bullets indented too far, printing WebHelp from the browser

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bullets indented too far, printing WebHelp from the browser

Postby bonnie on Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:42 am

When I print pages of the WebHelp from the browser, I get the bulleted lists being indented by an extra 1/2 inch from what is seen on the screen (which is 5/16-inch indent). The extra 1/2-inch indent occurs whether I print from IE or from FireFox.

I have a WebHelp medium (the default medium) and a print medium, and it seems that what prints out from the browser uses the print medium (the font styles are what I have specified for the print medium). But, in my PDF target, which also uses the print medium, the bullets are indented to just a tad over 5/16 inch (which is fine). I'm using the default indents for the lists in both the default medium and the print medium.

Has anyone else found this extra 1/2-inch indent for bulleted lists? If so, what can I do to fix this?

Thanks,
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Re: bullets indented too far, printing WebHelp from the browser

Postby doc_guy on Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:45 am

I think you need to check your style sheet to see what settings you've got applied, in both your print section and in your default section.

To answer your specific question, no I haven't seen that happen in my topics.

However, when you're looking at your topics, remember that the effects on parent styles are cumulative. So if you have a .5inch margin on the <ul> tag, and you have .5 margin on the <li> tag, you're going to see a 1 inch margin total. I don't know if that is your problem or not, but it is something to check.
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Re: bullets indented too far, printing WebHelp from the browser

Postby lacastle on Mon Oct 13, 2008 12:38 pm

I don't think printing from a browser uses Print Medium styles.
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Re: bullets indented too far, printing WebHelp from the browser

Postby doc_guy on Mon Oct 13, 2008 12:54 pm

Actually it does. My print styles are VERY different from my web styles, so I'm sure of this.
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Re: bullets indented too far, printing WebHelp from the browser

Postby LTinker68 on Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:07 pm

lacastle wrote:I don't think printing from a browser uses Print Medium styles.

That's what the print medium was originally designed for, actually. There are a couple of other mediums that can be used in stylesheets, although the names of them escape me for the moment. I think one is related to video. Flare just takes the print medium a step further and uses it to control actual print output, as well.
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Re: bullets indented too far, printing WebHelp from the browser

Postby lacastle on Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:08 pm

Hm...I didn't know that. I thought Print styles were for Print targets, but i guess it's just for printing in general. (i don't usually print from a browser so i haven't noticed this.)
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Re: bullets indented too far, printing WebHelp from the browser

Postby LTinker68 on Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:20 pm

I didn't find out about print mediums in stylesheets until I first got Flare and was learning about the print medium in the Stylesheet Editor. Apparently the @media print option has been around awhile for web designing, but I never heard about it and never used it until Flare.
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Re: bullets indented too far, printing WebHelp from the browser

Postby wclass on Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:25 pm

We create our own medium for out printed output - we call it "msword" - just to avoid this situation. We don't generally print from the browser, but I know people will often print a page here and there. Creating your own medium can be done from the stylesheet editor using the "Add medium" button. From a text editor you can easily copy your print styles. When updating styles, there is an extra medium to think about and make sure you are in the right set, but we find it works pretty well.
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Re: bullets indented too far, printing WebHelp from the browser

Postby bonnie on Mon Oct 13, 2008 3:26 pm

We create our own medium for our printed output - we call it "msword" - just to avoid this situation.

I also had a special print medium called "framemaker" for awhile. The catch was that if you make a TableStyleSheet to be used for printed output, it only works for the medium named "print" (I verified that with MadCap tech support). So, I ended up renaming my "framemaker" medium "print" again to be able to use that feature (two table styles, one for print and one for webhelp).

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Re: bullets indented too far, printing WebHelp from the browser

Postby bonnie on Mon Oct 13, 2008 3:43 pm

I think you need to check your style sheet to see what settings you've got applied, in both your print section and in your default section.

When you're looking at your topics, remember that the effects on parent styles are cumulative. So if you have a .5inch margin on the <ul> tag, and you have .5 margin on the <li> tag, you're going to see a 1 inch margin total. I don't know if that is your problem or not, but it is something to check.


Good point. But...I have specified a Box margin-left for the <ul> tag (36 pts for "print" and "40px" for default) and no additional Box margin-left for the <li> tags for either the "print" medium or the "default" medium. Which is why this has me baffled.

Thanks for all the responses on this one.

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Re: bullets indented too far, printing WebHelp from the browser

Postby doc_guy on Mon Oct 13, 2008 3:51 pm

Hmm. I may be stumped. I assume you already checked padding on the same elements...
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Re: bullets indented too far, printing WebHelp from the browser

Postby bonnie on Mon Oct 13, 2008 3:58 pm

I assume you already checked padding on the same elements...

Yes, I did.

Hmm. I may be stumped.

Oh, NOoooo!

