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  1. #1
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    Arrow Printing an Invisible Image on web server?

    I'm looking for a way to allow my website's users to print the images on my web server without being able to actually 'SEE' them.

    I am familiar with the fact that some websites use either an external program which visitors have to download in order to print/see the images.

    Some websites use something that you have to only RUN, without needing to download anything. (I'm guessing its some sort of online web application) This is better then the last one concept I described above, I just don't know which scripting language I would need to create this online web application.

    I'm looking for advice on this & would love to hear some input bcuz I'm lost. Thanks

  • #2
    Regular Coder Mooseman's Avatar
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    Users would still see a print preview. And why wouldn't you want users to see the pictures?

  • #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickslick View Post
    I'm looking for a way to allow my website's users to print the images on my web server without being able to actually 'SEE' them.

    I am familiar with the fact that some websites use either an external program which visitors have to download in order to print/see the images.

    Some websites use something that you have to only RUN, without needing to download anything. (I'm guessing its some sort of online web application) This is better then the last one concept I described above, I just don't know which scripting language I would need to create this online web application.

    I'm looking for advice on this & would love to hear some input bcuz I'm lost. Thanks

    Perhaps using CSS media types will solve the issue.

    http://www.w3schools.com/css/css_mediatypes.asp

    One way may be to create a class with display:none; for all media types except print. Then, use a div with that class name to hold the image to be printed.

    Will

  • #4
    Master Coder felgall's Avatar
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    No matter what you do they could always print to PDF and then extract the images from there.
    Stephen
    Learn Modern JavaScript - http://javascriptexample.net/
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    Don't forget to start your JavaScript code with "use strict"; which makes it easier to find errors in your code.

  • #5
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    Thanks for the replies guys

    Well I was thinking about using a web application that could automatically print the image on the server once its run, without giving a print preview screen.

    Wouldn't this work?

    I mean I've seen it done using Java. You click the link, it asks whether or not you want to "Run" the java application. Then the webpage says please wait while it prints.
    No image can be seen & no print preview screen is shown.
    Last edited by nickslick; 06-07-2012 at 02:36 AM.

  • #6
    Master Coder felgall's Avatar
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    Even without a print preview they can still use PDF as a printer and so view it that way.
    Stephen
    Learn Modern JavaScript - http://javascriptexample.net/
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    Don't forget to start your JavaScript code with "use strict"; which makes it easier to find errors in your code.

  • #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    Even without a print preview they can still use PDF as a printer and so view it that way.
    fengall but this has to be possible since it has been done before from what I can tell from a few websites that use something like this method.
    redplum(.)com uses something like this when you click "print deals". A java application message appears asking whether you want to 'Run' the app. After you click run, it prints the image.

    How are they able to prevent people from seeing images, yet still being able to print? Everyone seems to believe you can't, until they see websites like that who deeploy printing applications like that.

  • #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by WamsleyH View Post
    Users would still see a print preview
    have you visited that site I listed above? Because I don't see one when I try to print a 'deal'.

  • #9
    Master Coder felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickslick View Post
    A java application message appears asking whether you want to 'Run' the app. After you click run, it prints the image.
    and using http://www.cutepdf.com/products/cutepdf/writer.asp or equivalent as the "printer" you end up with a file so that you can easily view the image on your computer. Those sites that think they have blocked it are just plain mistaken.
    Stephen
    Learn Modern JavaScript - http://javascriptexample.net/
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    Don't forget to start your JavaScript code with "use strict"; which makes it easier to find errors in your code.

  • #10
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    Thanks for the response Fengall.
    I downloaded the cutepdf to verify if it worked for this website, but it Blocks anyone trying to print if you have that running.

    I'm guessing to print without a print dialogue they scan through any printers you have & check to make sure to don't have a print2PDF application running. So I guess that is one way to prevent people from seeing an image ready for printing, which is to not print it unless these 3rd party print2pdf applications are disabled.

