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Make Your Website Printable with CSS

Printing website content is something many of today’s internet users are unfamiliar with. Most of us have become so accustomed to reading content from a screen that we would find it strange to actually print out the content of a website and read it. However, many people do print out web pages so your website should be equipped to do this. One of the most effective ways to make your website printable is to use CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).

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The Problem with Printing Websites

The settings on most websites and Content Managements Systems are not always setup to print stunning printouts of a website. The formatting is often very basic and misaligned. Most designers neglect this aspect of a website’s design because fewer people print out their website pages. CSS lets a website owner customize the format and layout of printed pages. Users who do print web pages get a much better quality user experience and printouts they understand and can use for their own purposes.

Starting Out

First of all you have to decide who will do this work. If you feel comfortable working with CSS that’s great but many are not so fortunate. You may need to hire a developer or someone who specializes in CSS. Once you have decided who will do the work, go to some web pages and print them out. This will determine whether or not you need to make your website printable with CSS and to see what layout changes will need to be made.

Create the Stylesheet

Now it’s time to focus on creating the stylesheet that will be used. Website platforms like WordPress have specific structures that you can style in CSS. These include the header, content, comments, sidebar and footer. ‘@media print’ is used in CSS to define certain CSS styles in the CSS code. It can also be used to remove certain elements of a website from styling.

As well as styling, CSS also caters for other elements of a printed page including page breaks which occur on printed versions of a website, but don’t occur on the website itself.

Create Some Simple Rules

When you style for print there are some simple rules you should create and follow. You don’t have to print everything that appears on screen. For example, sidebars and navigation bars can be hidden on printouts through CSS. The content of a web page should fit across the full width of a printout. If people are only interested in an article or blog post, hide the comments when this type of page is printed. These are just some rules that reduce the amount you spend on printing such as paper supplies, toners and HP printer parts for a HP printer.

There are many ways to make your website printable. One of the most flexible and effective ways to do this is to use CSS. If you have the skills or hire someone who can work with CSS, your website will become a much better functioning system that fulfils the needs of a wide range of website visitors.

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