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Page updated on:
Mon, 11 Sep 2006 17:34:00 GMT

Print-Friendly Page or Lazy Web Master's Version

Article by Lev Shamilov.   August 9, 2004

Have you ever seen "Print-Friendly" or "click here for Printable Version" links or buttons on web sites? I'm sure you did. I know I've seen, a lot. While it seems like a quite convenient link for a user, it raises one interesting question:

Why doesn't every single page on web sites aren't print-friendly?

Is it a technical impossibility or simply lack of the knowledge of those web developers? I think it is just a lack of the knowledge of HTML and CSS languages or at very least the laziness of those web masters who creates the print-friendly pages. Why do I think so? Well simply because here, on our web site - - every page is print-friendly page.

Just take a look. If you have Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher or if you have a version of Mozilla, Netscape, Opera or any other browser which has the Print Preview option, you can just click on that button and see how different our web site would look in the print preview window. If you don't have a print preview button or menu item, then of course you can print any page to compare.

As you can see, we had took care of some objects, images and text items to save your paper and ink. But of course that wasn't the only reason. We just wanted to make sure, that if you ever need to print any of our pages, you will print only the content that make sense to print, and it will appear on your paper exactly as we intended it to be.

For example, some of our pages has advertisement on the right side of the page. In Print Preview window you wont see that. The left side of every page has navigation tree with our logo on top. Again that entire left bar wont be printed on your printer. Some more little details, like the page title - on your screen it should be written in the white letters on dark blue background. If you would print that on your color printer, that would be only a waste of your blue ink, wouldn't it? So we had to take care of that. Instead, the title bar will appear simply in a white box with black borders. Another thing I personally hate are links on the printed sheet. They always appear in blue or any other weird color and with underline, just as they should on the screen. Why? You can't click on the piece of paper, so why should they look like a link on your paper? Well, as you can see all the links on this page will appear just like any other text on the printed version. And finally additional links at the bottom of every page - you don't need those on your paper, we know that. And of course you wont see them.

We used Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to accomplish that. A little of creativity, extensive knowledge of CSS and a desire to make it right - that's all you really need to make your entire web site Print-Friendly without comprimising the current look of your web site.

If you need help, we will be happy to assist you with web development. Just call as at 619-512-2255 and refer to this article.

Lev Shamilov,
Chief Technology Officer
NetChain Communications, Inc.