Windows Explored

Everyday Windows Desktop Support, Advanced Troubleshooting & Other OS Tidbits

Unable to Print or Copy and Paste Web Pages

Posted by William Diaz on September 1, 2011


This issue recently came up after a user could no longer print web pages from a site that previously printed fine. The Print Preview and Print options in Internet Explorer rendered a blank page, except for the header and footer information:
SNAGHTML3bfed8c
When you encounter this, it is often by design. In IE 8 and IE 9 there is a simple way to check if a web page is has been set to restrict printing.

  1. Navigate to the web page.
  2. Open the built in Developer Tools from the IE menu or press F12.
  3. Select the CSS tab and then the url that contains the print.css.
    image
  4. If display: none is present, the page cannot be printed via the browser:
    SNAGHTML348d97d

Additionally, text in the web page was no longer selectable. This can also be controlled by the use of scripts and you can see this by going to the Script tab.

  1. Select the Script tab and choose the url that you cannot select text from, e.g. report.asp below:
    SNAGHTML3c7defc

If you are still using IE 7, the developer tools are not included by default and you will need to download the IE Developer Tools Add-in.

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