Using JQuery to open a popup window and print

A while back I created a lightbox plugin using jQuery that would load a url specified in a link into a lightbox. The code is really simple:


and the link would look like this:

<a class='readmore' href='view-details.php?Id=11'>TJ Kirchner</a>

The plugin could also accept arguments for width, height, a different url, and more data to pass through.

The problem I'm facing right now is printing the lightbox. I set it up so that the lightbox has a print button at the top of the box. That link would open up a new window and print that window. This is all being controlled by the lightbox plugin. Here's what that code looks like:

$('.printBtn').bind('click',function() {
    var url = options.url + ( ( options.url.indexOf('?') < 0 && != "" ) ? '?' : '&' ) +;
    var thePopup = url, "Member Listing", "menubar=0,location=0,height=700,width=700" );

The problem is the script doesn't seem to be waiting until the window loads. It wants to print the moment the window appears. As a result, if I click "cancel" to the print dialog box, it'll popup again and again until the window loads. The first time I tried printing I got a blank page. That might be because the window didn't finish load.

I need to find a way to alter the previous code block to wait until the window loads and then print. I feel like there should be an easy way to do this, but I haven't found it yet. Either that, or I need to find a better way to open a popup window and print from the lightbox script in the parent window, without alternating the webpage code in the popup window.


You should put the print function in your view-details.php file and call it once the file is loaded by either using <body onload="window.print()"> or $(document).ready(function () { window.print(); });

Got it! I found an idea here

In this example, they loaded a blank popup window into an object, cloned the contents of the element to be displayed, and appended it to the body of the object. Since I already knew what the contents of view-details (or any page I load in the lightbox), I just had to clone that content instead and load it into an object. Then, I just needed to print that object. The final outcome looks like this:

$('.printBtn').bind('click',function() {
    var thePopup = '', "Customer Listing", "menubar=0,location=0,height=700,width=700" );
    $('#popup-content').clone().appendTo( thePopup.document.body );

I had one small drawback in that the style sheet I was using in view-details.php was using a relative link. I had to change it to an absolute link. The reason being that the window didn't have a URL associated with it, so it had no relative position to draw on.

Works in Firefox. I need to test it in some other major browsers too.

I don't know how well this solution works when you're dealing with images, videos, or other process intensive solutions. Although, it works pretty well in my case, since I'm just loading tables and text values.

Thanks for the input! You gave me some ideas of how to get around this.

Are you sure you can't alter the HTML in the popup window?

If you can, add a <script> tag at the end of the popup's HTML, and call window.print() inside it. Then it won't be called until the HTML has loaded.

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