Selecting the wrench (spanner) icon then ‘Print’ opens the Print Preview popup which takes up most of the screen – you can also open it via the CTRL + P keyboard shortcut. There is an option at the bottom left to ‘Print using system dialogue’ – this closes the popup and opens the standard Windows dialog box which is used by other browsers and programs for printing.
I prefer to disable Print Preview so that selecting wrench \ Print opens up the standard Windows dialog box immediately – if I do ever want to view a preview I can just select it from my printer preferences. An example of a standard Windows print dialog box is shown below:
Disable Print Preview In Chrome – Warning: if you disable print preview you will no longer be able to ‘Save as PDF’ or ‘Print with Google Cloud Print’ from the Print Preview ‘Destination’ options – do not use this guide if you use either of those options. There are 2 ways to disable it in Chrome:
Method 1 – Updated July 2012 – since Chrome 20 was released this method no longer works – use Method 2 instead.
Open Chrome and type about:flags into the address bar then press Enter to open the Experimental Features page.
Scroll down the list of features to the ‘Disable Print Preview’ feature – by default it is disabled and greyed out.
Click the ‘Enable’ link below it – the link changes to ‘Disable’ and the feature is un-greyed.
Print Preview will be disabled when Chrome is next restarted – if you want to restart it now click the ‘Relaunch Now’ button at the bottom of the Features page.
In future, choosing ‘Print’ will open the standard Windows print dialog box immediately, not the Print Preview popup.
[If you ever want to revert back, follow this procedure again but this time choose the ‘Disable’ link and restart]
This method is easy but the change disables Print Preview in all instances of Chrome whereas the next method allows you to choose to open Chrome with or without it disabled.
Method 2 – Via Shortcut Target. Find the program shortcut you use to open Chrome – usually on your desktop or in Start \ Programs or in Quick Launch. Right click this shortcut and select ‘Properties’ to open the shortcut’s Properties window. Select the ‘Shortcut’ tab and in the ‘Target’ box, go to the end of the entry and add the following:
-preview” NB without the “” quote marks and note that there is a single space at the start followed immediately by two hyphens:
The end result in the Target box should look like this:
Vista/Windows 7 – C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe
XP – “C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe”
Press OK to apply the change and close the Properties window. Use this amended shortcut to open Chrome as usual – Print will now open the standard Windows dialog box, not Print Preview. [If you ever want to revert back, follow this procedure again but this time delete the extra text and space you added at the end of the Target box]
Note: if it doesn’t work you have likely not typed in the extra text correctly or you have missed out the space in between or used a single hyphen instead of the first double hyphen – check again, it still works in Chrome 18 at the time of writing.
Using Different Shortcuts
The text you added to the end of the Target is what is called a command line switch – unlike Method 1 it does not change the experimental features within Chrome itself. Therefore it is possible to have 2 versions of the shortcut if you want – one to open Chrome with print preview enabled as standard, and a second to open with it disabled.
If you want to do this, copy and paste the revised ‘no preview’ Chrome shortcut to elsewhere on the desktop and, in that copy, delete the extra text and space from the end of the Target box – this shortcut will now open Chrome with Print Preview as standard.
The special flag in method 1 has been discontinued in July 2012. However, for the moment, method 2 still work wells – it’s a little trickier and needs care when typing but it allows the use of different shortcuts if required. Hopefully one day Google will provide a simple menu option to disable print preview more easily.