CSS for printing
As much as I read articles online, I still print a fair amount of them out. Sometimes I print them to pass on to others, other times to read again when I have more time. Unfortunately a great deal of websites put no effort into providing their content in a printer-friendly fashion. The result of them overlooking the print audience is a great article not being read. If only these writers knew how easy it can be to optimize their site for print and how it can greatly enhance the value of their website.
The secret to creating printable pages is being able to identify and control the "content area(s)" of your website. Most websites are composed of a header, footer, sidebars/subnavigation, and one main content area. Control the content area and most of your work is done. The following are my tips to conquering the print media without changing the integrity of your website.
Create A Stylesheet For Print
Of course you have at least one stylesheet to control the layout of the page and formatting of the content, but do you have a stylesheet to control how your page will look like in print? Add the print style sheet, with the media attribute set to "print", at the end of the list of stylesheets in the header. This will allow you to create custom CSS classes applied only at the time of print. Make sure your structure CSS file is given a media attribute of "all."