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Last post Author Topic: Any virtual printer for .doc or .rtf?  (Read 18336 times)

Curt

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Any virtual printer for .doc or .rtf?
« on: August 14, 2008, 05:51:04 PM »
I am tired of the poor quality my various virtual pdf printers are giving me; they are not good enough! My favourite news site is always displaying a "facts box" to the right of the article, and just too often this box will be displayed below the main text, (so 1½ page becomes 3 pages, even if I use 'landscape'), when virtually printed, and is even cut off at the end!! Maybe the news site is to blame, or maybe I have purchased crap ware, I don't know. But I do know that the result is unacceptable when you "print" an article, and the end of the important 'facts box' is missing.

So I am remembering the old days at the local library (I didn't have a Internet connection at home), when I would copy and paste the various articles into Word documents, which I could read at home, and then comment or otherwise edit ('after-editing' documents is too difficult with .pdf files, I think; Word is so much easier to use). My reaction is that I no longer want to print to .pdf (or to .emf), so I have been searching for virtual printers, but I have not yet seen any program that will print to .doc or .rtf, which are my preferred formats. Do you know of any of the kind, please?

Edited:
I don't want to edit the entire page. I am of course thinking about the common feature: "print article".
« Last Edit: August 14, 2008, 06:04:03 PM by Curt »

Darwin

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Re: Any virtual printer for .doc or .rtf?
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2008, 06:06:20 PM »
I may be way off-base here, but have you tried Clickbook or Fineprint, either of which *may* address your problem?
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Dormouse

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Re: Any virtual printer for .doc or .rtf?
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2008, 06:26:48 PM »
Well there's ePrint & presumably others. Not tried it much, so couldn't recommend it (or not).

Darwin

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Re: Any virtual printer for .doc or .rtf?
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2008, 06:34:18 PM »
Another option would be something like the now unsupported (and unavailable?) NetSnippets or Evernote, both of which will allow you to remove graphics and indeed whole sections of webpages saved by them. You could then print to pdf...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Curt

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Re: Any virtual printer for .doc or .rtf?
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2008, 07:22:25 PM »
I guess e-print is what I was asking for. I might try it later, I think. Both Clickbook and Fineprint(+ PdfFactory) is looking very nice. Now, if only I had some money; all three are $49, each...

Thanks a lot to both of you!

Carol Haynes

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Re: Any virtual printer for .doc or .rtf?
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2008, 07:29:00 PM »
Evernote has the disadvantage that it loses all page formatting for web pages (even the new version has that problem).

SnagIt 9 doesn't allow you to export to editable DOC or RTF formats but it does give complete control over what you capture and the quality of the output. Trouble is that any capture from a screen will give realtively poor print output because the image it is capturing is limited to 92dpi.

Another approach you could try is save pages you want to print to MHT files in Internet Explorer. They are just a capture of the HTML and so retain full text and image quality of the original page.

Lastly if you want to save web pages as RTF files just cut and paste into Word and then save it as DOC/RTF is probably just as simple as using a virtual printer driver. OK it isn't automated (most printer drivers aren't either and often do a terrible job) and CSS based formatting tends to get messed up but at least you get an editable RTF or DOC file when you have finished.

40hz

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Re: Any virtual printer for .doc or .rtf?
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2008, 07:30:48 PM »
Have you tried PrimoPDF? (FREE)

http://www.primopdf.com

I use this to grab web pages all the time. I does a great job of preserving layout and it has selectable output optimizations (i.e. best for print, screen, etc.).

The problem with "printing" to RTF or DOC is that you cannot retain web layout formatting. Since most of the things you mention probably reside within frames or text boxes on the webpage, Word has no option other than to treat them as separate pages or sections when it converts html since it wouldn't know how to anchor them to other objects.

If you just want the text on a page, you could just select and copy, then paste to a Word document after running your clip through PureText to strip out everything that isn't text.

PureText can be downloaded here: www.stevemiller.net/puretext/  8)



4wd

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Re: Any virtual printer for .doc or .rtf?
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2008, 07:56:00 PM »
I usually just save the web page in it's entirety first in Firefox, (which preserves all the formatting), then use Kompozer to remove everything I don't want including ads, scripts, etc, etc.

Then just print the edited web page to PDF from Firefox using novaPDF Lite v5 Desktop, (was a Give-Away-Of-The-Day).

I would think that using a WYSIWYG html editor on the original content would be easier than trying to edit interpreted .doc output of a web page.

