[OS X TeX] [OFF] Printing MathJax/StackExchange?

David Craig dac at panix.com
Tue Oct 30 21:02:54 CET 2018

I know this is off-topic, but since it’s math-, font-, and TeX-related, I figured this crowd would be about as good as it gets.

Occasionally I’d like to be able to print answers from stackexchange, either on paper or direct to pdf.   The results I get, from every browser I’ve tried (oops, up to now… see below), are incredibly poor.  I will leave aside the weird way things print from stackexchange directly, since there is http://www.stackprinter.com/, presumably created to deal with the aforementioned annoyance.   In either case, the answers are rendered in MathJax, but when I print, especially the greek characters are converted to something else, and the result is typically useless, or close to it.  For example, here is a question and its stackprinter-rendered equivalent:


They render just fine on-sxreen, but when I print, from Chrome or Safari, either to paper or to pdf, I get this:


I’m not sure why/where the font substitution is occurring, but it seems to be at the system level since I get the same result from Safari and Chrome.   

Curiously, I just discovered that I do NOT get the same result from Firefox (which I rarely use), which prints to pdf as rendered on the screen.  So that’s a good clue … for someone else, since I don’t know how these things work under the hood.  Is this a webkit issue, since Firefox doesn’t use webkit?

I would appreciate some help in diagnosing/fixing this so I can print the stackprinter results in a useful form, preferably from Chrome.  (At least in asking the question I discovered a work-around!  I’d still like to understand the underlying issue and not be forced to use Firefox if I can avoid it however.)

David Craig
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