Marketing Technology Tip: CSS is printer-friendly

One of the many hidden benefits to a CSS web site is that modern browsers by default will not display the background colors and images of a styled document. Additionally, styles that are only applicable to web pages, such as light colored type on a darker background, won't apply to the printed version unless explicitly stated in the style sheet, and it will default to black (or your chosen text color) on a white background.

When your web site is styled with CSS, you won't have to worry about site visitors not printing your document because they don't want to waste ink or wear out their printer. Your web pages will be printer-friendly by default. In general, a CSS design makes obsolete the custom of maintaining two versions of each web page, one for display and the other for printing.

When I was designing this site and printed out my layout for the first time, I was completely surprised at how economical it was for the printer. There has been zero work expenditure to make this entire web site printer-friendly.

Though not done substantially on this site, a CSS design can also explicitly include a different layout for print… for instance, you might want to obscure some or all of the navigational code, the page footers, or regions like clickable advertisements. Also, new elements not appearing in the web page can be added in the printed version, though purists may consider this a breach of web protocol.

So feel free to imagine your web site the way you want it to be. You won't have to worry about making friends with everybody's printer… CSS has already done that for you. And today if you want to enjoy what CSS can do for your business Internet presence.

Best regards,

Robert Phair, Principal
CoTangent Marketing Design

2004 Robert Phair

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