Page setup and printing-can it be better?

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
I've always been bothered by the seperation of page setup and the print function. Why can't these be a single seemless window? Why do I need to go select the size and printer then go to another window to print?



While we are at it. The one thing that happens to me all to often is I have to guess how many pages I'm going to print. For instance, today I got some driving direction from the web. I want these on one page. How do I do this? I have to guess or just try it and re-print if I don't like the results. I got 6 pages, 2 with text and 4 with a few gray spots. Totally dumb. Why can't we just get a button that makes the content fit a certain number of pages?



I think there is room for improvement here. I'm guesssing that OSX is responsible for at least some of these behaviors. Can Apple do better?
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    amoryaamorya Posts: 1,103member
    OK, I have my own problems with it - I'm sure some relate to HP's drivers but I'll list them anyway.





    Firstly, consolidate some of the panes in the dialog. The one with odd/even pages could be shoved in with copies/pages.



    HP adds a separate item called Two-Sided Printing - completely ignoring the fact that there is already a Two-Sided Printing option in Layout (that gets greyed out!)



    Output Options is a misleading title - I always choose it looking for print quality or whatever. Either rename it Save As File... or get rid of it and use the Save As button instead...







    BTW, I disagree with you about Page Setup - that one affects things like document flow so it's vital you set it before you print. It'd muck up your margins and stuff if you chose it after.





    Amorya
  • Reply 2 of 25
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Carson O'Genic

    I've always been bothered by the seperation of page setup and the print function. Why can't these be a single seemless window? Why do I need to go select the size and printer then go to another window to print?



    Print Setup and Print are not the same function. Mac users often use one low-resolution printers for proofing documents that are intended for high-resolution final output. You don't have to change Print Setup with each printing. You have to do it only when you change printers.

    Quote:

    Originally posted by Carson O'Genic

    While we are at it. The one thing that happens to me all to often is I have to guess how many pages I'm going to print. For instance, today I got some driving direction from the web. I want these on one page. How do I do this? I have to guess or just try it and re-print if I don't like the results. I got 6 pages, 2 with text and 4 with a few gray spots. Totally dumb. Why can't we just get a button that makes the content fit a certain number of pages?



    If you are printing web pages, it is impossible to know beforehand how many pages your job will take. They don't have page breaks. The placement of graphics on the page can have dramatic effects on where page breaks appear. If your print driver includes print preview, I suggest that you use it before printing a hard copy.

    Quote:

    Originally posted by Carson O'Genic

    I think there is room for improvement here. I'm guesssing that OSX is responsible for at least some of these behaviors. Can Apple do better?



    There is always room for improvement. However, this behavior is as old as the Mac itself. Windows behavior is a modified version of the Mac behavior. Some of your complaints can't be "fixed." Apple and others are working on the others.
  • Reply 3 of 25
    mmmpiemmmpie Posts: 628member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Mr. Me

    Print Setup and Print are not the same function. Mac users often use one low-resolution printers for proofing documents that are intended for high-resolution final output. You don't have to change Print Setup with each printing. You have to do it only when you change printers.



    However, this behavior is as old as the Mac itself.




    You point out the fundamental issue, and then point out the reason why it is a problem.



    Historicaly printers were much more expensive, and people didnt have more than one printer. Times have changed. I have two printers, and in one of them I use two paper sizes. I am the pathalogical case, every time I print it is to a different printer/paper size than the last print I did ( I have a photo printer and a laser printer ).



    Every time I print I have to go into the page setup to see what printer I last used and what paper size it is set to. The print dialogue doesnt even tell you what printer you are going to print to.



    The two dialogues should be combined, just as the printer control panel should be fixed ( you have to go three applications deep to turn on a stopped printer ). The print UI in OS X is really sad. Windows is actually worse, god forbid.
  • Reply 4 of 25
    amoryaamorya Posts: 1,103member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by mmmpie

    The two dialogues should be combined, just as the printer control panel should be fixed ( you have to go three applications deep to turn on a stopped printer ). The print UI in OS X is really sad. Windows is actually worse, god forbid.



    I really disagree!



    When you change something in page setup, it changes the size of the canvas you're working on. If you're making a DTP layout, for example, it'd change the size of the page you're plopping things down on. It'd be a disaster if it was allowed to change that from the print dialog, and then sent it straight to the printer without letting you reposition things the way you wanted!



