Blogs Need A Separate Print Button?

from the why? dept

Back in April, we were admittedly impressed with the way that HP was going about its strategic planning for the fact that printing may be a dying business. They were redefining the business they were in, and looking to actually add value to content in some manner or another. Obviously, when you're doing that, there's a lot of trial and error -- and some experiments are bound to fail. However, it's not at all clear what value they're really adding in creating a special capability so that blogs can have a separate print button. We hadn't realized that the print button in the browser was all that complicated to use. It is true that the overall experience of printing could be better -- and it makes sense for HP (or other printer companies) to help improve it, but it's hard to believe that the reason people aren't printing out blogs is because it was too complicated or messy. It might just be that there's simply no need to print out blogs.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Danny, Jun 1st, 2007 @ 9:16am

    When I print out blogs...

    When I print out tech blogs for reference (more often than you'd think), I always end up grabbing the source code from the page and reformatting it, if the content is something I foresee keeping for any period of time longer than a couple of days. Maybe the print button they are designing is to create a "style" that will format in a more print friendly manner.

     

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  2.  
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    |333173|3|_||3, Jun 1st, 2007 @ 9:22am

    Printeable page option

    Mabe if the W3C specified a tag which had a href to a printable page, eitehr as a printer-frinedly HTML page or as PDF (using LaTex insted of HTML markup for comments would help with this, and LaTeX2HTML can be used for teh HTML version), which if the user prines from their browser, the print window has a setting to choose between the versions to print. This would be far more helpful than making the technology specific to blogs. Blogs can implement it by haveing two styles, an on-screen style and a printer-frindly style.

     

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  3.  
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    Jesse McNelis, Jun 1st, 2007 @ 9:43am

    Re: Printeable page option

    This feature is in CSS stylesheets.
    You can specify a number of stylesheets for different media.

     

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  4.  
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    Jordan West, Jun 1st, 2007 @ 9:44am

    I constantly print

    I constantly print things, becasue i can't make notes on my screen about something. For example, if i need to make a lot of changes to a code project i am working on, i will print out the code and document those changes. I could not live without a printer. I would print blogs or useful articles but normally they do not come out well. Thats why its really frustrating when i read a blog or article and there is no printer friendly link. Whenever i work on a website, i always make sure to create a printer friendly version. Developers need to learn how to use the print media in CSS and use it! It is such a pet peeve of mine to not see a printer friendly link, and one i dont have to search for!

     

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  5.  
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    Name Withheld, Jun 1st, 2007 @ 9:44am

    Re: Printeable page option

    CSS has built in media controls that allow developers to apply different styles to print and screen. What would help is if more developers would take advantage of this.

     

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  6.  
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    DML, Jun 1st, 2007 @ 9:50am

    *Formatting* is the key...

    There's a lot of noise on the page that you don't necessarily want around when you print something out.

    Take TechDirt for instance. If I'm printing out your blog entry as reference, I don't necessarily want to waste pages printing out the your ads (some printers maddeningly will print ad frames on separate pages) and I often don't necessarily want the comments to print out.

    Of course many sites know this and offer a special print button that marks up the HTML has needed (just as the previous poster mentioned).

     

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  7.  
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    DML, Jun 1st, 2007 @ 9:56am

    I'm with Jordan West. I print all the time...

    Some people seem to get by fine with no printer. In fact,a lot of people take pride in barely needing paper.

    I don't know what the word is for these people (Paperless People?), but I'm the exact opposite. I will never work in a "paperless office" because the invention that can take the place of paper doesn't exist. Monitors are worse for reading than paper, so if anything takes more than a few moments to read, I print it out. Like Jordan West mentions above, you can't take notes on a computer monitor either.(I too print out code, btw).

    I simply use my computer to store and find information. If I need to consume it, it gets printed.

     

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  8.  
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    mirjan, Jun 1st, 2007 @ 10:10am

    I use a different approach

    I usually just select(highlight) the text that I want to print, go to print and select print selection. That usually keeps the ad/comments out of the paper.

    I also have freepdf installed and print articles to pdf files
    and have them organised in relevant folders. Then whenever I need a printout it's quite easy to send the pdf to the printer.

    If I want to edit a pdf i simply use foxit pdf pro reader.

    I'm all for paperless offices!

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 1st, 2007 @ 11:25am

    Re: I'm with Jordan West. I print all the time...

    Apparently you need a better monitor then, or new glasses. ^_^

    Actually, I do get tired of staring at my computer monitor from time to time, but would have to be reading nonstop for longer than an hour or so to get to that point. However, if I was still looking at a lousy old CRT screen, I would definitely not be able to sit still that long.

