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Internet Explorer Cannot Print Large Images

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This article was previously published under Q317978

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When you try to print a large image file by using the Enhanced Metafile Format (EMF), the temporary EMF file may not be generated, the print job may fail, and you may receive the following error message:
This program has performed and illegal operation and will be shut down.

If the problem persists, contact the program vendor.

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This behavior can occur when Internet Explorer tries to print an image that is larger then 16 megabytes (MB) based on the resolution calculations. There is an architectural limitation in the Graphics Device Interface (GDI) in the following operating systems that limits the amount of data that can be rendered to 16 MB:
  • Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me)
  • Microsoft Windows 98
  • Microsoft Windows 95
When the print job runs, the EMF file is not generated because the call to the Public Function StretchDiBits GDI function fails. Because of the dependencies in Internet Explorer 5.5 (and later) on the EMF file, the Internet Explorer printing subsystem to fail.

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To work around this behavior, use either of the following methods:
  • Use Microsoft Windows NT, Microsoft Windows 2000, or Microsoft Windows XP to print the image. These operating systems do not have the 16 MB GDI limitation.
  • Print images that are less than 16 MB after resolution calculations. To calculate the size of the image, check the image properties in a graphics program. Multiply the width * height * bit depth of the image to determine the total size of the image.

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This behavior is by design.

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Keywords: KB317978, kbprint, kbprb, kbenv

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Article Info
Article ID : 317978
Revision : 5
Created on : 2/1/2007
Published on : 2/1/2007
Exists online : False
Views : 498