    Changing things in page setup is a big step. It affects the whole of the current document, since everything has to be checked in case it reflows.



    The settings in the print dialog only affect the current printout - they do nothing to the document itself!



    Quote:

    The print dialogue doesnt even tell you what printer you are going to print to.



    I'm sorry? I may be missing something, but for me the current printer is shown in the top popup menu in the print dialog, and can be changed from there too. I seldom open Page Setup unless I'm printing on paper other than A4 size, or I want borderless printing (both rare).



    Amorya
  • Reply 5 of 25
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by mmmpie

    You point out the fundamental issue, and then point out the reason why it is a problem.



    Historicaly printers were much more expensive, and people didnt have more than one printer. Times have changed. I have two printers, and in one of them I use two paper sizes. I am the pathalogical case, every time I print it is to a different printer/paper size than the last print I did ( I have a photo printer and a laser printer ).




    Pathalogical? Well, if you say so. However, I was not thinking about people who have a photoprinter and a B&W laser printer. I was thinking more along the lines of people whose final output will go to a professional typesetter, but use lesser printers for proofing.



    You seem not to understand that formatting is device-dependent. Many of us need to set-up our printers before we complete our document edits.

    Quote:

    Originally posted by mmmpie

    Every time I print I have to go into the page setup to see what printer I last used and what paper size it is set to. The print dialogue doesnt even tell you what printer you are going to print to.



    You don't know how to use your printers. The MacOS X 10 print dialog box and the MacOS 9 dialog box before that most certainly shows which printer you are using. At least it should. Mine does.

    Quote:

    Originally posted by mmmpie

    The two dialogues should be combined, just as the printer control panel should be fixed ( you have to go three applications deep to turn on a stopped printer ). The print UI in OS X is really sad. Windows is actually worse, god forbid.



    If your diagnosis is faulty, so too is your treatment.
  • Reply 6 of 25
    I agree it could be better, but I only have one problem which has appeared after upgrading to 10.3 after being at 10.2.8 for ages.



    That problem is telling where on an A4 sheet my picture, which might only be a 4x3, should be printed. HP drivers assume it has to be in the centre. Whereas under 10.2.8 I could specify precisely where it should print.



    I haven't found a solution yet.



    david
  • Reply 7 of 25
    hobbeshobbes Posts: 1,252member
    Not sure about Page Setup and Print being combined (for reasons mentioned above), but I think the Print dialog could be much, much better.



    Here's my suggestion:



    new print dialog
  • Reply 8 of 25
    jabohnjabohn Posts: 533member
    I just don't like having to use the pop-up menus. It takes too long. The way InDesign has it's print dialog box laid out is nice and quick to navigate, although I think common stuff like number of copies, pages to print etc. should remain at the top and not be it's own section (I think QuarkXpress does it this way).
  • Reply 9 of 25
    chrisgchrisg Posts: 239member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Hobbes

    Not sure about Page Setup and Print being combined (for reasons mentioned above), but I think the Print dialog could be much, much better.



    Here's my suggestion:



    new print dialog




    Thats a heck of a lot better.
  • Reply 10 of 25
    amoryaamorya Posts: 1,103member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ChrisG

    Thats a heck of a lot better.



    Yeah. Works for me



    You suggested it to Apple?





    Amorya
  • Reply 11 of 25
    maccrazymaccrazy Posts: 2,657member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Carson O'Genic

    I've always been bothered by the seperation of page setup and the print function. Why can't these be a single seemless window? Why do I need to go select the size and printer then go to another window to print?



    While we are at it. The one thing that happens to me all to often is I have to guess how many pages I'm going to print. For instance, today I got some driving direction from the web. I want these on one page. How do I do this? I have to guess or just try it and re-print if I don't like the results. I got 6 pages, 2 with text and 4 with a few gray spots. Totally dumb. Why can't we just get a button that makes the content fit a certain number of pages?



    I think there is room for improvement here. I'm guesssing that OSX is responsible for at least some of these behaviors. Can Apple do better?




    I liked the OS 9 system of seeing your printer driver when you press print, particularly useful in creative suite where there's an adobe print thing and an apple print thing, very annoying cos they don;t have the same options! Alss i have an epson printer and i can;t do watermarks any more with OS X, or banners. My main beef is with creative suite though.
  • Reply 12 of 25
    hobbeshobbes Posts: 1,252member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Amorya

    Yeah. Works for me



    You suggested it to Apple?





