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Printer-friendly web pages

By Brian Egan on November 4, 2009 3:15 PM | Permalink

The web is an exciting profession because of just how rapidly things change. Within the last few years, one phenomenon has made the lives of web designers much easier: Cascading style sheets, more commonly known as CSS.

CSS is an incredible technology because it allows designers to quickly and easily control the look of a multiple pages without touching the content. CSS can also be applied within a variety of contexts, such as for mobile browsers, regular web browsers, print, and in the future, screen readers.

As pointed out by Kee earlier this week, the latest update to our templates caused printing problems for a number of pages. Years ago, this problem would have struck fear into the hearts of designers. But today, thanks to the adoption of CSS, providing printer-friendly pages is as simple as making a few updates to our CSS files.

So that’s what we’ve done. Earlier this week, I went through our CSS files and wrote a bit of extra code to alter the output of printed pages. Now when you print something off our website, you should get clean printouts that remove all of the unnecessary elements from the page, such as navigation, quick links, and breadcrumbs, leaving only the important content for print display. Overall, this should improve readability and save ink!

Give it a try! Navigate to any page on the website and run a “Print Preview.” You should see the new print interface in all its glory! If you have any suggestions for improving the display of printed pages, please let me know in the comments!

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