Many websites offer a Print view that puts the entire article on one page. It generally strips out irrelevant images, and provides plain text in easy to read black on white.
Use the Print view
Many websites are busy and cluttered. Useful articles may span several pages, surrounded by blinking, flashing ‘stuff’ and ‘junk’ and ‘clutter’. It’s annoying. It’s hard to read. It’s distracting.
You have the power
But you’re not at the mercy of those sites. Many websites offer a Print view that puts the entire article on one page. It generally strips out irrelevant images, and provides plain text in easy to read black on white.
Choose the Print link
Whenever you encounter that kind of situation always look for the Print link. Sometimes it’s at the top of the article, other times it’s at the bottom. Click the Print link and see what happens. If a dialog box appears asking you to confirm your printer settings just click Cancel. You don’t have to actually print the article on paper.
A working example
For example, while the Dominion Post pages aren’t too bad, they still often use flashing, distracting ads beside the articles. Try this one: Looking at what Kiwisaver has to offer:
When I visited there was an extremely annoying animated ad for Inland Revenue right beside the text I wanted to read. Click the Printable View link at either top or bottom of the article and you should reach this page:
It’s gorgeous: clean, clear, straightforward, easy to read. And if you feel comfortable with web addresses, look at the pattern: the ‘flashy’ pages have
/dominionpost/ in the URL, while the ‘clean’ pages use
Acknowledgements: this article is based on a tip I read at ‘Lorelle on WordPress’: The Rant Against Multiple Page Posts.
Note: this article has been moved from the Learning Centre where Lorelle wrote a comment on August 8th, 2007 at 2:12 pm:
Thanks for the acknowledgment, and I also recommend WordPress Plugins That Play With Paper and Documents and Styling for Print from the WordPress Codex. These will help you create a print.css stylesheet so your web pages will print pretty, without an interaction between the reader and web page. Just hit print.
I think it’s important to help make the visitor’s life easer as much as possible, and cleanly printed web pages are critical.
Written for and reproduced from CommunityNet Aotearoa Panui, July 2007. This article may have been modified from the original.