Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Make Mine Printable, Please!
I have arthritis in my hands and shoulders. I have to limit my online time if I want to accomplish anything. One of the ways I do this is by printing pages out for further reading.
So, why do webmasters make it so dang difficult to print pages? Some put in clever programming so that a page can't be copied and pasted somewhere else. They do this by disabling your "opposite" click buttons. I realize that each writer must protect their work. But, this makes web surfing a little more difficult.
Other webmasters design pages that look beautiful on screen but when you print them out they are a horror. Page breaks are inserted that send form feeds to a printer. The page itself might print out in a 2 inch column in the middle. I hate this! I end up going through 4 pieces of paper for a one page articles. Still others put so many ads on their pages that you end up wasting half an ink cartridge to get 3 paragraphs of text.
I don't think many webmasters consider how difficult pages can be to print. They should! Think about all the folks witharthritis, carpel tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, broken bones, etc. They may also want to print out stuff to read later. People with vision problems may want to copy and paste your pages into a word processor so they can change the colors or enlarge the text for easier reading.
Here's a challenge to webmasters: How about spending an hour or two as if you couldn't use your hands for very long? You may be losing visitors because they've gotten frustrated with your page layout.
If you are going to do things that make printing more difficult, at least provide a printable page that is set to automatically print. And, make that page ad free! I do not understand why there needs to be advertising on the regular page and the printable page. Okay, I'll accept a banner ad at the top. I understand the need for revenue. But, placement of ads within the article are a nuisance! (And, you may not realize it but some of those animated ads and moving ads print over the top of your text obliterating much of the page.) You've turned a printable page into a regular page and that serves no one.
Maybe I'm being picky. I've been told that I can be from time to time. I can tell you if a webmaster makes my surfing a nuisance I won't be back to that website. Period. (Rant over...back to your regular programming :)