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  • Why does Firefox make a pdf file with blank pages?

    Home » Forums » AskWoody support » Questions: Browsers and desktop software » Other browsers » Why does Firefox make a pdf file with blank pages?

    • This topic has 5 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by anonymous.

    Here is an e-mail note that I have receive monthly for the past two months (July and August). This is the one for August. Notice that it has boxes and a bar graph in it.

    When I try to print this e-mail note in FF (right-click, select Print Message) and select my PDF printer (doPDF), the print image flashes momentarily on the screen, and then I get this FF print dialog box. The pages are blank and that’s the way it prints. It doesn’t make any difference which PDF printer I select (save to PDF, doPDF, PrimoPDF, Microsoft Print to PDF), the FF print dialog box momentarily flashes with the print image, but then shows blank pages for the pdf file.
    This is what the FF print dialog box looks like.

    If I do the same thing in Chredge, all of the pages will print into a pdf file. (Chredge works a little differently and does not show a print dialog box with the print image in it), but nevertheless the pdf file that results does not have blank pages. {you will see that in the next post}

    So, there’s something about FF that makes it print blank pages. Prior to July, these e-mails were formatted like this – no boxes and no bar graph. This is the June e-mail.

    The FF dialog box shows the page contents and prints them with no difficulty.

    What can I do to get the FF print dialog box to show pages with all of the July and August content intact, i.e., showing the boxes and the bar graph and printing them that way – just like Chredge does? {I will show the pdf file that Chredge produces in the next post}

    Viewing 3 reply threads
    • #2390025

      This is an image of the pdf file that Chredge produces from the August e-mail. Firefox will only print blank pages instead of the boxes and the bar graph.

    • #2390194

      Did this error happen after a Firefox update?

      Does printing fail if you try using the system printing dialog box?

      Perhaps resetting Firefox’s print settings might help.


      From experience after upgrading Firefox to version 57 and beyond, Firefox may not render very well complicated pages for printing. (React-PDF developers had a problem with Firefox generating blank and duplicate pages.)


      Here is a kludge to mostly pretty print these complex pages:

      Right click on the Toolbar and click on the Customize Toolbar option.

      Drag the Screenshot tool to the toolbar on convenient place then click Done.

      Go to the web page you need to print.

      Click on the Screenshot icon. Click on Save full page icon, save the screen capture to a place where you can find the resulting image file.

      Open File Explorer, go to the directory where the saved screenshot image is, drag and drop the image file to Firefox’s tab area.

      Firefox should open your screenshot image in a new tab without error or presentation of a dialog box.

      Click the image to zoom in to the large image, it should fill the space so that it will print to scale.

      Now print this image file. The print preview should resemble the screen shot image you have just opened with Firefox.

      Please try capturing a screenshot and printing that instead, it may not be perfect but it could be better than nothing in your PDFs.

      (doPDF 7 is out of support and other changes mention fixes for rendering bugs in newer versions.)

    • #2390260

      You could try reinstalling FF.  Save your profile and reuse it if you do a lot of changes.  When FF has major problems, reinstalls always work for me.  You could try safe mode first.  Your profile is in C:\Users\YourName\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles. Save the one with the most current date, just drag to the desktop or whatever.

      Another thing you could do is use a different pdf viewer instead of the pdfjs built in viewer.  Sumatra is really simple and bulletproof, been around forever.  In options>general, add sumatra as default open with.

      A heads up on FF uninstall; it will save a big chunk of itself so reinstallation is quicker (common behavior), so do a search for anything Firefox and delete it before reinstallation.  Except the profile folder you saved.

      I haven’t run into your particular pdf problem.  I download and print lots of them and they display and print fine.  Not unheard of for updates to corrupt FF.  Maybe Mozilla’s emulating Windows? 🙂

    • #2390272

      Thanks for your help.
      Two questions:
      1. Let’s say I save my most current FF profile on my desktop. Then I re-install FF. Do I then put the my saved FF profile back into the folder that it was in after that? I know nothing about profiles, but I am guessing that it contains all of the settings that I have customized.

      When I un-install and re-install, what happens to my FF extensions? Do I un-install them before un-installing FF and then re-install the FF extensions after re-installing FF?

      2. I’d like to try Sumatra. I’ve done a search for it and several URLs come up. I’m guessing that some of them are bloated with other programs. I’d like to get it from an “authentic” source.

      • #2391073

        Yes your profile has everything about your Firefox settings and add-ons.

        If you decide to uninstall Firefox the program, it will ask if you want to Refresh Firefox. Do not click the Refresh Firefox button, it will reset your settings and add-ons. (Refreshing a profile is a last resort troubleshooting step.)

        After re-installation of Firefox your present profile (the one you will have copied for backup) should still be there in its place. If Firefox is well behaved it should continue to use your existing profile.

        If something goes wrong and your profile gets mangled you can copy the old profile to %APPDATA%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles.

        The true product and download site for Sumatra PDF is here.

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