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Web Pages Print Too Small

Dear Computer Lady,

I like to print things out occasionally from Internet sites (example: my bank activity), and I have tried every trick I can think of to make it print larger. I increase the size on the screen, but when it prints, it always comes out tiny, hard to read. I’ve tried saving a screen to Word, increasing the size of that page, and printing it out. No matter what I do, I can’t make it larger, including by telling printer to “fit to page,” which in many instances should enlarge what’s on it.

What can I do to get a larger, more legible printout?
Thanks for all your help, Marianne

Dear Marianne,

This is a fairly common question.

Let me start by explaining a common misconception.

When you enlarge the view on your computer screen, you are not changing the size of the actual document. This is true both on web pages which you are asking about, and in documents like Word. From your description, I suspect that you are increasing the size of the text on your monitor, but not in print settings.

The good news is there is another way to change the actual printed size in some programs.

I normally use Google Chrome to surf the web, and there are no settings to change the size of your printed output. You did not say what web browser you are using, so I decided to look around and see if there are any other options out there.

I found that you can indeed change the print size in Internet Explorer 7 and 8, as well as Mozilla firefox. You just need to use the “Print Preview” dialog to do so.

When you are at a page you want to print in Internet Explorer, click on the drop-down arrow to the right of the printer icon, then click on “Print Preview…”

In the print preview window, there are two drop down lists, one is for the number of pages you want to preview at a time, and the second is for the size you want your page to print. The first option is “Shrink to fit”.

Click on this drop down list, and experiment with the different settings until you find the one you like. They range from 30% of the original page size, up to 200%.

You can also change the paper from portrait to landscape, to see if this will help make the pages more readable.

Once you have the size you want to print, click on the printer icon on the left of the toolbar and print your pages.

I was able to use this method to print articles off my website in really large print.

I hope it works for you as well.

Elizabeth

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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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2 Responses to “Web Pages Print Too Small”

  1. froglady55 says:

    No drop-down arrow for Print icon on FF 3.6, so went to File > Print Preview instead. This page would print 3 pages … main column on 1st, Categories on 2nd, and URL on 3rd! WHat a waste of paper.
    Is there any way to delete these extras, and print only the important part without copying to a new document?

  2. CAYCARNANA says:

    Thank you so much for this information. Maybe I have seen it before but didn’t remember it. I printed it out-larger font and will keep it handy.