WP-Print WordPress Plugin

By Daniel Scocco

Sometimes your readers might find it useful to have a printable version of your articles and posts. This is particularly true for blogs that publish timeless content like tutorials, how-tos and so on.

If you are tech-savvy you probably could solve this problem by creating a special CSS stylesheet and loading it when people need to print your articles. For the lazy or less tech-inclined of us, there is a WordPress plugin that handles everything itself.

WP-Print will create a printable version of your posts by using its own CSS file, and it will automatically launch the printable page when the user clicks on the “Print this” link that you will insert on your blog.

wpprintwordpressplugin.jpg

You can see a live of example on the Pick The Brain blog. All the articles come with a “Print this post” link, and you just need to click it to see the printable version.

I have installed this plugin on some other blogs and it gets the job done. I am still considering it for Daily Blog Tips though, since I am not sure if the readers actually want to print our articles (bloggers usually just bookmark what they need to read later). Just leave a comment if you would like to see a “Print this” link on each post here and I will integrate it.



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22 Responses to “WP-Print WordPress Plugin”

  • Ravi

    I used to use this plugin, until Lorelle so vociferously advocated against it.

    I’ve since customized my print.css file to produce something very similar to this plugin. However, for those who are unable to do the same, this plugin is a good drop-in solution.

  • Daniel

    Ravi, what did Lorelle had against it?

  • zParacha

    I think this is a good plug-in. Sure you can create a separate CSS file for printing but why do this when you can install this plugin. Daniel I’d love to see “Print-this” on your blog.

  • The How-To Geek

    It’s not that difficult to create a print css file for your website, it’s just usually laziness on the part of the designer for the theme or site. I designed my own theme for my site… and it took me a year to get around to making a print CSS, after prodding from a lot of users.

    It’s definitely a lot simpler from the user perspective to use proper CSS… all they have to do is print the page. It’s also more flexible, since you could have different elements hidden depending on whether it’s an article or category page.

    It’s also better for your server if the user doesn’t have to make a separate request back to the server just for a printable version. I suppose it might inflate your pageviews if you tracked those hits, but since you shouldn’t show ads on a printable page it’s less likely to be useful.

    Finally, if you have a printable version of the page you’ll often find people linking to the printable version instead of the actual page. This seems to happen often to Washington Post or NY Times articles… That’s bad for pagerank, and gives you a separate link structure you’d have to maintain if you ever switch platforms.

    All that said, this plugin would come in handy for some people that can’t create the print CSS for whatever reason.

  • Daniel

    How-to-Geek, you should create a tutorial for that, or submit a guest article to be published here if interested :).

    Would be useful for a lot of people.

  • Ronald Huereca

    This plugin, at least when I used it, creates duplicate content that Google will mark higher than your regular content. And the pages it creates are orphans.

    A printer-friendly stylesheet will work miles better.

  • Daniel

    Ronald, you can easily solve this problem by telling Google not to index the printable pages, right?

  • acca

    Nice plugin. But yes, it would be more convinience that link is http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/print/why-self-actualization-requires-exercise/
    instead http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/why-self-actualization-requires-exercise/print/ so you can put noindex to http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/print/ folder.

  • Richard Ross

    Great article, Daniel.

    I am NOT a techie so building my own print tools is of no interest to me.

    I definitely vote for a “Print This Page” widget on your blog! Thank you!

    Blessings,
    Richard

  • Nick Nanton

    I’d like to see the blogs you post here printable!

  • engtech @ internet duct tape

    Much agreement on the complete unnecessity of this plugin.

    CSS has built-in selectors that let you change your stylesheet without printing. “Print this” links are a carryover from before CSS had this feature.

    Here’s my tutorial on how to do it:
    http://internetducttape.com/2007/10/15/css-save-paper-with-print-media/

  • i’mkidding

    i think web doesn’t beat the papers too dominant…
    yes.. the readers need the printed version..
    i wonder if you might have an idea to write a book Mr.admin??

  • i’mkidding

    to mr. Engtech comment #9

    hey.. that’s a nice tutor..
    thank you

  • Sapphire

    If you want a better alternative than this plugin but aren’t confident about making your own stylesheet, try this plugin:

    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/bunnys-print-css/

    As far as I can tell, it just hooks a print-css sheet into your header without creating extra pages.

    That said, you could also just copy-paste the css from the included file into your theme. It worked fine on mine without any editing.

  • webgoddess

    regarding HowTo Geek’s comments:

    “It’s not that difficult to create a print css file for your website, it’s just usually laziness on the part of the designer for the theme or site. ”

    If I used a plug in it would be to stay within my client’s budget…not because of “laziness.”

  • Ezrad Lionel

    It’s because of laziness. It takes the same amount of time or less to create an alternative style sheet for print. I was going to use the plugin, but having read the issues I’ll do the custom job. clients appreciate that more even if they can’t tell the difference.

  • EFT Tapping Enthusiast

    Well, you all have sufficiently scared me off installing a print this page button. I definatly don’t want Google seeing them as duplicate content.

    Did anyone every make a tutorial on the print css file? Not in my realm of capabilities.

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