Print Friendly Pages

There are two ways to prepare pages for printing. The first is to prepare a unique style sheet for printers. The browser will automatically detect style sheets that have been marked with a media type of "print" and format the page according to the print rules that have been specified. The second method uses a contributed module, Print, to enable links that direct the site visitor to new pages that use a print-friendly template.

CSS Print-Friendly Pages

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) specify the media type they are targeting. When a page is displayed in a Web browser, you are viewing the styles that have been assigned to the page by the media types "all" and "screen." Eight other media types are available, including "print," "braille," "handheld," and "tv." A full list of media types is available from http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS2/media.html#media-types.

The "print" media type specifies how a page should be formatted when it is printed. Figure 4.11 shows a Web page formatted by a "screen" style sheet; Figure 4.12 shows the "print preview" for the same page. Parts of the page that are not relevant to the content being displayed have been eliminated. The elements that have been removed include the header, navigation elements, and quotes in the footer.

Most of the work in creating a print-friendly style sheet focuses on finding regions that can be "hidden" from view. To remove these variables from the print-friendly version of the page, the CSS property and attribute display: none; are used. The site name (HICK Tech) is also pulled into the display by using the property and attribute display: block;. To add a print-friendly style sheet to your site, you must register the new file in your theme's .info file and clear the theme registry by navigating to Administer, Site configuration, Performance; scrolling to the bottom of the Web page; and clicking "clear cached data." A print-specific CSS file is typically named print, css; however, there is no absolute requirement to use this file name. Set the print style sheet with the following snippet in your theme's .info file:

stylesheets[print][] = printstylesheet.css

The print style sheet for the HICK Tech Web site contains only the following styles:

/* Hide all information that is not unique content for this page */ #header-wrapper, #primary-links, #banner-image, .sidebar-right .sidebar-right,

Services Community Events

In 2Q07 Qwhp Sound experienced ¡1b liral-sver i'jrul technology conleianca, The apaa>vt»ris ahpwcated Ihn local use of technology. from cattle breeding through 1o public health. MICK Toch hnlpedtha local community to sun a widn rangn ol ways its coirnunity hns nirbraood technology In 200H HICK Tech rni3«l the bar lor tochnology confnrimcns around Ihn world It was wantefroe. carbon neutral nnd Inaiured locally grown ioocl land bcor|. prepared by a local, gourmel restaurant. Speakers Includod Fllckr i Community Manager, 1ho Guardians Head ol Communities end User Experience. The wrap-up panel diKuaaiun waa hailed by CBC'i Mora Young

Community Training

The Community Outreach for Ihe Giey County 3-gudband Irtaliv» was conducted by Emma Hogbin, Die one-hour presentation waaboth enlertaining and nloirnalivu end waa very well «eceived in the lour communities il waa preaented More information about Ihe program, nchidng the handout Ihot was delr/erod Ii ava lablo on the Gray County Broadband Initiative Web site.

Community Training inilinlives have aim included spooking engogomants within llie broader technical community. Emma has deivevod presentations DL SOveral international can'urencin On Ih 0 succOSSOs Ol HICK TnCh. The vüuo recording of somu ol those prestimations are available through 1h Dir ruspoctivO conference Wob situs tLugRndioLlve: San FrancIscd MotACon: Cleveland, OH, LugRadloLive: Wolverhampton, UK undOSCON: Pe-itland, OR| Envna has alto eandjeled Wab uubttty training tar the City ol Quirn Sound and has taught Imarnal ioehnö!agi»i a! a«h Kannen Colege nnd (lumber College.

Wojktn r you Uia to have a HICK Toch n*pnrinncn In your commu nfty too'

Talkin' 'boul HICK Tech

It Eenlerapce - the workshops a

Media Coverage

• Linux Pro Magazine Rika's Open Source Exchange lor diSpalCh« from Ihe woitd Of women in open sourc 6.

■ TheOwen.com: Local Stories and resources lor Owen Sound and

<3r*y Mrxl Hiuch CojuEihm

• PlanetFriendly■ Hnvjng paspl» ie$flthtu ever riaae that maltar

• Living In the Country

FIGURE 4.11 HICK Tech Web site as it is displayed in a Web browser.

.breadcrumb, ul.primary, div.links, #bottomboxes, #footer { display: none;

/* The site name is set to "display: none"

in the main style sheet, display it now*/ #print-sitename { display: block; }

FIGURE 4.12 HICK Tech Web site seen in "print preview" mode using the print style sheet.

font-family: Serif; color: #000; font-size: 1em; text-align: left;

/* Make sure the page is white, with no border, and properly aligned */ #wrapper {

background: #fff; border: none; margin: 0; width: 100%;

To add your logo to the site name, you could place a background image on the site with the following CSS snippet:

#print-sitename {

display: block;

background-image: url(/path/to/the/image.gif);

If you are concerned about exact color matching (saving your visitor's valuable color ink cartridges), consider using a black-and-white logo here instead of your colored logo.

Several Drupal themes provide print-friendly CSS, including the default theme, Garland. Review the following themes for additional examples on how to create a print-friendly style sheet for your theme:

• AD Redoable (http://drupal.org/project/ad_redoable)

• NoProb (http://drupal.org/project/noprob)

• Pluralism (http://drupal.org/project/pluralism)

• Zen (http://drupal.org/project/zen)

The A List Apart article titled "Going to Print" by Eric Meyer provides excellent information and strategies for creating print-friendly pages using only CSS. This article can be found at http://alistapart.com/articles/goingtoprint/.

Print-Friendly Templates

Sometimes your Web site visitors will simply not believe that a print-friendly page is waiting to greet them in the printer. They may have had too many bad experiences with Web sites that do not provide a print-friendly CSS, and they may not understand the mechanics of Web site construction well enough to know such a thing is even possible. The CrochetMe Web site shown in Figure 4.13 shows a link to a print-friendly page (displayed in Figure 4.14) with all cruft removed. To create custom templates for your content, you must generate new links to the end of each node, create new templates with stripped-down markup, and notify the theme about these new (nonstandard) template files. Sounds like a lot of work, eh?

Print module to the rescue! With this nifty little module, you can easily enable print-friendly, email-this-page, and PDF links to all of your pages. For more information

FIGURE 4.13 The CrochetMe Web site uses the Print module for its content. The links appears to the right of the content, below the author information.

about this module, and to download and install it, visit the module's project page at http://drupal.org/project/print.

Although this module does have the ability to create PDFs of pages, it requires a helper module. The recommended helper module, which is named dompdf, provides full CSS support and allows for excellent reproduction of the Web page. It does not, however, support Unicode character encoding or PDF headers. To install the dompdf module, you must install font support on your Web server. If you are not comfortable with system administration, or if you are using a shared hosting service, this functionality will be a little tricky to implement. For more information, visit the dompdf Web site at http://www.digitaljunkies.ca/dompdf.

FIGURE 4.14 Output of the Print module—a "print-friendly" page.

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