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Crafting a Print-Friendly Layout for Your Website

You never know how people will choose to consume your website's content. They may choose to visit your site on a traditional desktop or laptop computer, or they may be one of the many visitors who is visiting on a mobile device of some kind. To accommodate this wide range of visitors, today's web professionals create sites that look great and work well across this wide range of devices and screen sizes, but one possible consumption method that many fail to consider is print. What happens when someone prints out your web pages?


As we continue to strive for an optimal user experience on our website, there is an important enhancement that can significantly benefit your users: making the website print-friendly.

Print-friendly websites offer users the convenience of easily printing content for offline reading, sharing with others, or simply archiving information. This enhancement aligns with your commitment to accessibility and user satisfaction.

Here are some key benefits and considerations:

  • Improved User Experience:
    A print-friendly website ensures that your users can access and consume your content in a format that suits their preferences, whether it's on-screen or on paper.

  • Enhanced Shareability:
    Users often like to share information in physical formats during meetings or workshops. A print-friendly website enables them to generate clean, professional-looking printouts for such occasions.

  • Professionalism and Credibility:
    A well-formatted print version of your content reflects positively on your brand. It demonstrates attention to detail and a commitment to providing a seamless experience across different mediums.

  • Ease of Reference:
    Many users prefer to have physical copies for reference. Making your website print-friendly allows them to create personal archives and reference materials with ease.

To implement this enhancement, I propose the following steps:

  • Develop a print style sheet that optimizes the layout for printing.
  • Remove unnecessary elements that don't contribute to the printed content.
  • Test the print version to ensure compatibility with different browsers and printers.

Making your website print-friendly aligns with the user-centric approach and will contribute to overall user satisfaction.


If your website is initially designed with printing in mind, incorporating changes becomes a seamless process. With each modification, a quick check ensures continued compatibility. However, if your website is already operational and you've decided to introduce print support, the task ahead is substantial.

Given the magnitude of this undertaking and the time it requires, a strategic approach is essential. Begin by prioritizing specific page types for printing support. Here are some suggestions:

  • Start with simple page and block types first, such as blog, news and announcements, documentation and guidelines:
    These page types typically garner frequent visits, boasting a straightforward layout primarily composed of text and images. While they may include additional elements like related content and recommendations, these aren't integral to the main content and can be excluded from the print layout.

  • Continue with other page and block types, such as product pages:
    Although these pages also attract substantial daily traffic, they tend to be more intricate. Their layouts may feature multiple columns, carousels, videos, animations, and other complexities. Implementing print support for such pages requires careful consideration, potentially involving collaboration with UX/design experts to determine the optimal print layout.

  • Page types with limited printing benefits:
    While many page types benefit from a printing version, some offer fewer advantages. For instance, a Contact Form where users input their name, email, and message may not derive significant benefits from a printing version. Those page types will be supported later or not have a printing layout at all.

By following this approach, you can swiftly enhance the printing experience for users on specific page types, gradually extending this functionality to other page types over time. This incremental strategy ensures that your users enjoy a positive printing experience sooner, with ongoing improvements introduced gradually.


  • Use a Responsive Design:
    Ensure that your website is responsive and adapts well to different screen sizes. This will make it easier for users to print content without losing important information.

  • Optimize Content for Print:
    Create a separate print style sheet that optimizes the layout for printing. You can hide unnecessary elements like navigation bars, sidebars, and footers. Adjust font sizes and colors for better readability in print.

  • Page Breaks:
    Use CSS to set page breaks at logical points to avoid awkward breaks within paragraphs or sections. This helps in maintaining a clean and organized appearance when printed.

    @media print {
      p {
        page-break-inside: avoid;
  • Remove Unnecessary Elements:
    Exclude elements that don't make sense in a printed version, such as buttons, interactive forms, ads, and other dynamic content. This can be done using the display: none; property in your print style sheet.

    @media print {
      .no-print {
        display: none;
  • Adjust Images:
    Consider using print-specific styles for images. You may want to remove background images or replace them with simplified versions to save ink.

  • Use Clear and Readable Fonts:
    Choose fonts that are easy to read both on the screen and on paper. Stick to standard fonts like Arial, Times New Roman, or Georgia for better compatibility.

  • Link Clarity:
    Underline all links. Since links won't be clickable on a printer-friendly page, underlining them and possibly changing their color to blue (suitable for color printers) enhances clarity, informing readers about the functionality they miss from the digital page.

  • JavaScript and Animated Elements:
    Exclude JavaScript and animated images. These elements often do not print well or at all, and their inclusion can lead to printing complications. Removing them streamlines the printing process.

  • By-Line Inclusion:
    Add a by-line. Even if not customary, including a by-line in the printer-friendly version helps users quickly identify the article's author without returning to the website.

  • Original URL:
    Include the original URL. At the bottom of the printout, provide the URL to the original article. This enables customers to easily return to the exact page online for further information or to follow links, also expanding your site's exposure.

  • Copyright Notification:
    Add a copyright notice. Reinforce your ownership of the content by including a copyright notification. While it may not deter determined infringers, it serves as a reminder to casual users of your rights over the printed material.

  • Test Printing:
    Regularly test the print version of your website to ensure that it looks good on paper. This can help you catch any unexpected formatting issues.

  • Provide Print-Friendly Options:
    Consider adding a print button or link that triggers the print function with the optimized print style sheet. This makes it more convenient for users to access the print-friendly version.

  • Consider Print Page Titles:
    Customize the page title for print to include relevant information such as the document name and page number. This can be achieved using the @page rule in your print style sheet.

    @page {
      counter-increment: page;
      margin: 1cm;
    h1:after {
      content: " - Page " counter(page);
  • Provide PDF Download Option:
    Consider offering a downloadable PDF version of your content. Users can download and share it easily, ensuring consistent formatting.


Chrome and Firefox diverge in their interpretation of the viewport, especially concerning printing. Chrome defines the viewport as the space within the @page, excluding the margin. In contrast, Firefox considers the @page as the viewport itself, with the margin representing the distance between the page and its content. This disparity can result in varied rendering layouts, triggered by different breakpoints in each browser. Consequently, when evaluating the print layout, it is crucial to conduct thorough testing across various browsers to ensure users experience the anticipated printing results consistently.


By following these steps, you can enhance the print-friendliness of your website and provide a better user experience for those who prefer to read or share content in a physical format.