I have a fresh install of Linux Mint 15. In many applications (gedit, firefox, etc.) I can go to "File > Print..." and see a virtual printer called "Print to file".

By default, it prints the PDF to my Home directory, with a vague filename like "output.pdf" or "Mozilla.pdf". I don't want to have to manually change the folder and type out a file name every time I save a file. Instead, I want the "Print to File" dialog to behave more like the "Save File" one does, automatically using the title of the document as the default filename and remembering the last folder I saved to. I would prefer not to save to HTML instead and then convert to PDF later, if I have any choice.

Is there some hidden setting somewhere to change this behavior? If this requires a feature request, for what package? I tried installing the outdated package "cups-pdf", which was at least smart enough to use the document title as the default filename for the PDF, but the image quality is just too bad.


Fedora 27 + KDE + Firefox 58.0 Quantum + Thunderbird 52.5.2 here. In 2018.

When I "Print to File" from Firefox or Thunderbird, the dialog shown use a default file with a default location.

There is no option to set the directory separately or configure a default. Annoying. Less than stellar after 14 years of development, but, ok. (Hey, can I set in the KDE System Settings? Nah.)


Thunderbird Crud


Firefox Crud

A Google Search yields ridiculous responses from various fogeys.

Workaround: Edit the default in "about:config".

See also Editing configuration.


In Firefox, go to URL "about:config" and look for "print.print_to". Edit as needed. This is less than stellar, but it is something.

Editing Firefox


In Thunderbird, there is no URL bar, so go to "Menu: (Edit > Preferences) > Tab: (Advanced) > Button: (Config Editor). At least on Linux, this differs between systems: Menu differences in Windows, Linux, and Mac.

Editing Thunderbird


I'm not sure I understand what the problem is. In both gedit and firefox you can choose the name and save location when printing:

  • gedit

    enter image description here

  • firefox

    enter image description here

  • Thanks for the screenshots. I have edited the question to specify that I don't want to have to manually change the folder and type out a file name every time I save a file. – Brian Z Aug 23 '13 at 15:13
  • @BrianZ this is really not something you should be using often enough for it to be a problem. What is it you are trying to do? There are many ways of creating pdf files. – terdon Aug 23 '13 at 15:16
  • I am a researcher and normally save dozens of news articles as PDFs every day. – Brian Z Aug 23 '13 at 15:19
  • You do this manually by printing each to a file? Ouch... I would recommend you ask another question explaining what you need (for example, to save multiple webpages as pdfs with informative names). My guess is it will be much simpler to save them all as webpages and then convert the page to PDF with another tool. – terdon Aug 23 '13 at 15:25
  • All I need is for the "Print to File" dialog to behave the same way the "Save File" one does, in terms of the default location and file name. Perhaps this is a feature request, but I'm not sure what the relevant package would be. – Brian Z Aug 23 '13 at 15:39

Answering my own question... I guess I would have to make this a feature request. The best solution I found for now was to use the CleanPrint browser plugin, available both in Firefox and Chrome.

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