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Re: bullets indented too far, printing WebHelp from the browser

Postby LTinker68 on Mon Oct 13, 2008 3:59 pm

bonnie wrote:When I print pages of the WebHelp from the browser, I get the bulleted lists being indented by an extra 1/2 inch from what is seen on the screen (which is 5/16-inch indent)... But, in my PDF target, which also uses the print medium, the bullets are indented to just a tad over 5/16 inch (which is fine).


bonnie wrote:I have specified a Box margin-left for the <ul> tag (36 pts for "print" and "40px" for default) and no additional Box margin-left for the <li> tags for either the "print" medium or the "default" medium.


That makes it sound like the PDF output is ignoring your margin-left values but the browser is adhering to them (when you print). If you have a margin-left of 36 pts, that's roughly .55" from the parent tag, which I'm guessing is the <body> tag, and if that's set to .5", for example, then the list would be at about 1.05" from the edge of the page.

Also, if you're using a print layout for your PDF layout, then that could have an affect, because printing from the browser won't use that print layout. If you had a masterpage then it should use that. The PDF output would use the print layout, and if you have the body frame set slightly to the right (or left) then the list would start further to one side than it would when printed from the browser. Although it should still be relative to the rest of the content.
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Re: bullets indented too far, printing WebHelp from the browser

Postby bonnie on Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:49 pm

That makes it sound like the PDF output is ignoring your margin-left values but the browser is adhering to them (when you print).

After further trials, I've concluded that what is happening is that when I print from the browser, the margin-left value of the bulleted item specified for "print" is being added to an inherent default value for the bulleted item of the WebHelp. This inherent value is 18 pts, measured on the printed page, and corresponds to what I am seeing on the screen when the margin-left for the "default" medium is set to 0.

If I set the margin-left to 0pt for the "print" medium, then the bullet list printed from the browser has the 18pt indent (the same indent as is shown on the screen when margin-left of the "default" medium is set to 0). But then the PDF output has 0 bullet indent (the text of the bulleted item lines up at the left margin and the bullets are offset to the left of the left margin).

The value of the indent specified for the "default" medium has no bearing at all on the output printed from the browser, although it does affect what is seen on the screen.

To summarize:
browser-printed bullet indent = "print" medium-specified bullet indent + inherent value (18pts)
This inherent value is not controlled by the bullet indent set for the "default" medium.

The problem is: There doesn't seem to be any way to get the inherent indent out of the equation.

(At least I THINK that's what's happening.)
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Re: bullets indented too far, printing WebHelp from the browser

Postby LTinker68 on Tue Oct 14, 2008 7:54 am

bonnie wrote:The problem is: There doesn't seem to be any way to get the inherent indent out of the equation.

It sounds like what you'll need to do is created another medium that will be used for the PDF output. Someone either in this thread or another one mentioned doing that. The reason you'd have to create the new medium for PDF output is because the browser is going to default to looking for the print medium and you can't control (I don't think) which medium it looks at in the browser. For PDF output, however, you can specify which medium to use in the target.

What might be easier for you to do is make a backup of the stylesheet (just in case), then open the stylesheet file in the Internal Text Editor or Notepad, scroll down to where it says @media print, copy everything in that section (there are container braces for that section), paste the new section in the stylesheet and rename it @media printPDF. Save the stylesheet and close it from the Internal Text Editor. When you reopen the stylesheet in the Stylesheet Editor, your drop-down medium should now contain a printPDF medium. Set the margin-left on the list in the normal print to the value you want it to be for printing from a browser, then set the margin-left value in the printPDF medium for what you want the list to be indented in PDF output. And go into the PDF target and switch it from the print medium to the printPDF medium.
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Re: bullets indented too far, printing WebHelp from the browser

Postby doc_guy on Tue Oct 14, 2008 8:43 am

If you create another media type, be aware that this will require you to make future changes in 3 places, or they will get out of synch.

I guess my question for you is how important is this in the overall scheme? Do you expect people to print the WebHelp with enough frequency that this style issue matters to you?

If the answer is yes, then you're going to have to do something that is unpleasant, because none of the options we've given you are fantastic options.

Another kind of random thought I had is to have totally separate style sheets for your printed output and your online output. Then you can style your printed online output one way, and you can style your PDF output another way. You can change the stylesheet that is used in the target properties.
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Re: bullets indented too far, printing WebHelp from the browser

Postby bonnie on Tue Oct 14, 2008 9:37 am

It sounds like what you'll need to do is create another medium that will be used for the PDF output.


Thank you for the suggestion, Lisa. There is just one catch to that, though. I am using two TableStyleSheets--one for print and one for WebHelp--and the print TableStyleSheet only works for the medium named "print" (MadCap tech support confirmed that). So, although I started out trying to use a medium with a different name, I ended up having to rename it back to "print" again to be able to use that feature (two table styles, one for print and one for Webhelp).

