Change the Default Print to File To PDF in Ubuntu Hardy Heron


In Ubuntu Hardy Heron there is a new printer driver that will print a webpage as a PDF file. It's pretty useful, but unfortunately it's set to print the page as post script format by default. While I appreciate post script, it's not that compatible for other people, so I usually want to make PDF documents instead.

To change that setting to PDF, navigate in Firefox to about:config, and search for the setting called "print.print_to_filename". Double click on it, and change the value to a more useful name than, and change the extension to .pdf. I changed the setting to "Printed Page.pdf"

From there you should be all set.

Now, if anybody can figure out how to make the title of the webpage populate for the name of the saved file, we'll be all set.

Worked great, thank you!
I figured if I changed the default extension it would just output to post script with a .pdf extension so I didn't even try till I found this =)

That's good to hear. I didn't actually find that it worked long-term for me. At some point, I noticed that it had switched back. I'm not sure if it was me, or an update, or something else that switched it.

I did notice however, when I just looked this up, that PDF is milestoned as the default for Intrepid. Doesn't seem like that worked, however.

Mr. Lissner,

Thanks for the post but I'm having some difficulties. Just as a refresher, I'm trying to utilize the print to file function without it defaulting to a postscript file called "" Though this subject is old, hopefully you can help me out. I'm using Ubuntu Hardy Heron and following your advice, I went to about:config in Firefox (version 3.0.14) I found the following listing: print.printer_PDF.print_to_filename;/home/jctuser/ I changed the default file name from "" to "print_file.pdf". From your post, I was expecting to go into the print to file dialogue, see postscript selected as the default output, but have a file named print_file.pdf instead of It didn't work out; everything stayed the same. The output is still a file. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Hmmm...I wish I could help. In my system, these instructions stopped working, but pdf is the default on my machine. I'm running daily updates of FF though, so that may have something to do with it.

I think I remember reading in some release notes somewhere though that pdf was chosen by the default in recent versions of ubuntu. Are you running the most recent version?

Hi, Michael ... I'll continue the "update the old subject" theme here since this blog is the closest thing I've found to what I'm looking for (most everything else talks about the cupsd-pdf utility). The Print dialog you mentioned comes up in FireFox also comes up in other apps -- Evolution & Google Chrome to name two. Thus, it seems reasonable there would be global location to set the "Print to File" default directory and output types. Anything come to mind ??? I've looked at /etc/cups/cupsd but to no avail.


No ideas here, sorry. You should ask on UbuntuForums, and see what you learn.