How to Modify Page Setup for Printing in Firefox

Print perfectly every time from the Firefox browser

The Firefox browser allows you to modify many aspects of how a web page is set up before sending it to a printer. This includes standard options such as the page orientation and scale, plus advanced features like printing and aligning custom headers and footers. This tutorial explains the customizable options and teaches you how to modify each one.

This tutorial applies to the Mozilla Firefox web browser on the WindowsMac OS X, macOS Sierra, and  Linux operating systems.

Find the Print Command

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

Firefox print menu

Orientation

Firefox's Print Preview interface should now be displayed in a new window, showing what the active page will look like when it is sent to the designated printer or to a 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.

Firefox print preview

If Portrait (the default option) is selected, the page prints in the standard vertical format. If Landscape is selected, the page prints in horizontal format, commonly used when the default mode is not sufficient to fit some of the page 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 prints at a scale of half the original page.

Firefox print preview

By default, the Shrink To Fit option is selected. When activated, the browser prints the page so that the web page is modified to fit the width of the printing paper. If you are interested in altering the scale value manually, 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 that are split into two sections: Format & Options and Margins & Header/Footer.

Options

The Options tab contains several options to change the look of the printed page, including an option accompanied by a check box labeled Print Background (colors & images). When printing a page, Firefox doesn't automatically include background colors and images. This is by design since most people want to print only text and foreground images.

Firefox print preview options

If you want to print the entire contents of a page, including the background, select the box next to this option once so that it contains a check mark.

Header and Footer

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

  • blank: If selected, nothing is shown.
  • Title: The title of the page is shown.
  • URL: The entire URL of the page is shown.
  • Date/Time: The current date and time are shown.
  • Page #: The page number (for example, 3) of the current print job is shown.
  • Page # of #: Similar to Page #, this displays the number of the current page and the total number of pages in the current print job (for example, 1 of 2).
  • Custom: When this is selected, a message prompts you to enter custom text to be printed. This option can be useful in certain situations.