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Making your board printer-friendly


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This is not something I've thought about for years, mainly because since I had internet at home, I no longer needed to print out documents from web-pages at the library and bring them home. When I ran my Star Wars fan fiction site a number of years ago, I always made sure that visitors could print out stories quite easily if they wished so that they could read stories off-line if they wanted to. I've always found it much easier to concentrate on long pieces of text if it had been printed out rather than on a screen. (For this this reason, it's very unlikely that I will ever seriously bother with Kindle and other e-book formats.)

 

I've found that for various reasons, it will be easier for me to work from print outs again (mainly because I need to share a computer and don't always have access to it, and when I have quite a number of characters to write posts for, whether they be my own, or starters/replies to other peoples characters it would be easier to have an hard copy available so that I can use them for reference when I'm not on a computer.

 

However, I have found that boards aren't always printer-friendly - they can have complex layouts which, while looking at them on a screen, looks great, but literally wastes ink and paper when you print them out. I've also found that sometimes, the layout can be too wide on a screen and if you try to print it out portrait orientation, large portions of the site are cut off (typically, if you print them out landscape, you use far more paper than you'd need to if it could be printed out in portrait.) It is a bit tedious to copy and paste things you want to print out into word, or some other word processing software so you print out what you need to and don't have portions of it cut off.

 

Do admins consider making sure that members can print out content easily and without wasting lots of paper and ink.

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Once upon a time I did this too.

 

No, no one considers making print-friendly layouts because it's just not a thing that's done very often with portable cell-phone-computers.

 

I think the expectation is that you can just copy-paste into notepad or something to remove the formatting and then format it in MS Word or whatever and print how you like. Also, I believe Firefox and Chrome will let you highlight a section of test and print only that. Not super helpful with multi-page threads but for a single post or two it's quite nice.

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Just for giggles I actually tried to print this thread out to see what it did. (Printed it to a PDF file) and it's literally all the stuff on the forum except the text was converted to black and the background white.

 

Printer friendly versions have sort of gone the way of the dinosaur. I just looked and there isn't even a way to turn on a printer friendly version in IPS4.

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