As astounding an omission as it is after 8 generations of browsers, AFIK there is no way to shrink printed Web pages to fit the width of the displayed page in IE8. You can have the browser cook breakfast for you and take out the trash, but this simple task seems to be beyond its capabilities even after the billions invested in development.
It's not like this is something minor after all. It's about as obscure as the bug that ate Tokyo. But apparently still not obvious enough for MS to notice in the over 15 years they had to catch it since version 1. (pardon my rant)
There used to be a program called PrintPunk that would apparently do the job. But it looks like that is defunct and doesn't support the latest OSs and IE version. Plus you have to buy it.
Does anyone know an elegant solution to get around this?
I use PDF995 to print the page to a .pdf file. Using the PDF995 printer driver, you can select the scaling so it looks like it does on screen. Other printer drivers may or may not have this capability as well.
If you are referring to the bug where the right-hand side of the printed page was cut off, that was fixed in IE7. I don't understand why you are getting it in IE8. What version of Windows?
But some pages don't print well in IE, and some don't print well in Firefox. I always do a Print Preview first, and if I don't like the look of the page I use the other browser, or Chrome. I can always get one of the to print right.
It's IE8 (the latest, because I just downloaded and reinstalled it) on Win XP SP3.
And yes, many pages still cut off the right side when printing even though "shrink to fit page" is set.
I suppose it boils down to that, having to fumble around with different browsers to get a page to print right.
It's also true that some print drivers handle it better than others giving you the ability to tweak pages and get them to come out right.
I can usually find a way to get it to come out right, but it is such a royal pain to fool with it. I wish there was a simpler and more elegant way.
It's a shame that this problem is still such a hassle. I think part of the problem is the multiple standards and page widths used on the Internet. That may mean that the problem will never be fixed to the extent that you can just print and forget it and it will come out right every time regardless of what print driver you use. (of course no print driver can get it right if IE doesn't send the driver the right data in the first place)
I suppose the advantage of not having one standard though is freedom to make Web pages look different and that kind of individuality is part of what the Internet is about. So there is a trade off between user friendliness and creativity. (it still sucks, but I feel a little better if I think about it that way)