How to print complete content from a Blackboard page [advanced]

This how-to is to help Firefox users who are experiencing difficulties printing information from a Blackboard page, but are finding that only part of the entire page is printed. This will likely be resolved with a future update to blackboard an

Why the problem happens

The problem occurs due to the way Blackboard presents information. Blackboard displays the majority of its content within a browser element which has a specified height, and any content that is too large for that area will be scrollable when using the site. When you go to print however, the output is only what is visible within that specified height.

The solution

We know the issue is with the restricted height of the content area, so if we override that height setting, we can print all the content.

What you’ll need to do:

  1. Install the Stylish Add-on for Firefox
  2. Create a custom CSS rule to override the Blackboard CSS height rule
  3. Activate and deactivate that CSS rule as needed

It might seem like a complicated process just to print content properly but if you’re trying to print lots of content, it may be worth the effort. Plus, you only have to set it up once and it’s easy to use after that.

How to do it

  1. Install the Firefox add-on called Stylish, which you can find at addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/stylish. You can install it directly from that page by clicking the +Add to Firefox button.
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  2. To create the rule, click on the new Stylish icon in your browser, then go to: Write new style > Blank style.
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  3. It’s always good to use names that describe what a rule does, so name this rule: auto-height
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  4. Enter the following CSS code to create the rule:
    *{height:auto !important;}
  5. Double check the code is exactly as above and then click the Save button to create the rule.
  6. The rule should automatically apply to the currently open page. On Blackboard it’s easy to see the difference by looking up near the top of the page.
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    Notice that the part of the page with the house icon is significantly taller in the after picture, that’s an example of the auto-height rule affecting the page.
  7. You should now be able to print the content of the page by going to File > Print or pressing Ctrl + P. If you want to use the Collect feature of the discussion board, you may need to activate the rule again because that will pop-up a new window. To activate the rule, click the Stylish icon and select Turn all styles on.
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  8. When you’re done printing, you should turn off the rule so it doesn’t cause any other pages you visit to display incorrectly. You do they by clicking the Stylish icon and selecting Turn all styles off.
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    If you can’t see “Turn all styles off” in the menu, the styles are already turned off.
  9. Whenever you want to print from Blackboard in the future, just turn the styles on, print your content and then turn them off again afterwards.

Extra information

You can learn more about Firefox Add-ons at addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/.

About the rule

The rule we created is a CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) rule. The rules sets the height of all elements to automatically take up as much space as they need.  Learn about CSS at w3schools.com/css