Grail 0.3 features a much-improved printing engine over that found in Grail 0.2. This is a product of improvements in the general formatter used for screen display and printing as well as improvements to the printing engine itself. Specific changes are listed in the news file; information on taking advantage of the extended configurability of Grail's printing is given here.
Three specific aspects of printing are addressed, each of
which is designed to be configurable in some manner. Some
configurations are handled at the PostScript® level rather
than through preference settings, and not all
preference-controlled options are represented in the dialog at
this time. Information about the printing surface is
generally configured via the ``Printing Preferences'' dialog
while control over the headers and footers is effected via an
optional PostScript file which can be set up by a user in his
or her personal
~/.grail/ directory as
described below. The formatting of the document content
itself can only be affected by a few options which can be set
in the preferences dialog or the printing dialog.
A number of parameters may be set to tell Grail about how the formatted document relates to the actual paper. The ``Printing Preferences'' dialog may be used to specify the size of the paper and orientation of the document on the page. Any of a number of standard paper sizes may be selected from the menu. This option cannot be controlled from the printing dialog, but is unlikely to need changing often. Note that Grail does not include any PostScript in its output to select a paper tray when the document is printed; the size selected should be the default tray for the printer to which the document will be sent.
The orientation of the document on the page may be controlled from either preferences or printing dialogs. This is done to ease the use of Grail both for people who prefer an orientation other than portrait as well as to allow switching the orientation for the occaisional document which lends itself to an orientation other than the default.
The margins of the page default to 1 inch on all four sides.
At this time, there is no way to change this from within
Grail, but the setting of the
printing--margins'' preference may be changed
manually by copying the line for this setting from the
grail-defaults file to the
~/.grail/grail-preferences file and
making appropriate changes. The setting for this preference
consists of four numbers, one for each margin. Each value is
interpreted as printer's points (1/72 inch). In order, these
represent the top, bottom, left, and right margins.
Controlling the headers and footers of a document is the most difficult aspect of controlling Grail's printing. To change these parts of the printed document, new PostScript functions need to be written which use parameters to generate the appropriate output. The most important thing to remember when writing these functions is that there is little that can be done to affect the layout of content on the page from these functions; information about the page size and margins is provided in a group of variables. Information is also available on the date and time at which printing was initiated. The document title, URL, and page number are passed in to the procedures as parameters.
Grail sets up a default PostScript environment as do most
applications generating PostScript output. After the default
environment is established, Grail check the user preference
printing--user-header; if set, this is
interpreted as a space-separated list of PostScript files
which should be included in the prologue. The file names are
interpreted relative to
These files may redefine the functions which display the
header and footer on each page. Examples are provided in the
SampleGrailDir/custom.ps in the
Grail distribution; starting with that file may be useful.
The examples defined there use a different font for the
headers and footers and also demonstrate how a ``duplexing''
affect may be achieved for use with printers that support
duplexing directly or for duplexing on a copier. When using
this approach to augment Grail, make sure you read the example
file and the file
header.ps in the
main Grail source directory before beginning.
url title pageno GrDecorateEvenPage -
GrDecorateOddPage, which is appropriate for non-duplexed output.
url title pageno GrDecorateOddPage -
GrDecorateEvenPagebut called for odd-numbered pages.
string1 string2 GrCatstrings string3
Useful time & date information for the local time zone. All values are integers; refer to the Python Library Reference for more information on the values of these numbers.
For Grail 0.3, only minimal support is provided to control the formatting of document contents. Controls are provided in the dialogs to allow anchors to be underlined or footnoted (or both), and to specify if images should be printed in greyscale (necessary on some older PostScript level 1 printers), color, or not at all.