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Google Patents WYSIWYG Printing for Web Apps

The USPTO granted the company the rights to a WYSIWYG ("what you see is what you get") printing approach, which an actual preview of pages that are requested to be printed from any web application.

Google applied for the document already in December of 2006, well before the firm released its Chrome web browser, which basically carries the core of this technology today. According to the patent, which was granted earlier this week, the rights include "access to printer settings, [and] display settings." The company uses "printer meta UIs [to provide] a web based application with the capability to lay out or format printed documents."

What makes this patent interesting is Google's idea how closely this patent is related to a web browser, more than two years before Chrome's initial release. Rival browsers such as IE9 or Firefox 14 still use the native printing menu in Windows, even if IE9 has a slightly optimized printing menu that enables the user to, for example, tailor the print layout to be optimized for a WYSIWYG view. However, there is no visual WYSIWYG implementation, which is only available in Chrome at this time.

According to the patent, a WYSIWYG implementation, however, can improve the user experience and is desirable especially since "a web page can have a different layout on different computers, different displays, and different printers". Google's solution comprises a "container application" that "obtains a web based application from an application server" and a "web based application [that is] then run inside the container application." The layout module itself takes advantage of the printer settings component to "produce a printed document that looks substantially the same as the displayed document" with the exception of "fonts appearing slightly different".

We have lived with the standard printer menu in Windows for decades and they have worked just fine. This Google patent, however, is critical for the use and convenience in web applications, at least for now and at least as long as we are printing content from a web browser when we can expect the printed document to not exactly replicate what we see on the screen. In the range of web applications, this patent is a considerable win for Google.

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  • weierstrass
    At some point they (Apple, Google, Samsung,...) are all forced to trade patents for patents and the world will be a fine place again.
    Reply
  • Vladislaus
    weierstrassAt some point they (Apple, Google, Samsung,...) are all forced to trade patents for patents and the world will be a fine place again.Perhaps it will be a fine place for big companies, the same cannot be said about the smaller ones.
    Reply
  • fb39ca4
    Stupid patent is stupid. Google, we thought you were above this.
    Reply
  • Besides, it don't work. Chrome routinely screws up printing and I have to use the sys dialog anyway
    Reply
  • Crush3d
    fb39ca4Stupid patent is stupid. Google, we thought you were above this.
    Everyone has to start playing the game and patent anything and everything before their competitors do. Patent shapes, colors, patterns, buttons.. EVERYTHING.

    If you try to play nice now, you won't be playing at all in a few years.
    Reply
  • JamesSneed
    The patent wars begun they have.

    So you print something from a web page and the hard copy looks the same? What a concept. The US patent system is so jacked up. Google is no patent troll and I don't blame them one bit with the state of the patent system today. Software should be something that is copyrighted not a patented. I just don't understand why that one simple rule is not in effect already.
    Reply
  • Camikazi
    fb39ca4Stupid patent is stupid. Google, we thought you were above this.It all depends on what they do with it, if they patent it but still allow this to be used by others for no or little cost then I support them. Honestly though I would rather have MS or Google patent things like this rather than give a chance for Apple to get it, at least the previous 2 have history of allowing others to license or use their patented ideas for free.
    Reply
  • aracheb
    CamikaziIt all depends on what they do with it, if they patent it but still allow this to be used by others for no or little cost then I support them. Honestly though I would rather have MS or Google patent things like this rather than give a chance for Apple to get it, at least the previous 2 have history of allowing others to license or use their patented ideas for free.
    This 2 before mentioned company practices healthy competition, Apple does not.
    Reply
  • shqtth
    Google Patents things to protect themselves. Apple has patents to sue competition.
    Reply
  • postal_game
    Recently one of the computer in my office has problem related to Google WYSIWYG (the preview not showing and i can't print through chrome), and after searching from internet, many said that it's because of bugs that has not been fixed by Google Chrome. Finally i decided to go back to firefox and using standard windows preview... LOL..
    Reply