Print CSS are not the users responsibility

14 Oct 2008

Designing and building a usable and accessible site is the responsibility of the designer and developer. Using that site is the responsibility of the user. So why are users still forced to print out miles of navigation and ads and poorly laid out pages?

A new application called PrintWhatYouLike has come to the rescue of frustrated users. It’s a great little online tool that lets you enter the URL of the page you want to print, edit the elements that you would like to appear on your printout, and then print the page. The creators, Jonathan Koomjian and Cassie Schmitz, deserve recognition for creating a useful app that solves a problem that millions of Internet users suffer from. But it shouldn’t be necessary.

Web designers and developers should step up and make their sites printable, without unecessarily wasting paper. It’s not that hard. Just add another CSS into the header, change the margins, adjust the text size, toss in a few “display:none;” and you’ve got a quick and easy print style sheet that your users will thank you for implementing.