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Microsoft Edge printing bug jumbles up numbers and text

by Mark Tyson on 10 May 2017, 13:01

Tags: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Windows 10

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Microsoft is always pleading with users to give its Edge web browser a try. It goes even further in Windows 10 S, with Edge being the default and only browser available unless you splash the cash and upgrade your OS to the full Windows 10. However, many a PC user has given Edge a try since it started being promoted by Microsoft and still prefer their Firefox or Chrome browser applications. Today I've learnt about another good reason to stick to my trusty alternative browser choice - Microsoft Edge has been demonstrated to display and print documents differently.

Sometimes printing web documents can have undesirable consequences such as lines of text cropped, inserted blank pages, odd looking print layouts, or overuse of your ink or toner due to backgrounds and banners. Microsoft has just created an even worse, and potentially disastrous, web document printing issue - numbers and text strings on screen and on printed output can differ.

As explained by ZDNet, number and text jumbling occurs when printing from the Windows 10 'Microsoft Print to PDF' feature in Edge. Apparently this is the default behaviour for Edge. Multiple users have reported this problem on the Microsoft Edge bug tracker page, but others can't reproduce it. On my Windows 10 system the bug was easy to see in action with the coloured boxes containing differences in both text strings and integers, compared to the original. A document that reproducably exhibits the jumbling issue is available on the aforementioned bug tracker page. You can see my own example output differences below.

The above observed bug could have some rather undesirable repercussions in the real world. For example people increasingly download and print PDFs from postage and shipping companies, and for aircraft boarding passes. I'm not familiar with various industrial or medicinal practices but specification and prescription numeric values being jumbled could be a disaster in the making.

Microsoft has acknowledged this Edge bug report. Nearly a year ago a similar issue was raised but the Microsoft team couldn't reproduce erroneous results, so didn't do anything.

HEXUS Forums :: 9 Comments

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That should be fun if Windows 10 S gets anything close to serious uptake.
It's only if you print to PDF…. I've had issues with Chrome doing this, post script isn't exactly without it's issues.
“ I've had issues with Chrome doing this, post script isn't exactly without it's issues.”

But that wouldn't get the clicks!
excel 2010 had a similar error IIRC
The joys of gotta patch em all.