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Issue #139: March 21, 2010

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Q: What needs to be done to get a full printed page from a web site?  The right hand side of the printing is always dropped off.  I am using Windows  XP  Home Edition, and have an EpsonCX9400 fax series printer.  My regular printing from the computer is fine.

– Chuck C.
Fort Walton Beach, Fla

A:  The fault does not lie with your printer, or your printer setup, Chuck, but rather with the web page you’re viewing.  For the most part, text will automatically wrap around to the next line rather than get cut off, but in the case of web pages that lay out their text in a table, or that use frames, the page designer may have specified a size that is wider than the size of the print area.  Many page designers know perfectly well that their pages will not render properly on a printer, and they provide a “Printer Friendly” link on the page, which re-renders the page in such a way that it will print properly.  Not all pages have such links, and when they don’t, the only thing you can do to get around the problem is to maximize the printable area on your printer.  First, make sure you have the print margins set as small as possible by selecting Page Setup from the IE File menu.  Under “Margins” enter “0” for both Left and Right.  If the printing is still too wide for the page, try printing in Landscape mode instead of Portrait.  This effectively turns the page sideways on the paper, giving you a shorter, but much wider page on which to print.  As a last resort, if your print is still cutting off on the right, try selecting what you want to print with the mouse, then clicking Copy from the Edit menu.  Paste the copied text into a word processor, such as MS Word, and print it from there.

Q: I was sending a note to a friend via American Greetings and in the middle of the process everything absolutely went berserk and shut down.  My computer crashed and we have had a very rough road getting it back on track.  In fact, at this point, it may never get back to being normal.  I have since been told, by several computer literate friends, that these card programs are rife with viruses, and what I experienced is not unusual.  I have truly enjoyed using this program and received many cards through it as well.  Must I quit at this point because they can, more than other programs, make you more vulnerable to a computer crash?

– Deb
Shalimar, Fla

A: Your friends are partially correct, Deb, but what they told you is a little misleading.  There are a number of “greeting card” sites that bad guys are using to spread malware, but you are at far greater risk if you open an e-mail you receive that claims it is a greeting card than you are in trying to send a card to someone.  Most of the time when you’re sending a card, you’re not loading any software on your computer; you’re just filling in web forms to customize your card selection.  That’s not so when you open an e-mail that claims to be a greeting card.  By opening the attachment you could be allowing a program to run.  That’s risky if you don’t know what the program will do, and is a method that bad guys have figured out is an effective way of spreading malware.  If the site you were using was the actual American Greetings site, you have very little to worry about, and it was probably a coincidence that your computer chose that moment to crash.  Websites associated with large brand names such as American Greetings are totally legitimate, and usually free of malware.

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