You are here -> Scsi's "Perfect 10" Mobile Web Site Standard - Best Practice #8: Every 'Print this page' operation .... - (last revised on Tuesday, September 7, 2015 at 3:50 p.m. ET).

Telephone (859) 261-5908 to immediately reach Raymond Sonoff, President of Sonoff Consulting Services, Inc., 271 Saxony Drive, Crestview Hills, KY 41017-2294 USA.

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Scsi's "Perfect 10" Mobile Web Site Standard - Best Practice #8: Every 'Print this page' operation automatically results in an intelligently word wrapped, truncation-free, black-on-white printout of that Mobile Web page's main body contents - regardless of the page orientation and user-specified text size selection in effect at that time.

For your convenience, the four major headings provided on this Mobile Web page are listed immediately below:

NOTE: Relevant hyperlinks are included within the associated paragraphs to make your browsing session productive and all the more enjoyable.

Predominant "Business As Usual" Printing-related Approaches and Resulting Problems

Why put up with complications that can be removed entirely by judicious design? For example, why do so many Web sites appear to have made no substantive provisions for allowing you to seamlessly obtain a printout of the "inner core" contents of the overall Web page? After all, who really wants printouts that contain a Web site's navigation links, colored headings, advertising (especially graphics), and so on - none of which reflects the core content that nearly every user wants printed out when selected in whatever manner?

What makes matters even more exasperating to users are some Web sites' convoluted implementations for printing of content that end up replacing one problem with others that have to be put up with as a consequence of their adopted approach. For example, who wants to be forced to select either a Printable Version icon or hyperlink that once selected subsequently requires you to then select the Print function itself? Why the extra steps, anyway?

Alternatively, why do some Web sites' designers choose to make use of a printable content popup window that requires you to have JavaScript enabled as well as forces you to allow for the appearance of popups (read: requires you to either defeat, somehow bypass, or actually turn off any automatic popup blocking utility/feature you may have installed or in place to even have the print window appear in the first place - turning something that should be simple into a complex and convoluted solution at best). It seems to Scsi that all such poorly thought out approaches to offering a flexible means for printing of Web page content leave more than a little room for improvement.

And, even in spite of all of the above approaches, why do some of these at best partial solutions still sometimes result in printouts that have text truncated (read: useless and a true waste of both time and resources, and perhaps leaving you more than slightly frustrated when these things are "forced" on you for no justifiable reason whatsoever).

By now, doesn't it seem clear to you that there "ought to be a better (read: simpler, more effective and time-saving) way" to perform this truly essential task of printing in an intelligent, efficient, and seamless manner?

Well, you can now truly believe it can be done, and you will see that Scsi's wonderful stress-relieving Best Practice of intelligent word-wrapped printing is a reality demonstrable for each and every Web page within the Scsi P&KT Mobile Web site. To find out more details, please read on.

What is Scsi's "Intelligent Printing" Solution?

What specific Best Practice did Scsi decide upon and implement to keep printing-related tasks simple for all users? Always endeavoring to provide a "Keep It Simple, Sonoff!" solution, Scsi developed a simple, yet effective technique - based on the applicability of a print medium Cascading Style Sheet - to render each Web page at the time of print operation selection by the user: Whenever you wish to print a page, select the Print function in any of several ways of your choosing - for example, File | Print ... or Ctrl+P ... or by selecting the Printer icon - and thereby initiate the entire print page operation for any page you happen to be viewing at that time. That's the entire operation. Now that is about as simple as anyone can make this task, isn't it?

What gets printed will be the main content "body" portion of the overall Mobile Web page - automatically. The font size of the printed text may also reflect the text size you had in effect when the page was being viewed. Moreover, the paragraphs of text will be automatically wordwrapped so that you will never ever encounter text 'cutoff' (truncation) of the printed Web page's main contents.

Now, with respect to the current layout for the Mobile Web pages on this Mobile Web site, the specific elements designed to be stripped automatically from appearing in the actual printout were nearly all of the upper portion of the Web page (validation hyperlinks, search buttons, search window, and "bread crumb" navigation aids) located above the page title.

Moreover, the printout will not contain any colors - save those associated with icons and hyperlinks that may be present within the printed body section of the overall Web page.

At a very minimum, the presence of this 'smart printing feature' is your assurance that no truncation of paragraphs of text will ever occur. Chalk up one more noteworthy benefit.

SPECIAL NOTE: If for whatever reason(s), the print medium-based Cascading Style Sheet is not handled by your specific browser, the contents of the printout will default to the entire Mobile Web page layout - but it will still be intelligently word wrapped nonetheless.

What gains in printing productivity will you enjoy from Scsi's Mobile Web Best Practice #8?

Boy, don't you wish everybody incorporated this "automatic printing" feature into their Mobile Web site's design? First of all, you'd be able to avoid extra steps, such as choosing a printable version hyperlink or icon; having to make page setup changes (from portrait to landscape) to reduce truncation of displayed text - something which Scsi feels is wholly unnecessary; and secondly, you'd never have to fall victim to discovering that you've (unfortunately) printed "all too many pages" only to find out that meaningful text is not present (read: missing, cut off, or 'lost') from the right-hand side of each paragraph or that graphic elements are chopped off for the same reason. Yuck, and what a totally unnecessary waste of paper, ink, and your time. Again, why don't other Web sites learn how to get it right in such a direct fashion as does the "Scsi P&KT" Mobile Web site?

In summary, the collective benefits of having this feature include saving on both paper and color ink cartridges, as well as never losing any content within the body that does get printed out - because of the automatic word-wrapping feature. And really, there is one more thing you should note: The text size of the printout will always track whatever you specified prior to initiating the printout. Wow, is that a complete package or what? And, it's all yours - for free - everywhere within the Scsi P&KT Mobile Web site.

Besides Best Practice #8, which of Scsi's "Perfect 10" Best Practices would you like to read about next?

To learn more about Best Practices that comprise Scsi's "Perfect 10" Mobile Web Site Standard, please make another selection from the list below:

Validate this Scsi's "Perfect 10" Mobile Web Site Standard - Best Practice #8: Every 'Print this page' operation ... page to assure full conformance to W3C's XHTML 1.0 Basic, cascading style sheet (CSS) and WCAG Accessibility recommendations.

Contact Information: Raymond Sonoff, President of Sonoff Consulting Services, Inc., 271 Saxony Drive, Crestview Hills, KY 41017-2294 USA: Telephone: (859) 261-5908.