How to Modify Page Setup for Printing in Firefox

firefox print page setup
Getty Images (Tim Robberts #83462334)

This tutorial is only intended for users running the Mozilla Firefox Web browser on LinuxMac OS X, macOS Sierra, and Windows operating systems.

The Firefox browser allows you to modify many aspects of how a Web page is set up before sending it to your printer. This not only includes standard options such as a page's orientation and scale but some advanced features like printing and aligning custom headers and footers.

This tutorial explains each customizable option and teaches you how to modify them.

First, open your Firefox browser. Click on the main menu button, represented by three horizontal lines and located in the upper right-hand corner of the browser window. When the pop-out menu appears, click on the Print option.

Orientation

Firefox's Print Preview interface should now be displayed in a new window, showing what the active page(s) will look like when it is sent to your designated printer or file. At the top of this interface are multiple buttons and drop-down menus, including the ability to choose either Portrait or Landscape for print orientation.

If Portrait (the default option) is selected, the page will print in the standard vertical format. If Landscape is selected then the page will be printed in horizontal format, commonly used when the default mode is not sufficient to fit some of the page's contents.

Scale

Located directly to the left of the Orientation options is the Scale setting, accompanied by a drop-down menu. Here you can modify the dimensions of a page for printing purposes. For example, by modifying the value to 50%, the page in question will be printed at a scale of half the original page.

By default, the Shrink To Fit Page Width option is selected. When activated, the browser will be instructed to print the page in a fashion where it is modified to fit the width of your printing paper. If you are interested in altering the scale value manually, simply select the drop-down menu and choose the Custom option.

Also found in this interface is a button labeled Page Setup, which launches a dialog containing several print-related options split up into two sections; Format & Options and Margins & Header/Footer.

Format and Options

The Format & Options tab contains the Orientation and Scale settings described above, as well as an option accompanied by a check box labeled Print Background (colors & images). When printing a page, Firefox will not automatically include the background colors and images. This is by design since most people want to print only text and foreground images.

If your desire is to print the entire contents of a page including the background, simply click on the box next to this option once so that it contains a check mark.

Margins and Header/Footer

Firefox allows you to modify the top, bottom, left, and right margins for your print job. To do this, first click on the Margins & Header/Footer tab, located at the top of the Page Setup dialog.

At this point, you will see a section labeled Margins(inches)containing entry fields for all four margin values.

The default value for each is 0.5 (half an inch). Each of these can be modified by simply changing the numbers in these fields. When modifying any margin value, you will notice that the page grid shown will resize accordingly.

Firefox gives you the ability to customize the headers and footers of your print job in several ways. Information can be placed in the left-hand corner, the center, and the right-hand corner on the top (header) and bottom (footer) of the page. Any of the following items, selected via the drop-down menu, can be placed in any or all of the six locations provided.

  • --blank--: If selected, nothing will be shown.
  • Title: The title of the page will be shown.
  • URL: The entire URL of the page will be shown.
  • Date/Time: The current date and time will be shown.
  • Page #: The page number (i.e., 3) of the current print job will be shown.
  • Page # of #: Similar to Page #, this will not only display the number of the current page but also the total number of pages in the current print job (i.e., 1 of 2).
  • Custom...: When this is selected, a message will display prompting you to enter custom text to be printed. This option can prove to be very useful in certain situations.