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For this one feature, and this one feature alone

Did I tell you guys I was elected secretary of the local art club? I’m very unhappy about it. It’s a tragic tale of blackmail, intrigue and very, very old ladies.

One of the things that came with it was a Mailchimp newsletter. I introduced that, actually – before me, it was all done on paper and mailed out. Endless envelope stuffing and mail merge.

Have you had the pleasure? I shouldn’t complain about a free version, but Mailchimp can be pretty clunky to work with.

One of the things I promised was a file version of the newsletter that can be printed or emailed. Turns out, that’s a whole lot harder than it sounds.

Warning: boring geekery to follow.

I thought I’d just print to pdf and be done. It never occurred to me that the printer driver would insist on breaking it into A4 pages. Okay, fine. But it also insists on printing all the various web dinguses and controls on the top of every page (even with “headers and footers” turned off) and cover some of the text with them.

That won’t do at all.

Things I have tried: finding a printer driver with a “continuous roll” paper option, “print to fit” on tabloid paper size and then snipping the sides off, every browser on my computer, various iterations of making Mailchimp print it for me.

In the end, I resorted to one of my oldest workarounds: Firefox. It’s been so long since I used it, I had to download a copy. It’s the only browser I’ve ever used that lets you right click on a frame and print just that frame.

I’m sorry. I know this is boring. I had to get it off my chest. Goodness knows I can’t describe it to the very, very old ladies.


Comment from Jon
Time: January 16, 2023, 8:10 pm

Firefox is broken in many ways but its bookmarks, print options and page info are superior to other browsers. Its load time and adblocking is rubbish though.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: January 16, 2023, 11:15 pm

Working with things like mail merge and any of the various similar ilk is quite the art. It sounds simple enough until you’ve actually tried it so that most people think you’re just a Lazy One who likes to complain if you talk about such.. In reality though it’s a lot like taking a block of marble and cutting away everything that doesn’t look like an elephant.

I eventually got good at it though through one simple little trick: Delegation.

Comment from Greg
Time: January 17, 2023, 3:07 am

I’ve had good results using a freeware thing called Faststone Capture: https://www.faststone.org/ It could be just the thing you’re looking for.

Comment from technochitlin
Time: January 17, 2023, 1:10 pm

Try Vivaldi- you might just like it!

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: January 17, 2023, 1:18 pm

Stoaty—what is the name of that beautiful knife that you like so much? Very expensive, as I recall. The names start with an L. I want to say Laphroaig, but that’s a scotch 🙂

Listen—those old ladies are a heart-beating buzzsaw. You be careful.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 17, 2023, 5:01 pm

What an interesting tool, Greg. Thanks for the link.

Deborah: Lagouile. Some bastard stole my Lagouile, probably while I was trying to sell my house.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 17, 2023, 5:10 pm

I’ve tried ’em all, technochitlin. I was an Opera user for years – I even paid for it! – but it stopped letting me edit my blog at one point. I used Slimjet until something went wrong with the update feature.

I’m now an evangelist for Brave. I like it a lot, plus you get a little crypto for using it.

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