Plus it doesn't cost anything, (if you use a free PDF printer)  :Thmbsup:

BTW, you can actually skip a step by just using Kompozer to view the web site, edit to how you want and then Save or Print for a local copy.

Just don't select Publish - the original site owner might have a heart attack if he's forgotten to set his permissions correctly  ;)

mwb1100

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Re: Any virtual printer for .doc or .rtf?
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2008, 09:05:19 PM »
I think that your suspicion that it's the web site (or the browser) that's pacing objects on the page in a manner that you don't like instead of the virtual PDF printer is correct.

But, if you have MS Office installed you'll have a "Microsoft XPS Document Writer" and/or a "Microsoft Office Document Image Writer" that may handle things better than your PDF virtual printer.  Or you can get the XPS Writer and Viewer from http://www.microsoft...hdc/xps/viewxps.mspx.

I guess XPS is Microsoft's attempt to out-do Adobe's PDF.  I'm not sure they are being very successful.

4wd

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Re: Any virtual printer for .doc or .rtf?
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2008, 09:29:08 PM »
But, if you have MS Office installed you'll have a "Microsoft XPS Document Writer" and/or a "Microsoft Office Document Image Writer" that may handle things better than your PDF virtual printer.  Or you can get the XPS Writer and Viewer from http://www.microsoft...hdc/xps/viewxps.mspx.

It also seems to be installed with XP SP3 since I don't have Office installed, (and never will), and it's there.

Mind you, I don't know if it works since I can't view them  :P
« Last Edit: August 14, 2008, 09:31:40 PM by 4wd »

lanux128

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Re: Any virtual printer for .doc or .rtf?
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2008, 12:03:04 AM »
this might not answer the question directly but if you're using Firefox, you can install Aardvark or RIP to remove the fluff before printing.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Any virtual printer for .doc or .rtf?
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2008, 03:36:10 AM »
Another approach you could try is to resize the PDF page size the printer driver produces. Then When you print it scale the printout.

Curt

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Re: Any virtual printer for .doc or .rtf?
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2008, 04:20:44 AM »
I was testing a lot of different apps and settings, since yesterday, and was just about to post an answer about all my experiences, when suddenly a new thought popped up inside my little brain: >What would it look like if I "printed" the same page from within Maxthon?<

Oh dear, oh dear, the problem is *not* pdf or virtual printers, the problem is (my) Firefox! As usual everything is as it should be, when I use Maxthon.  :Thmbsup:

Of course I will now have to check out which extension/s is/are causing the problem. Hmm... Suddenly I wish I didn't have that many add-ons!

But thanks a lot for all your efforts to help me out!  :up:
« Last Edit: August 15, 2008, 04:26:31 AM by Curt »

Carol Haynes

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Re: Any virtual printer for .doc or .rtf?
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2008, 05:39:27 AM »
Start Firefox in safe mode then you won't have any add-ons and see if it is a Firefox problem!

Curt

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Re: Any virtual printer for .doc or .rtf?
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2008, 07:12:45 PM »
I meant to ask just that question. In the "old days" (last year) I had a shortcut to the safe mode version, but not anymore. And there is no "re-start in safe mode" - so how do I do this?  :tellme:

Carol Haynes

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Re: Any virtual printer for .doc or .rtf?
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2008, 07:56:37 PM »

Curt

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Re: Any virtual printer for .doc or .rtf?
« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2008, 08:07:19 AM »
Thanks, Carol. I never knew it merely was a question of arguments - I expected safe mode to be a file.

However, Firefox in safe mode is making the exact same errors  :(

If you/anyone care/s, please go to this Danish page, scroll down to the end of the article, and click the printer sign: "Udskriv", to check (and tell) if all of the 'facts box' text is included in the result. As I said, it is all right when I use Maxthon, but when I use Firefox 2, even in safe mode, the end of the text is missing.

The missing part in yellow:

kd1.gif


 :tellme:
« Last Edit: August 16, 2008, 08:13:15 AM by Curt »

Carol Haynes

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Re: Any virtual printer for .doc or .rtf?
« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2008, 09:15:00 AM »
Here is what I get with Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro (see attached)

I get the same with FinePrint too.

I'd guess there is something wrong with the CSS stylesheet on this website designed for printing this.

Why not just highlight what you want and then use Print Selection?

I have also attached the PDF output from IE7 - which seems much better. Maybe the CSS is optimised for IE7 ?

