Monday, January 23, 2006

Printing Pages

As I said in an earlier post, my Christmas project was to crack the problem of printing pages that are too wide for the printer.

Without writing a complete browser, it would obviously be impossible to print a long page that spread over more than one, but I have found and programmed a solution to the problem of printing a page that is say 1200 pixels wide and about 1600 deep. The solution takes a bitmap of the page and sizes it to the printer.

I have programmed the solution into a browser, which is part of my Daisy Web Tools. The web site is not quite finished yet, as I’m developing the other products in the suite.

The print solution is in the Multiple and Presentation Browsers. They also contain the ability to print a web page without those annoying headers at the top and bottom.

To get this printing just use the Print button in either browser.

If anybody wants to use the program, there is a temporary registration that will give full access to the programs.

One of the uses of the Presentation Browser may well be in the field of such things as copyright, where when you see an infringement, you can then print the whole page, add a few notes to it and then send it to your lawyer!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Web Page Display Size

Just a small point!

I am perhaps a control freak myself, in that I run a large 1280 x 1024 screen, with usually my browser windows set to about 800 x 600. I get really annoyed when someone automatically resizes my browser window, so I immediately stop looking at the site, delete the copy of the browser and load a new one. Which of course I have to resize! Grrr!

So one thing I believe you should never never do, is resize the browser window. It annoys many intensely. How many sales have you lost? An interesting thing would be to check the log file and see how many people leave the site immediately after the resize. I always do! Remember too, that a lot of nasty sites do this and many people associate resizing with all of the worst parts of the Internet.

Incidentally, I have a program that I wrote called the Daisy Multiple Browser that opens several copies of IE in the same dialog. The latest version of this allows me to set the dialog to a range of sizes. It also stops the windows being resized!

One of the reasons I am so pedantic about window size is that I write extensive notes on how to use the Internet and I like to have all the captured images at exactly the same scale.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Printing Wide Pages

We all know the problem of printing web pages and I have come up with a simple solution that automatically reduces the size of the page and prints it as a bitmap. It prints well.

You may or may not know that I’m an inveterate programmer and there has been some discussion about turning web pages into a bitmap on one of the Visual Basic lists. Anyway to cut a long story short, I embedded IE into a Visual Basic program and using some of Microsoft’s knowledge base, was able to cut out the web page as a bitmap. None of IE remains and I can even cut out the scroll bars. I’ve attached a gif of BT’s home page created directly by the program.

Thinking about this technique it leads to several other ideas.

1. Automatic scaling and printing of web pages. Just size the browser and say Print.

2. Saving of web page images. Ideal for copyright abuse, pornography, advert logging for web sites. Just save the web page as a bitmap.

3. Saving of web page images with notes. Better still for lawyers and copyright abuse etc.

You could even write programs around this technology, to do specialised applications.

I’ll put up a link when I finish the program. At present it is part of my Multiple Browser, but I suspect it might end up as something in its own right.

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