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"Print" or "Printer-Friendly" Feature


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It appears this has not been addressed very frequently (though I did see the thread here: https://invisioncommunity.com/forums/topic/435309-printing-articles-blog-posts-etc/?tab=comments#comment-2674774),From printing reports, pages, articles, or even say printing threads/topics or messages for evidence to bring to court if the need arises, the existence of such a feature would be very handy for most communities, and imperative for others.

 

In absence of such a feature, I have attempted to search for plugins/utilities that would offer similar functionality, to no avail. I think it would certainly be a great addition to the IPS Community Suite at its core, but if this is not something that the developers foresee considering anytime soon, I'd be more than happy to pay fair price for a plugin that did the job. ;)

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@capei I recall there being a printer-friendly template back in the days of 3.x, but I can't remember how it worked.  I only remember being somewhat dismayed when they removed it. :(

I too would pay a fair price for a plugin which allowed for formatting of printed output.  In the meantime, the only thing offhand I can recommend for you is a Microsoft Edge extension called "PrintFriendly and PDF."  It will render a webpage in printable format and (bonus!) you can actually delete chunks of extraneous graphics and garbage from the rendering before you print it.

It may exist for other browsers, but I found it for Edge first.  Quite honestly, it's almost my only reason for using Edge.

Hope this helps.

Edited by liquidfractal
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@liquidfractal Many thanks for the suggestion-- I'll definitely check that out!

Good to know that it was a feature in the past of this software. As a developer myself (though primarily in C/C++), it is my belief, that I also practice myself, that future versions of a particular piece of software should [under most circumstances] improve functionality and add features where appropriate— rarely should a feature be completely removed. Removal or deprecation of a feature should, IMHO, only happen under extreme circumstances, such as if said feature poses a security risk or something.

I definitely share your sentiment with the feature being removed though. Here's to hoping it returns to the software itself— or at the very least, is provided by means of a plugin!

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I think Rikki posted CSS code to make the printout printer-ready and I added and tweaked that for a customer site myself in under an hour. It’s really the best way to go. There is no need for plugins or buttons. Your browser has a print function already – IPS 4.x can flow perfectly on a page already since it is responsive. All you need to make sure is that your theme doesn’t screw up the output – and if it does by default, you would have to add printer-only CSS to override that. 

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I did notice the CSS that someone posted to hopefully accomplish something cleaner for a print-preview and I may very well consider using it. Nonetheless, a dedicated button to generate a stripped-down version of the content so that it is printer-friendly still has every reason to still be a feature. Being able to jerry-rig CSS to offer a feature in itself is an inconvenience to myself as a customer. IPS has time to add in seemingly-meaningless features such as a "days won" to the software, yet not a simple print preview? [A feature that was already in-place in previous versions of the software, nonetheless.] This seems to be one of those features that could have easily just been part of the software itself, far moreso than some "days won" feature that I'm certain a large majority of users don't care for.

Case in point, if one were to open https://Typography.Guru site (one of your sites, according to your signature) in Firefox, and select the Print Preview option in the browser, one would find that nearly 12 pages would print with blank content. Clearly, the built-in print function in this case would still result in a sub-optimal result, wasting nearly 12 sheets of paper if it were printed. At the very least, a button to strip the CSS that would work globally regardless of theme, would easily rid of such issues.

Sure, it is easy for an experienced user to find a way to prevent wasting of nearly 12 sheets of paper to print the homepage on your site, but every user will not always be experienced and might very-well be angered if they were to print a page on a site (such as yours), and end up with so much wasted paper. ;)

Edited by capei
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2 hours ago, capei said:

Case in point, if one were to open https://Typography.Guru site … one would find that nearly 12 pages would print with blank content.

It’s actually a point for my argument. The wasted space on the homepage is because of the sidebar, which in the CSS print styles could be hidden with one line of code – globally, for the whole suite with all its apps! A dedicated print function on the other hand would need to be coded for every possible page or view in every IPS app. And there are hundreds of them, each requiring its own queries and output treatment. Sure, a “forum topic printout function” would be easily possible, but that wouldn’t print out a Pages article, or a Commerce order overview, or an Activity feed, and so on. See the problem with that? A CSS solution solves it globally. 

So my recommendation: ask IPS for a decent set of CSS print styles as part of the stock software or ask your theme developer for CSS print style support. It’s the right approach for today’s responsive websites. Dedicated print functions today only make sense for pages that will be printed out all the time, like tickets, order confirmations and invoices. 

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12 hours ago, opentype said:

It’s actually a point for my argument. The wasted space on the homepage is because of the sidebar, which in the CSS print styles could be hidden with one line of code – globally, for the whole suite with all its apps! A dedicated print function on the other hand would need to be coded for every possible page or view in every IPS app. And there are hundreds of them, each requiring its own queries and output treatment. Sure, a “forum topic printout function” would be easily possible, but that wouldn’t print out a Pages article, or a Commerce order overview, or an Activity feed, and so on. See the problem with that? A CSS solution solves it globally. 

So my recommendation: ask IPS for a decent set of CSS print styles as part of the stock software or ask your theme developer for CSS print style support. It’s the right approach for today’s responsive websites. Dedicated print functions today only make sense for pages that will be printed out all the time, like tickets, order confirmations and invoices. 

I see your point with a CSS solution. Indeed, what I meant on the larger scale was something just like that-- something simple that would work globally in such a way. I'm no CSS expert so, was unsure that such a solution would be the only thing needed for a printer-friendly type output. So in that case...

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...a decent set of CSS print styles as part of the stock software...

 

that is what I'd like to see in a future version of the software. ;)

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