I'm reminded of the old advice that no good deed goes unpunished.
I tried to do a favor for my wife today and ended up frustrating and annoying both of us.
Here's the short version: she and her brother sometimes have to write an
important letter. Actually, he has to write the letter, but he's
not very good at writing, so he sends over what he wants to say and my
wife and I "pretty it up".
It's a team effort. My job is to take masses of disjointed
paragraphs, arrange them in a more sensible order, straighten out
the worst of the grammar and spelling, and then my wife formats it
nicely, does final proofreading and spell-check, prints it out,
and either faxes it to him or hands it off through the family delivery system where a nice letter eventually ends up on her brother's s desk ready to sign.
A bit inefficient, but it gets the job done.
My brilliant idea was to use Google
Docs to facilitate this process. By sharing documents between us,
we could all quickly and easily make edits, revert to older revisions
when necessary, and when done, he could just print it out in his
own office. Good idea, wasn't it?
Yes, thank you, and that is why I get the big bucks.
However, things didn't work out all that well. In the first place,
for this particular letter, everybody was in a rush. It had to be done quickly,
and it had to be hand-shuttled to another sister who in turn would get it
to the brother. All very urgent, all very tense.. so I did my part in
Google Docs as I had planned, but my wife was having no part of it.
She has this terrible habit of using Microsoft Word - a habit I have tried
to dissuade her from, but my efforts have failed miserably. She did
see the benefit of my Docs plan, but right now she was just too darn
hurried to learn anything new - so we pasted it into Word..
When she was done, she printed out several copies, jumped in her
car, and off she went. Naturally enough, I figured I ought to follow through,
import the thing back into Google, and get it to her brother faster..
That's easy enough, and the only work I had to do was insert page break
separators where she had them. I wanted to test the printing before I
made it available to her brother, so I clicked on the Google Docs
print button and printed it out. All was good, all lined up nicely,
ready to go..
Well, except Firefox had added the traditional headers and footers with
the web page url, title, date and time.. and I knew her brother wouldn't
want all that, so I made sure to send him a note advising him to look at
Removing the URL and other browser information when printing. Easy enough, and of course I should be able to do something
similar. As that Google page says, my print dialog should include a "Firefox"
choice which looks something like this::
Or that's what it should look like, but when I asked Google to print, I had
no Firefox option. Not available. Not there. Gone.
After a bit of experimentation, I determined this: upon restarting Firefox, I
would have the correct print dialog, and it would stay that way right up until I
asked Google Docs to print. Something about them calling up the dialog
takes away the Firefox option.. and once taken away, it works nowhere
else until I once again restart Firefox. Bummer..
Well, simple fix.. I just called up "about:config" and changed
I set them all to blank, but they can take any string you like or these
&T: Title of the document
&P: Page number
&PT: Page number "of" total pages
Now, even though I couldn't get the Firefox print dialog, at least I could
get what I wanted - or rather, what I didn't want.
Got something to add? Send me email.
Increase ad revenue 50-250% with Ezoic
More Articles by Anthony Lawrence
Find me on Google+
© 2009-11-04 Anthony Lawrence