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42 Printing Hard Copies

Emacs provides commands for printing hardcopies of either an entire buffer or part of one. You can invoke the printing commands directly, as detailed below, or using the ‘File’ menu on the menu bar.

Aside from the commands described in this section, you can also print hardcopies from Dired (see Operating on Files) and the diary (see Displaying the Diary). You can also “print” an Emacs buffer to HTML with the command M-x htmlfontify-buffer, which converts the current buffer to a HTML file, replacing Emacs faces with CSS-based markup. Furthermore, Org mode allows you to print Org files to a variety of formats, such as PDF (see Org Mode).

M-x print-buffer
Print hardcopy of current buffer with page headings containing the file name and page number.
M-x lpr-buffer
Print hardcopy of current buffer without page headings.
M-x print-region
Like print-buffer but print only the current region.
M-x lpr-region
Like lpr-buffer but print only the current region.

On most operating systems, the above hardcopy commands submit files for printing by calling the lpr program. To change the printer program, customize the variable lpr-command. To specify extra switches to give the printer program, customize the list variable lpr-switches. Its value should be a list of option strings, each of which should start with ‘-’ (e.g., the option string "-w80" specifies a line width of 80 columns). The default is the empty list, nil.

To specify the printer to use, set the variable printer-name. The default, nil, specifies the default printer. If you set it to a printer name (a string), that name is passed to lpr with the ‘-P’ switch; if you are not using lpr, you should specify the switch with lpr-printer-switch.

The variable lpr-headers-switches similarly specifies the extra switches to use to make page headers. The variable lpr-add-switches controls whether to supply ‘-T’ and ‘-J’ options (suitable for lpr) to the printer program: nil means don't add them (this should be the value if your printer program is not compatible with lpr).