December 18, 2009 Hatem

Printing in Intranet Web Applications with IE

One of the web applications that I have deployed in the last year in a Government institution is using Internet explorer mainly as web client. Even if the web application was mainly based on open source technologies, I had to deal with closed source issues.

Using windows as terminal for a web application is not a problem, but problems start when you have different version of windows and Internet explorer here and there, but especially when we deal with other devices like printers or barcode readers.

One of these issues is completely strange and personally I couldn’t explain the reason why when a user change a printer, the web page margins change ! Some employees have more than one printer available for common A4 printing tasks, barcode printing … etc. So it’s annoying to fix margins – even from registry – and then seeing these values changing for every printer – randomly !

There is always a solution, and for this problem specifically  I wrote an activex script that reset page margins before printing anything. It worked fine, in addition to another script that deploy some IE settings to all clients in the network through active directory.

But seriously, can someone explain why when a user change printer, the web page margins change ?

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