Refining the “F” printables

This post will mean nothing to people who don’t read the current Cites & Insights.

In that issue, I talk about printability, and include a list of “winners”–blogs and other sites from which you can readily get a multipage printout without difficulty–and “losers”–blogs and other sites from which I was unable to get a clean multipage printout at all.

I did not include weblogs on the “loser” list because the listings included sidebar material. That’s at worst a minor problem.

However, I should clarify that I did use Firefox for most of my testing. I had done several spotchecks using IE6, and it seemed to have the same problems on the same sites.

Somehow, though, either an IE update sneaked in with the last set of auto-updates, or something else happened. I find that several of the sites that won’t print out properly with Firefox do print out properly with IE.

So, I guess, if the site owners don’t mind losing that growing fraction of their readers who have fled IE for Firefox, maybe they don’t have a problem. I’ll run a followup next issue.

Update after some more checking: I now see that the paragraph describing when I did the testing (mostly during the last week of March) and how I did it (using Firefox, but at some point checking a few sites with IE as well) was cut for length. That is, I cut it for length: a lot of that happens as I prepare an issue for publication.

I will indeed do a followup. Most of the sites on the “losers” list do print using IE6, although in some cases not terribly well (e.g. with those vivid color backgrounds in Blogger right there on the page, using up loads of extra ink). They don’t print (in full, for long sections) in Firefox, however, and that’s still a problem.

If I was an HTML guru, I’d investigate what it is about the print code in MT, TP, and Blogger that gives Firefox such fits–given that I never have problems with ordinary HTML documents. Meantime, I will indeed follow up (and maybe retest: I note that BlogDriver’sWaltz switched to WordPress just after I tested it, and now belongs on the “Winners” list).

(Netscape 6 doesn’t seem to have a print preview function…)

And yes, I have checked: the Firefox print preview matches what will actually happen if you print.

4 Responses to “Refining the “F” printables”

  1. Rikhei says:

    Psst! The link to C&I doesn’t work.

  2. walt says:

    Rikhei–thanks! I keep making the same stupid mistake (leaving off “http://” which makes the absolute URL into a relative URL, which doesn’t work…).

    Anyone else: Rikhei was absolutely right–but, of course, I then fixed the post.

  3. Rikhei says:

    For what it’s worth, the C&I piece was the impetus I needed to finally switch my blog over to WordPress, which I did today. Hopefully it’s more printable now!

  4. John Tropea says:

    If you just can’t win try convert the blog post from html into pdf in one easy step…you may get all the sidebar junk in the last few pages, but just print within a range leaving it out.