Simple Print Stylesheets

Print stylesheets.

Many of us web desingers and users mainly focus on how our pages look when viewed through a browser, which is our primary medium of presentation. However, there are sites that cater to a much broader audience that include a significant chunk of “paper users,” people who print pages for various purposes.

37signals’s Basecamp is one application in such a situation. It was primarily developed for web use, but users found it very useful that they printed a good part of their pages for meetings, presentations, and reports. Despite the not–so–expected printing trend, the developers found it easy to allow for beautiful printing just through the magic of CSS. Yes, CSS only. No specialized “printer–friendly pages” or similar nonsense.

Utilizing specific stylesheets for screen and print combined with smart use of display:none; allowed them to produce nice–on–paper pages that do not affect web presentation. Also from their Signal vs. Noise weblog, this guide for producing print stylesheets will come very handy when you encounter webpage printing requirements.