen width to printed width.

If accurate printout is the main goal of your project, you may consider
providing a PDF option as a supplement to the HTML. Perhaps I needn't
mention it, but I'll mention it anyway: be sure the information is
accessible. In most cases this means making the HTML version as
accessible as possible, and, as a (perhaps optional) second priority,
making the PDF directly accessible.

Paul Bohman
Director of Products and Services
WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind)
Utah State University