Printing from Mozilla under UNIX

How do I print from Mozilla (or Firefox) on a Unix Workstation?

There are several options available for printing from Mozilla on a Unix workstation.

Printing a Page

Open the File Menu and choose Print. Click the "Properties" button. In the "Print Command" box, remove the string that is there and enter the appropriate lp command:

lpr -P <printername>

You can add other lp options here, such as -# to specify a number of copies. See the lp man page for more information.

Printing to a File

You can also choose "Print to File" to save the page to a Postscript file without printing.

Printing Selected Text Only

To print selected text, begin from the Navigator window:

* Select the text in the current page.
* Open the File menu and choose Print. The print dialog box appears.
* Under Print Range, click Selection.

Previewing a Printed Page

To have an early look at how a page will appear once it is printed, from the File Menu select "Print Preview." If you see difficulties with the page layout you can use Page Setup to try to correct them.

Changing Print Setup

From the File Menu select "Print Setup.

Under "Format & Options" you can choose the orientation and scale of a printout.


  • Portrait: Choose this portrait button to position the page normally, with the shorter side facing up.
  • Landscape: Choose this landscape button to position the page sideways, with the longer side facing up.

Scale: Type in a percentage of the original size. For example, type "50" to make each page half the size of the original page.

Shrink To Fit Page Width: Select this to automatically resize the page to the width of the paper.

Under "Margins & Header/Footer" you can set up your margins or change the text that prints at the top and bottom of each page.

Headers & Footers: Each drop-down list represents either a header or a footer area. The top row of drop-down lists are for the left, center, and right header areas. The bottom row are for the left, center, and right footer areas. In each drop-down list, choose one of the following options:

  • --blank--: Show nothing in this area.
  • Title: Show the web page title.
  • URL: Show the web page URL (URL's usually start with "http://").
  • Date/Time: Show the date and time when the web page is printed.
  • Page #: Show the page number of each page. For example, Page # of #: Show the page number along with the total number of pages. For example, if you print a five page web page, "3 of 5" would be shown on the third page.
  • Custom: Type your own text. You can include any of the following codes to print specific information:
    PT: Page Number with Total (Example: "3 of 5")
    P: Page Number
    D: Date
    U: URL
    T: Page Title
  • Tip: To see a preview of changes made to Page Setup, use Print Preview.


Unfortunately it is not possible in the current version of Mozilla for Unix to configure a list of available printers. It will remember the lp command you enter however and you will only need to change it if you want to direct your output to a different printer later on.

If a page does not print directly from the browser, try selecting Print To File instead of Printer. The resulting file should be a Postscript file viewable with the gv tool (/usr/local/bin/gv). If you can view the file successfully, you should be able to send it directly to the printer with "lp -d <printername> <filename>". If not, you may want to try printing only selected text from the page as described above.