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Thread: Changes in KDE Printer Properties Margins are not Persistent

  1. #1
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    Default Changes in KDE Printer Properties Margins are not Persistent

    Since upgrading to openSUSE 11.4 (x86_64) KDE: 4.6.3 I find that any changes made in the KDE Printer --> Properties --> Margins dialogue with Konqueror, Kate, Kwrite, etc. are not persistent. Such changes are persistent in openSUSE 11.3 (x86_64) KDE: 4.4.4.

    Consequently I must open the Printer --> Properties --> Margins dialogue and change the default margin setting (4.23 mm) four times (TBLR) for each print job.

    A similar issue with non-persistent duplex printing was solved by installing system-config-printer but that does not provide an option to reset the default margin settings.

    I have made the usual searches and checked the printer pages in the SDB. There are some related bug reports on openSUSE, KDE and QT bug tracking systems that make interesting reading (!) but I did not find a user level solution for non-persistent margins.

    I would be grateful for some feedback on this issue. Are others experiencing similar printing problems? How are the default KDE print margins set and can they be changed?

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    Default Re: Changes in KDE Printer Properties Margins are not Persistent

    I've never used this dialogue to set margins but set them within the application; so I have never encountered the problem.

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    Default Re: Changes in KDE Printer Properties Margins are not Persistent

    Quote Originally Posted by john_hudson View Post
    I've never used this dialogue to set margins but set them within the application; so I have never encountered the problem.
    Thanks for replying JH. The printer properties dialogue is opened from the File Menu in all these applications ie, within the applications as you say. If you use openSUSE 11.4 KDE, could you explain how do you set print margins in say, kwrite, and are they persistent?

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    Default Re: Changes in KDE Printer Properties Margins are not Persistent

    It's a good question, and it would be easy for the KDE developers to add this as a 'System Settings' feature, or via the printer applet. However, it would not necessrily be respected by non-KDE apps, which use their own printing processes. Fortunately CUPS has some persistent methods for setting options (such as margins) for a specific printer. The 'lpoptions' command is used for this. (Then when 'lpr' or 'lp' command is invoked by the KDE printing process, these options will also be parsed).

    Any options set by lpoptions are stored in ~/.cups/lpoptions

    (You can also make system-wide changes as root, in which case the options are then written to /etc/cups/lpoptions instead).

    Say you have a printer called 'Office', then you could do something like this to set the left and right margins

    Code:
    lpoptions -p Office -o page-left=10 -o page-right=10 -o media=A4
    * The values are in points (1pt = 1/72" or 0.35mm)

    These options will now be stored in ~/.cups/lpoptions

    Code:
    cat  ~/.cups/lpoptions
    Office media=A4 page-left=10 page-right=10
    More info here:

    CUPS Software Users Manual

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    Default Re: Changes in KDE Printer Properties Margins are not Persistent

    Quote Originally Posted by deano_ferrari View Post
    [snip] CUPS has some persistent methods for setting options (such as margins) for a specific printer. [snip] More info here:
    CUPS Software Users Manual
    Thank you kindly. I will try that and report back on the result.

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    Default Re: Changes in KDE Printer Properties Margins are not Persistent

    OK. Tried CUPS lpoptions command.

    Code:
    cat  ~/.cups/lpoptions
    Default brother_mono_HL5250DN media=A4 page-bottom=40 page-left=40 page-right=40 page-top=40
    Result: (printing plain text file from kwrite) no change to default

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    Default Re: Changes in KDE Printer Properties Margins are not Persistent

    Sorry, timed out. Trying again...

    OK. Tried CUPS lpoptions command. This amended the ~/.cups/lpoptions file as expected:

    Code:
    cat  ~/.cups/lpoptions
    Default brother_mono_HL5250DN media=A4 page-bottom=40 page-left=40 page-right=40 page-top=40
    Tried printing plain text file from kwrite, to network printer using IPP protocol.
    Printer was setup with Yast and is visible in the CUPS web interface.

    Result:
    1. No changes seen in the the Kwrite File Menu --> Printer --> Properties --> Margins dialogue
    2. Page printed but default print margins (4.23mm) were retained.