    Have monitors replaced paper entirely? Of course not. Offices trying to go 100% paperless are nuts. In fact, in some situations, it's downright dangerous not to have a paper trail, because electronic information can get messed up so easily. But if you have to print out computer code to study because you can't stand to look at your screen, then there must be monitor quality issues at hand, because nobody should ever have to do that with a good monitor. You can get some really nice 19" digital LCD panels in the ballpark of $350.

     

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  10.  
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    Steven, Jun 1st, 2007 @ 11:44am

    Blame the site

    The technology is already there for pretty print layouts. All you have to do is create a CSS file specific to printing. Of course this is all up to the site, and most sites (this one included) don't bother.

     

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  11.  
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    DML, Jun 1st, 2007 @ 11:54am

    Anonymous Coward: Monitors are inferior to paper f

    I *can* look at my monitor but I *prefer* paper. Paper is a superior reading medium over monitors. Multiple studies support this including this one from the University of Maryland: http://tinyurl.com/2f2fww

    Also, as I mentioned, you can't make notes on computer monitors. It's interesting you mention reading code; in my experience only the most trivial pieces of code don't require a printout for markup. I don't print out code *every* time I need to change it, but if I'm trying to understand a new large codebase, it's getting printing.

     

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  12.  
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    Chris Maresca, Jun 1st, 2007 @ 12:07pm

    Re: I constantly print

    If you use Firefox, you should try Zotero (http://www.zotero.org). It's designed to annotate webpages and other online content into collections for future reference and it makes local copies so the content can't 'disappear'.

    Chris

     

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  13.  
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    Confused, Jun 1st, 2007 @ 12:26pm

    It's still printing

    Not sure how this is redifining HPs business. It is still run of the mill printing, just like it always has been. Or am I missing something....

     

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  14.  
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    freak3dot, Jun 1st, 2007 @ 1:10pm

    Can Make notes on screen

    I read several times throughout these comments that you "can't make notes on computer monitors". This isn't true. There are lots of ways to make notes on computers.

    You can add comments to word documents, you could make notes in a seperate file, you could save the page as html and then edit the html to include your comments.

    There are also programs to have digital post-it notes. Google even lets you "Note This" if you are signed into a google account while searching.

    I am all for paperless (and back-ups of course).

    From the anything you can think of can be done on computer, some just take longer than others department.

    freak3dot

     

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  15.  
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    Brian Carnell, Jun 1st, 2007 @ 4:45pm

    Hmm

    I constantly print stuff out, including blogs. But what's needed isn't some special HP tech, but just people to use print-friendly CSS as others have mentioned.

     

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  16.  
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    Charles Griswold, Jun 1st, 2007 @ 7:18pm

    Re: Re: I'm with Jordan West. I print all the time

    But if you have to print out computer code to study because you can't stand to look at your screen, then there must be monitor quality issues at hand, because nobody should ever have to do that with a good monitor.
    I would like a monitor that lets me view ten or twelve 8 1/2" X 11" X 600 DPI pages simultaneously. No monitor that I know of can do that, but a printer and a table to spread your printouts out on will.

     

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  17.  
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    Cixelsid, Jun 2nd, 2007 @ 1:48am

    Well

    I'm not much of a fan of printing, waste of paper if you ask me, but a printer friendly page is always useful, even when you want to keep the article/blog/page in an electronic format like postscript.

     

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  18.  
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    DML, Jun 2nd, 2007 @ 4:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: I'm with Jordan West. I print all the

    I would like a monitor that lets me view ten or twelve 8 1/2" X 11" X 600 DPI pages simultaneously. No monitor that I know of can do that, but a printer and a table to spread your printouts out on will.


    Excellent point. I think the main issue is that most people are passive, linear readers. They look at words, don't take notes, don't rapidly skip between concepts, etc. For these people, monitors might be OK. (Though, as I mentioned earlier, research has shown that monitors are inferior to paper for even this kind of reading).

     

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  19.  
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    PJ Smith, Jun 3rd, 2007 @ 5:24pm

    Printing...the real problem

    Why don't more people print out blogs or anything else? Probably the fact that you end up paying the equivalent of $50 - $90 per gallon for inkjet ink. Makes the price of gas seem less severe, huh?

     

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  20.  
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    How to start a nursing agency, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 4:15am

    Memo

    All I need is to find out what kind of software I should use blog print button is great..

     

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  21.  
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    Dow Printing, Apr 5th, 2013 @ 4:55am

    Nice

    i like your website blog article it look great to me!

     

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