Every day it becomes more apparent that we’re moving away from the days of mass printing. Now we use the internet to share content and documents, focusing more on accessibility than practical use.
But what about those who still rely on or enjoy printed material? What can we do in this new paperless age to give you or your clients the option to print their content easily and in a friendly-to-read format?
This is a matter of accessibility. Believe it or not, people don’t have 24/7 access to the Internet to refer to your posts or documents, which forces you to provide an alternative for those paper-needy folks. This is where the functionality of printable blog posts comes into play. By simply offering a different set of styles, you can give your users an easily printable page.
There are several options you can take to help your users utilize the power of print on your website. Which one you choose will depend on your specific use and community.
The first option is to give someone a button that will strip the styling from your page and provide them only the relevant content. This button will activate your browsers print feature and immediately pull up the print options menu to send to your printer.
The two images below illustrate the print button (circled in red), and the printer window that will come up when you click it.
Will pull up this window:
Option #1 is a great, but sometimes it’s better to provide your content formatted in a printer-friendly way. Using another button that reads something like “printable version” will display the printer-friendly formatted post inside of the browser without printing yet.
With this option, users can easily scan the post without distractions or copy text and images to use on their computer instead of immediately sending them to the printer. An example of this in-browser page is shown below:
You can see that all of the non-printable styling has been removed.
These in-browser pages are also print-friendly. The same printable version will be shown no matter which option you choose, so the end result is the same. You just have to decide if you want to give people a simple version of your blog post before they print.
Benefits of printed blog posts
Either way you decide to go, this feature gives an important amount of accessibility to your users and even helps disabled users easily read your content. By offering this print capability, you can help yourself and your clients easily distribute your blog post content or to get it in a physical format for easy, internet-free use.
Benefits of a printed version of a blog post include:
- Easy marking for post editing.
- Ability to share and transport information without the use of the internet or mobile device.
- Quick reference without any browsing that allows you to physically have the post in front of you.
Of course, just because we’re adding a printable version doesn’t mean you’re focusing any less on your website users. They will still receive the content in the same way, formatted and styled inside of your website. This just gives them an extra option on how to consume your content.
We can continue to move forward with new technological advances while simultaneously providing a fallback for those who are still adopting this new paperless philosophy. Considering that most businesses are moving towards the future, it’s important to still consider and incorporate the past when necessary.