Autarchy of the Private Cave

Tiny bits of bioinformatics, [web-]programming etc

    Multiple IEs on one Windows: enabling Printing in IE6

    19th February 2007

    After IE7 came out, it got much harder for HTML/CSS coders to maintain compatibility with both IE6 and IE7.
    IE7 is pushing IE6 out, as it is a high-priority update; however, massive part of users will remain on IE6 for various reasons, not excluding the licensing issues (non-licensed/fake-licensed Windows XP will not let install IE7).

    The problem is: after installing IE7, you no longer have IE6 (which is replaced by IE7).

    However, there is a good and simple solution, enabling one to run IE3 through IE7 on one computer.
    To do so, just install the latest version of IE you want (I assume it’s IE7), and then point your browser to evolt’s archive of browsers (what an excellent collection!). You will have to “install” (just copy, really) each older IE you want into a separate directory, and create a short-cut for each. (You may want to use all-in-one installer, found here – also a great package, though I didn’t use it.)

    After I installed IE6, I also copied some additional files to its folder (like wininet.dll, version 6.00.2900.2180 or like that), to avoid problems with cookies disabled in IE6.

    However, there is a huge problem with multiple IEs: Print Preview and Print do not work at all!
    After some searching, I found two bug reports:

    • clicking on any bookmark will not load the bookmark, but will open the Print dialogue
    • trying to use the bookmark-derived Print dialogue appears not to work: produces blank page


    I tested, and found that printing after clicking some bookmark produces the print version of the bookmark’s address! Actually, this allows to use some PDF-printers (like the free PrimoPDF) for Print Previews in IE6, installed as an additional browser together with IE7. You just have to:

    1. load the page you need to print-preview
    2. bookmark it
    3. try to open that bookmark
    4. print dialogue appears. just print using your favourite PDF-printer driver
    5. voila! you have the printed version of the page you loaded on the 1st step!

    That is it. If you know better solution – please comment. I would be glad to have normal Print Preview function in my IE6…

    Update: I still have to check/confirm this finding, but it appears that the method described above actually utilizes IE7′s print and print preview DLLs, thus it’s impossible (even with the described trick) to see print and print preview as they really appear in IE6. I am working on this, trying to identify the necessary DLL files to put into IE6 folder to make it use IE6′s print and preview… Please comment if you know the solution.

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    3 Responses to “Multiple IEs on one Windows: enabling Printing in IE6”

    1. BP Says:

      This trick seems to work for some sites, but others that are dynamically created seem to not print properly, resulting in a blank page.

      Details: IE6 standalone using TrendoNet installer (latest as of Apr-13).

    2. chronos Says:

      BP, what exactly do you mean by “dynamically created” sites? Those which heavily use JavaScript to compose the page?

      Do you know the solution to print/preview those “dynamic” sites?

    3. Printing from Multiple IEs « Workin’ on it. Says:

      [...] I found a bit about exposing a bug to get printing going. That trick is that bookmarking also doesn’t work… in a good way (for us). [...]

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