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Re: bullets indented too far, printing WebHelp from the browser

Postby doc_guy on Tue Oct 14, 2008 9:42 am

Then your best option might be to create two separate style sheets, and call the correct one in the target.
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Re: bullets indented too far, printing WebHelp from the browser

Postby bonnie on Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:11 am

I guess my question for you is how important is this in the overall scheme? Do you expect people to print the WebHelp with enough frequency that this style issue matters to you?

Yes, that is something to consider. I myself print out help pages a lot since I find it easier to read a printed page than an online page. And we have hundreds of pages of rather complicated information in our help system, so I'm presuming that we have users who will want to print them out. I know this is a rather minor glitch, compared to some, but...it's still a glitch, and I have to try to figure out a way around it.

Another kind of random thought I had is to have totally separate style sheets for your printed output and your online output. Then you can style your printed online output one way, and you can style your PDF output another way. You can change the stylesheet that is used in the target properties.


MMMM...that might work. Thank you for the suggestion, Paul.
But...here's what I'm not sure of: Each of the topic files already has a link to the existing stylesheet. So how will specifying a different stylesheet in the target properties affect that?

Thanks,
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Re: bullets indented too far, printing WebHelp from the browser

Postby doc_guy on Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:37 am

That's a really good question. I haven't tried it. I assume that the style sheet in the target overrides the style sheet set in the topic. But I'm not positive about that.

Here's another option: Could you include a link in your WebHelp to your .pdf file? You could add it to your header or footer, or even add a PDF button on the toolbar. That way if users want a pretty version when they print, they can access the PDF file directly, which is a printed format over which you have much more control.
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Re: bullets indented too far, printing WebHelp from the browser

Postby bonnie on Tue Oct 14, 2008 1:46 pm

Here's another option: Could you include a link in your WebHelp to your .pdf file?

No, thanks. That would essentially double the number of files involved in the Help system, and we already have many hundreds of pages.
It looks like people are going to have to live with bullets indented too far on the browser-printed pages (and I'M going to have to live with that, too).

Thanks for all your responses.
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Re: bullets indented too far, printing WebHelp from the browser

Postby LTinker68 on Wed Oct 15, 2008 8:55 am

Well, hopefully they'll correct the issue with print table stylesheets only working with the print medium, and then you'll be able to have two different print-type mediums and can differentiate between browser printing and print output.
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Re: bullets indented too far, printing WebHelp from the browser

Postby bonnie on Wed Oct 15, 2008 1:03 pm

I have finally figured out what is going on with the bullets indented too far in the browser-printed output. And it is a very quirky thing.
For the <ul> tag, I had set a margin-left=36pts for the print medium. In the browser-printed output, that value ADDS to the default value of 40px set for the default medium (if you select margin-left=default for the default medium, the value gets set to 40px).
If I set the <ul> margin-left to any value for the print medium, it ADDS to the default value of the default medium (40px).

If, however, for the print medium, I set the margin-left=default, the value defaults to 40px, and the bullets print out from the browser with the default value of 40px, which is fine. But, if I ENTER 40px as the margin-left value for the print medium, that value ADDS to the default value of 40px.

In summary: the really quirky thing is that selecting default for margin-left for the print medium shows 40px as the value, but that gives a different result in the browser-printed output than if you ENTER 40px as the value.

I tested this several times to be sure.
No wonder I feel like I'm going crazy.
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Re: bullets indented too far, printing WebHelp from the browser

Postby LTinker68 on Wed Oct 15, 2008 2:46 pm

Just out of curiosity -- and I don't know why I didn't think of this before -- but what if you try using a custom <p> class with the auto-numbering feature in Flare? I believe you can still specify a bullet symbol for the auto-number format (although I haven't tried it) and you can definitely use numbers for numbered lists. This might work since the <p> tag doesn't have the same default positioning that the ol/ul tags do. If you go that route then you should be able to use the same print medium settings for those custom tags for both browser printing and print output.
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Re: bullets indented too far, printing WebHelp from the browser

Postby bonnie on Thu Oct 16, 2008 3:57 pm

What if you try using a custom <p> class with the auto-numbering feature in Flare? I believe you can still specify a bullet symbol for the auto-number format (although I haven't tried it) and you can definitely use numbers for numbered lists.

Good suggestion.
As it turns out, I have been using autonumbered <p> tags for my numbered items. Unfortunately, this doesn't work for bullets, because bullets don't align right in the PDF output--not even the default bullets (they align at the text bottom, no matter what you try to do). This also turned out to be the case when I tried to use a webding as a bullet in the autonumber field (it aligns at the text bottom.) What I have had to do is make my own custom bullet to use with <li> and pad the graphic with white at the top to be able to get it to align with the middle of the text (otherwise the custom bullet aligns too high).

Thanks once again for your response.
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