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Print Layouts

I decided to work on something other than the web viewing side of Rinsefirst today. In fact, I’m working on something that will probably never get used. Today, I’ve added the “Print” layout.

The print layout is a special CSS stylesheet that determines how the page should look when printed. You can change the fonts, dimensions, or whatever you so desire. In the past, I’ve often left it up to how the user’s computer was configured to print my site, but I felt that if I was truely going to be paying attention to every aspect of design, that I should do just that.

So here’s the insite to some of my decisions about the print layout.

  1. I’ve removed the header (logo), daily links, and the comment count – None of these things is at all useful to the person printing the page. The web address for my site can normally be found in the users footer (unless they disable it) and the links are useless without their URL’s. Why give the user content they don’t need. However, on the pages that do have comments, I do plan on showing them (because that might be useful content).
  2. I’ve allowed the text to flow full width – From a design aspect, this probably isn’t a good thing for readability, but it does help to save on paper.
  3. I’ve inserted a page break with each post – This design choice actually results in wasting paper, UNLESS you take into account that most people aren’t trying to print every post. Assuming they realize that before they hit the print button, this allows them to print just the post that they wish to read offline. Perhaps I should specify a way to turn this feature on and off.
  4. I’ve inverted the fonts – Arial became Times and Times became Arial. Rumor is that on computers, Sans Serif (without tails) looks better for casual reading, and Serif Fonts (with tails) make better headers. On paper, the opposite is true. Someday, I will ponder why humans are like this… Until then.

So as you can probably see if your doing a print preview of this page, it does change the look and feel quite drastically, while still maintaining the usability of the posts. Perhaps I’ll stylize it up a bit more later. Until then…