Have you/your team consider using pure CSS (using media screen & print) for formatting? This may save you from having to deal with PDF (extra codes -> slower performance, extra steps in save then print, extra storage space just for temp save, etc... ) since they only need to print as you mentioned. If you use CSS pt (1/72 inch) unit, you should get a pretty good precision.
IMO, I only see the need to save as/generate PDF if it's to create an
e-book, just to print to paper is not worth the time & effort. With either method CSS/PDF, you'd still have to deal with the exact formatting & layout (with PDF, you may have to twice - once for the screen and again in PDF).

Tommy, thanks for taking the time to read my long post!  :-)

I tend to think like you too.. why make more work! ; I already got the thing laid out nice for the browser.. *but* the client is wary of the idea that every browser is going to have a slightly different rendition..and so we then have to either require use of one browser or another (and maintain the code as that browser version gets updated), or we have to code for lots of browsers.. and also code the mechanism by which either we sniff/detect which browser is being used.. or else the user tells the page which rendition they need - before printing. As they ponder all that, and the budget.. the client said, "it must be PDF!"


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