Printing web documents remains a frequent need for many users.

Whether for storing information, sharing or offline analysis, the ability to print web pages easily is essential.

In this article, we will explore how to print web pages in general and why placing a print link is useful in a web page, and provide code on how to implement it.

Table of Contents

General methods for printing a web page

Standard printing of a web page: In addition to the custom print link that we will see later, it is important to know the standard methods for printing a web page. These methods rely on the features built into various web browsers.

1. Using Keyboard Shortcuts:

  • Windows/Linux : Most browsers support the shortcut CTRL + Pto open the print dialog.
  • Mac : Mac users can use Command + Pfor the same purpose.

2. Using the browser menu:

  • In all modern browsers, you can access the print function by navigating the menu. This can generally be found by clicking on the three dots or three horizontal lines icon located in the top right corner of your browser.
  • Select “Print” from the menu to open the print dialog.

3. Print preview and options:

  • When the print dialog opens, users have the option to choose several settings. This may include printer selection, number of copies, pages to print (all or a selection), and other specific preferences such as page orientation (portrait or landscape) and paper size.
  • Many browsers also offer a print preview, which allows users to see how the printed document will appear before proceeding with the actual printing.

4. Printing Specific Items:

  • Some browsers allow you to print specific elements of a web page, such as images or selected text, by right-clicking on the element and choosing “Print” from the context menu.

5. Print to PDF:

  • Instead of printing on paper, you can save the web page as a PDF using the print option. Choose “Save as PDF” or a similar option in the printer menu to create a PDF file of the web page.

Knowing the various standard printing options and methods is useful for all users who interact with web content.

While the custom print link provides quick, personalized access, the built-in print functions offer flexibility and control to meet different printing needs.

  1. Improved accessibility : Novice users may not be aware of the browser’s keyboard shortcuts or printing functions.
  2. Convenience : Allows users to print with a single click, improving the usability of the site.
  3. Customization : Through the use of CSS, you can customize your print output, ensuring that only essential parts of the page are printed.

Basic implementation: The print function can be enabled in a web page using JavaScript. Here is a basic code example that can be inserted into any HTML page:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
    <title>La tua Pagina Web</title>
</head>
<body>
    <p>Contenuto della tua pagina...</p>
    <a href="javascript:window.print()">Stampa questa pagina</a>
</body>
</html>

This code creates a link that, when clicked, activates the browser’s print function, equivalent to pressing CTRL+P on PC or Command+P on Mac.

Customization for different browsers: Although the core code works on many modern browsers, some customizations may be necessary to optimize the user experience on different browsers.

  1. Chrome & Firefox:
    • No additional modifications necessary. The basic code should work fine.
  2. Microsoft Edge:
    • You may need to ensure that your browser’s print settings are configured correctly to allow for smooth printing.
  3. Safari (for Mac users) :
    • Consider adding a warning for Mac users to use Command+P, as behavior may vary slightly.

CSS customization for printing: To ensure that only essential parts of the page print, you can use CSS to hide unnecessary elements (such as buttons or headers) in print mode.

Here is an example:

@media print {
    .no-print { 
        display: none; 
    }
}

Including a print link on a web page not only improves accessibility and convenience for users but also ensures that the printed output is the desired format.

With just a few lines of code, you can significantly improve the user experience of your website.

I hope I was helpful. If you liked the article, share it.