  • #11
    Master Coder felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickslick View Post
    I'm guessing to print without a print dialogue they scan through any printers you have & check to make sure to don't have a print2PDF application running.
    Assuming that you are right that means that their application will refuse to print for somewhere between 95% and 99.99% of their visitors.

    There are hundreds of different print to PDF "printers" available - every accounting program comes with one. Every PDF editor program comes with one. Every Adobe program comes with one.

    No business could function these days without having one of these installed (which they would have anyway as supplied by their accounting program).

    Such programs are at least as commonly found installed on computers as word processing programs are.

    I somehow doubt that you are right though - they wouldn't bother with creating an application that would actually work for so few people. Why not post a link to one of these applications. Then it will be possible to post more specific instructions on how to bypass their supposed "protection".
    Stephen
    Learn Modern JavaScript - http://javascriptexample.net/
    Helping others to solve their computer problem at http://www.felgall.com/

    Don't forget to start your JavaScript code with "use strict"; which makes it easier to find errors in your code.

  • #12
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    fengall I did post a link to one website which uses one of these applications. redplum.com is one site but there are others.

    Just check any of the checkboxes on the page, then go to the bottom and click 'Print selected'. It'll take you to a java web applet which you need to Run & then the image will print, without ever seeing the print dialogue box.

  • #13
    Master Coder felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickslick View Post
    It'll take you to a java web applet which you need to Run & then the image will print, without ever seeing the print dialogue box.
    Change your default printer to cutePDF before doing that and change it back afterwards and you will have a PDF of the image that you can print as many times as you like.
    Stephen
    Learn Modern JavaScript - http://javascriptexample.net/
    Helping others to solve their computer problem at http://www.felgall.com/

    Don't forget to start your JavaScript code with "use strict"; which makes it easier to find errors in your code.

  • #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    Change your default printer to cutePDF before doing that and change it back afterwards and you will have a PDF of the image that you can print as many times as you like.
    Unless I did something wrong, I think I did do that but it still said "cannot print because of a 3rd party printing application".

    Heres what I did:
    I installed cutePDF, then went to the java applet page.
    I clicked RUN
    Gave me the notice of "cannot print because of 3rd party print app"

    Did you do something else that allowed you to print to pdf still?

  • #15
    Master Coder felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickslick View Post
    Did you do something else that allowed you to print to pdf still?
    Just got home, couldn't test this before because the system security on all the other systems I work on block their Java Applet from running. I had to specifically bypass some security to get it to run on my system.

    Okay, it seems to have some built in protection for detecting some of the PDF printer drivers. So it is just a matter of trying different printer drivers that don't write to an actual printer until you find one that works. I have about eight or so such "printers" alrady installed on my system that came with a variety of applications (such things are about the most common "application" you are likely to find on a computer). Perhaps the one people are most likely to have that their applet doesn't block is the one that comes with Microsoft Office that writes to the OneNote application. Getting the coupon displayed on the screen in OneNote was easy once I turned off the security necessary to allow their applet to run.



    The real protection that they have applied that actually matters is of course the statement at the bottom of each coupon - which is why since I have only reproduced a coupon in order to prove that they can be copied on the computer I have printed the word VOID across it so that the above image cannot be used to bypass their applet even for those unfortunate enough to be blocked from being able to access a coupon because their system blocks the applet from running.

    Blocking 90% of your legitimate visitors in order to make it slightly harder for the 0.01% who want to steal your content is a common mistake made by those who don't properly understand computer security.
    Last edited by felgall; 06-08-2012 at 10:22 AM.
    Stephen
    Learn Modern JavaScript - http://javascriptexample.net/
    Helping others to solve their computer problem at http://www.felgall.com/

    Don't forget to start your JavaScript code with "use strict"; which makes it easier to find errors in your code.

  • The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to felgall For This Useful Post:

    nickslick (06-08-2012), Will Bontrager (06-08-2012)


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