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  1. #1
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    Question Print bug: text disappears on b&w printer only

    Very odd printing bug here that's got me hung up (and so far no search results have yielded a similar problem)...

    I'm working on a print stylesheet for our company's new website (http://www.viktorwithak.com/Corp2007/).

    Print preview shows all pages looking just how I want them (in every browser I've tested).

    I've printed pages to our color printer (an HP Color LaserJet) and it looks excellent.

    However, when I print the same pages to our black and white printer (SHARP AR-M455N PCL5e), I get the following output:
    http://www.viktorwithak.com/Corp2007...screenshot.gif

    As you can see, some (but not all) of the text isn't being printed. It takes up space, and even the link underlines print, but the text isn't there. If you check my stylesheet (http://www.viktorwithak.com/layout/C.../print_all.css), you should notice that I've removed all background-images, and specified both a color (#000) and background-color (#fff) for all elements - at least the one's that should be printing.

    I would have assumed the problem lie with the printer, but our employees send about a hundred prints a day to it from all kinds of websites and documents, and nobody has ever had this problem.

    Obviously, it's unacceptable as-is. Any suggestions?
    Last edited by mykel_suthertun; Oct 23, 2007 at 09:08. Reason: Fixed links

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy DaveWoods's Avatar
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    Seems to print fine for me so I'd guess that it's a problem with the printer you're using.

    What happens if you remove everything from the CSS? Just leave a blank CSS file there and print. It should obviously linearise. If it doesn't and it still prints without the text then I'd almost certainly say it was your CSS.

    If this is the case then I'd use a trial and error method of removing large blocks of CSS until it corrects itself and then track the offending piece of code down.

    Hope that gives you a few ideas but I'm sorry I can't be more helpful as the error isn't replicating itself here.

  3. #3
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    Thanks a lot for looking into it. I was working on something totally unrelated when the answer (I think) finally came to me.

    The fonts that weren't printing were the fonts that I had the following style declared:
    font-family: "Myriad Pro", arial, sans-serif;

    I wanted it to print with Myriad Pro, but I assumed because I had specified backup font-families (arial, sans-serif), that those would take effect when Myriad wasn't available. They didn't. I removed "Myriad Pro" and am using "arial, sans-serif" and it works fine. Not as beautiful, but it works.

    Does anyone here know a bit more about how printers handle fonts that could explain why my first font choice wasn't working on this one printer? Is every font sent from the users computer to the printer? Is it even possible to use "back-up" font-families (like sans-serif) in print stylesheets in the event a particular font cannot be used (just like web browsers)?


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