    Thanks. Seems kinda obvious, doesn't it? Just applying the sidebar that they've been adding to every Apple app under the sun.



    For the more technically minded / devs, does the change I've illustrated above require any work from the printer developers? Or can it all be done on Apple's end?



    Also, can anyone with a seed of Tiger report re print dialog improvements? The most recent screenshot I saw only added an option to purchase ink supplies (in a rather clumsy place, I thought). I was hoping for more...
  • Reply 13 of 25
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Hobbes

    Not sure about Page Setup and Print being combined (for reasons mentioned above), but I think the Print dialog could be much, much better.



    Here's my suggestion:



    new print dialog




    like it. Reminds me of the InDesign Print dialog.
  • Reply 14 of 25
    maccrazymaccrazy Posts: 2,657member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by lanky_nathan

    like it. Reminds me of the InDesign Print dialog.



    yeah but the creative suite dialogue box clashes with the Apple print box. If you want to change quality you have to use Apple, and then you use indesign for layout etc. it's a pain!



    Like that pic though. Could be aquaified a bit though!
  • Reply 15 of 25
    hobbeshobbes Posts: 1,252member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Hobbes

    For the more technically minded / devs, does the change I've illustrated above require any work from the printer developers? Or can it all be done on Apple's end?



    Also, can anyone with a seed of Tiger report re print dialog improvements? The most recent screenshot I saw only added an option to purchase ink supplies (in a rather clumsy place, I thought). I was hoping for more...




    (bump)



    Inquiring Mac users who spend far too much time printing want to know.
  • Reply 16 of 25
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Hobbes

    Not sure about Page Setup and Print being combined (for reasons mentioned above), but I think the Print dialog could be much, much better.



    Here's my suggestion:



    new print dialog




    I'm still looking for my big fat "fit to one (or any number choosen) page" button.



    Excel has this option.



    This goes back to my original complaint. I have a page of stuff I want to print. It should fit easily on a single page. I hit print I get four pages, one with most of it. I go to page setup and make it 90%. I go to print. I get two pages. I go to page setup and make it 85%. I get my one page and six pages of wasted paper and I'm pissed. I guess I'm not the only one to whom this has happened.



    edit: Obviously, this isn't happening in things like Word, this is mostly an issue when printing stuff from the web. Maybe Safari needs to get better control of the print options rather than messing with the whole print system.
  • Reply 17 of 25
    hobbeshobbes Posts: 1,252member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Carson O'Genic

    I'm still looking for my big fat "fit to one (or any number choosen) page" button.



    I think that sounds like a great feature. I've encountered this niggling problem too when printing from both Safari and TextEdit, so across the system would be nice.
  • Reply 18 of 25
    maccrazymaccrazy Posts: 2,657member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Hobbes

    I think that sounds like a great feature. I've encountered this niggling problem too when printing from both Safari and TextEdit, so across the system would be nice.



    yeah IE on the mac has a fit to page feature. In OS 9 it was up to the printer company to put it in the software, Apple should leave it up to them or make printing a lot better.
  • Reply 19 of 25
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Carson O'Genic

    I'm still looking for my big fat "fit to one (or any number choosen) page" button.This goes back to my original complaint. I have a page of stuff I want to print. It should fit easily on a single page. I hit print I get four pages, one with most of it. I go to page setup and make it 90%. I go to print. I get two pages. I go to page setup and make it 85%. I get my one page and six pages of wasted paper and I'm pissed. I guess I'm not the only one to whom this has happened.





    Hmm .. in only Apple had enabled some kind of .. 'before printing view' .. like a pre - view .. Preview .. yeah .. that's it. Some kind of magical program that whenever you print anything from any application, you can be shown exactly on screen what's going to come out of the printer ...



    given, I just did Print-Preview on this page as a test, and the buttons are all scrambled .. but those are faults in Safari's render-for-print .. and thank goodness I was able to soft-proof that before printing 6 pages of thread!



    Also, resizing windows helps I find .. when windows are unnecessarily wide, they're definitely going to exceed the reasonable bounds of a sheet of paper ..



    My 0.015, (not trying to sound like a big jerk)

    Nathan
  • Reply 20 of 25
    hobbeshobbes Posts: 1,252member
    Oh, so *that's* what that "Preview" button does. Amazing.
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