Why not just install IE Tab extension in Firefox and add that site to the filter that always opens it into an IE tab?
« Last Edit: August 16, 2008, 09:21:31 AM by Carol Haynes »

Curt

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Re: Any virtual printer for .doc or .rtf?
« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2008, 11:32:44 AM »
Thanks  again, Carol - you really have helped me a lot :up:

IE Tab was the right solution.

I also learnt that my giveaway, Adolix PDF Converter PRO, is the best virtual printer I have for the PDF format. Better than NovaPdf Pro, Visage eXPert PDF Pro, Leedtools e-print, doPDF, and a couple of others I can't remember right now.

Edited:-[
I realize that this praise of Adolix, on the expense of the other virtual printers, was unfair,
because they were not all tested with IE Tab installed.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2008, 11:44:23 AM by Curt »

J-Mac

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Re: Any virtual printer for .doc or .rtf?
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2008, 01:46:22 AM »
Firefox has been the poorest browser in the world at printing web pages.  Sadly it did not improve at all with FF3.  I was really hoping that this new version would have some kind of fix finally, but it didn't.

I also use IE7 and the latest version of Opera installed and print in either of those.  Opera seems to render web pages the best of all, unless it has to use its page-squeezing function. Then it wraps some lines, throwing everything off.

Another trick you can try is to install the Scrapbook extension, capture the page there, and then either try printing it from there, or capture it in Evernote after performing Select All and Copy. You'll be surprised how many pages get captured perfectly that way!

Jim

Curt

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Re: Any virtual printer for .doc or .rtf?
« Reply #20 on: September 02, 2008, 02:27:03 PM »
Not big news, but I list it because it seems it never before was named at DC:
Polestar Virtual Printer
http://www.polestars...com/virtual_printer/

Quote
Convert anything printable to PDF and Image: BMP, JPG, GIF, PNG, TIFF and EMF!

Polestar Virtual Printer

Polestar Virtual Printer is a combination of virtual PDF printer and virtual image printer, which enables you to convert Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, AutoCAD, Photoshop and much more document types into PDF, TIFF, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, or EMF with high quality, and keep the exact look and content of the original documents. It is a completely FREE software with no watermarks and no popup web ads!
Quote
Features:

    * Create PDF files from any program that is able to print PDF & Image Printer Driver installs as a standard printer can be easily used for PDF creation from any Windows program printable with high quality.
    * Export documents to raster image files: PNG, JPG, TIFF, GIF, BMP.
    * Export documents to vector image files: EMF.
    * Create Multipage TIFF Create single TIFF image file from a multipage document or from several documents.
    * Custom Folder Option This gives you the option to save created PDF or image files to a specified directory.
    * Automatic Output is to generate PDFs and images with unique name and specific path. These information will be kept in Windows Registry Hive.
    * Resolution or dpi (dot per inch) level options in horizontal and vertical directions for both PDFs and images.

http://www.polestars...com/virtual_printer/

Darwin

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Re: Any virtual printer for .doc or .rtf?
« Reply #21 on: September 02, 2008, 02:44:47 PM »
Nice find, Curt  :Thmbsup:
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

J-Mac

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Re: Any virtual printer for .doc or .rtf?
« Reply #22 on: September 02, 2008, 05:15:41 PM »
Not sure what happened here, but I went to their screenshots page and clicked on the link to see an example of a PDF document created with Polestar.  Here's the link:

Click Here to see an example of PDF file generated by Polestar Virtual Printer

Gave me a download dialog for the PDF, which I downloaded and then viewed in PDF Converter Pro. Here are a couple of screen captures of problems in the document:

[attachthumb=#1][/attachthumb]

[attachthumb=#2][/attachthumb]

The first shows the header and footer it created.  The second shows where it cuts off part of the right side of the page.

Anyone else used this for any other printing?

Thanks!

Jim

Curt

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Re: Any virtual printer for .doc or .rtf?
« Reply #23 on: September 02, 2008, 08:07:26 PM »
I tried to print this page that we are posting at right now, and you are right; the right margin is being cut off. However, I am on my way to bed (3 at night around here!), so I am not sure if the error is on Polestar only, or if Firefox has a part in it, too, but I don't have the time to test it further.

J-Mac

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Re: Any virtual printer for .doc or .rtf?
« Reply #24 on: September 03, 2008, 12:47:22 AM »
I tried to print this page that we are posting at right now, and you are right; the right margin is being cut off. However, I am on my way to bed (3 at night around here!), so I am not sure if the error is on Polestar only, or if Firefox has a part in it, too, but I don't have the time to test it further.

The one I posted are from their pre-printed PDF file, so unless they did that themselves in Firefox, then it wasn't Firefox.

Jim