How to preview Prints in Firefox

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 23, 2019

Firefox does not display a print preview when you print a webpage in the browser and use the Ctrl-P shortcut to start the process.

No print preview is displayed when you use Ctrl-P to print the active page and the print dialog that opens has no option to display a preview or enable previews for print jobs in Firefox.

Firefox does support previews of prints but it may not be clear to users who use Ctrl-P exclusively to print content. You find the option in the menu bar  but since Mozilla made the decision to hide it by default, it is not something that most Firefox users use or are even aware of.

You need to press the Alt-key on the keyboard to display the menu. Select File > Print Preview to display a preview of the printed page to check it out before you print it.

firefox print preview

Print Preview unlocks certain options that you don't get when you select Print. You may change the scaling, enable "simplify page" if available, and check out how each printed page would look like; the latter enables you to exclude certain pages from the printout if they are not needed.

There does not seem to be an option to map the Ctrl-P shortcut to Print Preview; all extensions that supported the changing of keyboard shortcuts, e.g. Customizable Shortcuts or Menu Wizard are not available anymore. Keyboard shortcut extensions are still available, but they are fairly limited in comparison to classic extensions.


Selecting Print from the main Firefox menu opens the Print Preview immediately. Firefox supports a print toolbar icon that users may add to the toolbar; it may come as a surprise that activating the print button launches the print preview while using the keyboard shortcut does not.

Here is how you add the print button to the Firefox toolbar:

  1. Click on the Menu button and select Customize.
  2. Locate the Print button on the page that opens and drag & drop it on the toolbar of the browser.

That's all there is to it. A click on the print button opens print preview in Firefox.

To sum it up: if you want to preview prints you either need to use Print from the main Firefox menu, use the Print button, or use Print Preview from the Firefox menu.

To sum it up:

  • Ctrl-P -- Print dialog without preview.
  • Menu > Print -- Print dialog without preview.
  • Menu > Print Preview -- Print Preview
  • Main Menu > Print -- Print Preview
  • Print button -- Print Preview

The Firefox add-on Print Preview adds more options. You may use it to enable keyboard shortcuts or a context menu entry to display the print preview.

The majority of web browsers displays a print preview when users use the Ctrl-P shortcut to indicate an intent to print the page.

Now You: Do you print webpages?

How to preview Prints in Firefox
Article Name
How to preview Prints in Firefox
Find out how to display print previews in the Firefox web browser when you want to print webpages in the browser.
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  1. Scott said on April 20, 2020 at 2:33 pm

    What about Firefox for Mac computers? There is no Print Preview option.

  2. Matt Falcon said on November 23, 2019 at 9:01 pm

    You really don’t have to open the menu bar. Just click the “hamburger button” (aka the menu button, in the upper-right corner of the window, under the X in Windows), and click Print. Does the same thing.

    However, that doesn’t even come close to forgiving this senseless oversight by the Firefox folks, giving Ctrl+P different functionality from the menu action it’s supposed to be representing. Of course the “preview” mode is preferable. This really ought to be fixed, but at least for now, you can edit the post to add this much easier way of getting to the “print” item… ;)

  3. Skeezix said on July 29, 2019 at 5:38 pm

    Guess I don’t understand. If I press and hold ALT and then click the File menu, the menu opens and closes immediately. If I open the File menu and then press ALT, I get the same response. Not sure what’s going on. If anyone else has seen this problem I’d like to know how they fixed it.

    I do print web pages now and then, but I print them to a PDF and then check the printed PDF. If it has cut-off areas, then I delete it and just save the web page.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on July 29, 2019 at 5:40 pm

      Just press Alt-key and release to display the File menu, then click on File and Print Preview. You don’t need to hold the Alt-key.

  4. Stan said on July 28, 2019 at 6:49 am

    Thanks for the info on adding the Print button, that it first shows Print Preview. Now, how does one change the tool tip from “Print this page” to “Print preview>”? Also, I park the tool at the far left side so I see it before I just go to the menu bar and select File > Print Preview.

    Print Preview does NOT “unlock” options that you don’t get when you select Print. It just makes those options available.

    My suggestion is to keep the Menu Bar open. This makes it easy to get to all sorts of Firefox options and features without having to find them in the ≡ menu. Anytime you want to Print, look at Print Preview first. If you keep it set to Shrink to Fit, it will print the page to the correct width – that is, without clipping the right margin. You can also see how it looks as different zoom levels. To keep the Menu Bar open, hit F10, and select View > Toolbars > Menu. Now your Menu Bar will always be there, taking up about 30 pixels of space (only a problem with a low resolution display).

  5. Jonas said on July 24, 2019 at 6:49 am

    I don’t think you mentioned (but should have) that this is a purely Windows problem. On the Mac, a kind of print preview is built-in to the printing process. When you’re in the Print dialog (in Firefox or most other programs), instead of choosing the default “Print” button in the lower right corner, press and hold the “PDF” button in the lower left corner. Then choose the first item in the popdown menu, “Open PDF in Preview”, or just learn its displayed keyboard shortcut. In addition to (as its name implies) previewing print jobs, Preview also allows you to annotate them in various ways before printing, or even to effectively hide some parts from printing (by drawing a white rectangle on top of them) if you like.

  6. Peter said on July 24, 2019 at 6:32 am

    Yes Thanks but if you never press the simplify page then the printed version is cut short every
    time. This seems to be a bug that has appeared lately. It was not a problem before when saving articles as pdf

    1. Stan said on July 28, 2019 at 7:02 am

      I’m not sure this can really be called a bug.
      I think that’s why there is a Print Preview, with a Shrink to Fit button. That button makes sure that printing does not clip the right side of the page. I’ve used Firefox since before it was called Firefox, and can’t remember it NOT being there.

      The Simplify Page feature is a printing option that lets the user print articles through the Reader View feature. It strips away clutter like buttons, ads, and background images from your web prints for better readability.

      When reading articles if there’s a ‘Toggle reader view’ button just the the left of the star on the address bar it will do the same to the page, making it easier to read.

  7. Hy said on July 23, 2019 at 10:37 pm

    Martin, thank you for the article! The use of the word “Prints” for print jobs confused me at first. A clearer title might be “How to display print preview in Firefox”

  8. dmacleo said on July 23, 2019 at 8:37 pm

    on waterfox so still using menu wizard addon. my file-print shows print preview button.

  9. Kriss said on July 23, 2019 at 11:16 am

    Try “Print Edit WE” extension on mozilla store: print (or save) only part of the page you wish – remove all the useless / spammy content of the webpage in a few clicks.

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