    Perhaps network printing means the 'lpr' or 'lp' command is not invoked in this case?

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    Default Re: Changes in KDE Printer Properties Margins are not Persistent

    Quote Originally Posted by Tallowwood View Post
    Thanks for replying JH. The printer properties dialogue is opened from the File Menu in all these applications ie, within the applications as you say. If you use openSUSE 11.4 KDE, could you explain how do you set print margins in say, kwrite, and are they persistent?
    I have never used kwrite for anything where margins are important but if you open Settings>Configure Editor>Fonts and colors you are offered several different schemas including Kwrite printing which is different from Kwrite normal. Are you assuming that kwite is WYSISYG because this suggests it is not. As far as I can see, there is no way to set the margins explicitly in kwrite but you can change the font size and the number of characters before word wrap which will presumably have the effect of changing the margin size. So, even if the printer dialogue did respect any printer margins set, these would be for a single document and would not be associated with kwrite generally. I've set margins in KWord and other applications which are persistent but I suspect that the options in the printer dialogue are the same as a feature WordStar had thirty years ago - whatever the margins in the document, you could print the document out with different margins without affecting the content of the source document - this of course was before WYSIWYG was invented and people were really happy that you didn't have to go through the document changing the margins in the document if you wanted them to be different just once.

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    Default Re: Changes in KDE Printer Properties Margins are not Persistent

    Quote Originally Posted by john_hudson View Post
    I have never used kwrite for anything where margins are important but if you open Settings>Configure Editor>Fonts and colors you are offered several different schemas including Kwrite printing which is different from Kwrite normal. Are you assuming that kwite is WYSISYG because this suggests it is not. [snip]
    Thank you for your interest in this thread. I did once use WordStar, first on an Aussie MicroBee, then on an Hitachi Peach with a Motorola 6809 processor running CP/M. Those were the days.

    I currently use KDE Kate & Kwrite because they are excellent 'plain text' editors and, for me, the most efficient way to draft, edit and and store plain text on my computer. I use Konqueror and other KDE apps because they are KDE apps and well integrated with the KDE.

    There are many ways to work around the printing deficiencies in openSUSE 11.4 KDE4 and I have tried quite a few, but they all compromise the efficiency and usefulness of the KDE for me.

    I opened this thread, after some weeks searching, because, although some of the problems around non-persistent print settings seem to be show-stoppers (eg. for some corporate IT roll-outs) they are not really a 'bug' and so do not seem to be getting much attention from the openSUSE, KDE and QT developers.

    The issues are complex but to this puzzled penguin they seem to flow from the decision by KDE developers to adopt the QT printing system. I understand it is more efficient than the KDE tools it replaced but it seems to be designed to create and delete each print instance on the fly (perhaps with mobile phones in mind?). I suspect, but do not know, that this is at the core of the non-persistent print settings problems in KDE.

    If so, designing an elegant solution may be quite difficult. It would certainly require coordinated effort by openSUSE, KDE and QT developers which itself presents challenges since perceived priority for action and actual capacity to action is likely to be distributed inversely across those development teams.

    I also understand that development effort for a Common Printing Dialogue for Linux OS has been proceeding for some years but that is a massive undertaking and still some time away from our desktops.

    So the impact of non-persistent print settings on the efficiency and usefulness of the KDE in openSUSE 11.4 seems a relevant topic for this forum. The non-persistent print settings in KDE apps are a problem for me. Are they a problem for any other users? Is there already some easy way for users to very the default KDE print settings in a way that is persistent? If not, does this issue warrant an appeal for development effort to provide a suitable 'feature'?
    Last edited by Tallowwood; 08-Jun-2011 at 22:49. Reason: spelling

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    Default Re: Changes in KDE Printer Properties Margins are not Persistent

    I certainly think this is an issue which it would be worth putting on the KDE wishlist for Kwrite; my reservation about it for the printer dialogue would be that it may create other problems because the algorithms for calculating word wrap with proportional typefaces would need to be in the dialogue. It seems to me far more efficient to have the margins calculated by the originating program rather than the printer dialogue with text programs.

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