Printing a page online usually means printing
more than what you actually want. Webpages are quite fancy nowadays, with ad banners on
top, navigational links on the left, and so on. That's fine when you're viewing the page
online, but when you're printing the page, you only want to print out the "actual
content", and nothing else from the page! Many sites nowadays understand this, and
provide an alternate "print" version of the document that surfers can go to and
print out. Well, there's actually a much more elegant and seamless way of accomplishing
the same thing, and that is by using the <link> tag. IE 4+ supports a version of the <link> tag that allows you to specify to
thr printer which file it should print when the user selects print. In other
words, the job of locating the alternate print version of the document to print out is
left to the printer, instead of the surfer. Take a look at the below example, and it will
all be clear.
Demo: Let's say you're
interested in only printing out the content in gray below from this page. As the
webmaster, I could have helped you out by creating another HTML document with only the
below content, and telling you to go there and print that document instead. However, I'm
not going to do that. Instead, I've prepared a Word document called printversion.doc, and
by adding the following:
<link rel=alternate media=print href="printversion.doc">
to the <head> section of this page,
informed the printer to directly proceed to printversion.doc and print it when you select
"print" on this page. In other words, the printer will print out
printversion.doc instead when you choose "print" on printstyle.htm. To see this
in action, try printing this page now (you'll need IE 4 or above)!
The following article
discusses what DHTML is, and also the differences in implementation of DHTML between
Netscape Communicator and MS Internet Explorer 4.
What is DHTML?
DHTML(Dynamic HTML) is a technology
supported by Netscape Communicator and IE 4 that enables a web document to be dynamic.
allows elements to be moved around, content to appear and disappear, text to change even
matter), merely provides the means to access these enhancements. DHTML is not a
programming language, but a feature.
What's the difference between DHTML in
Communicator, and in Internet Explorer 4.0?
Everything. Communicator and Internet Explorer 4 are currently at very different
stages in terms of support for DHTML as recommended by WC3. In short, Communicator is
considered vastly behind in its support for true DHTML, while IE 4 is more on track. Its
important to realize that both browsers do not yet completely support the DHTML technology
as outlined by the WC3. Below lists how Dynamic HTML is implemented in the two browsers:
- Dynamic HTML is mainly realized
through the <layer> tag. The <layer> tag can be moved around, hidden or
displayed, its content dynamically changed, etc. Netscape 4 relies exclusively on this one
tag when it comes to DHTML.
In Internet Explorer 4:
- Dynamic HTML is realized through the
browser itself (as opposed to any one tag), with the entire browser able to be dynamic.
All elements in a document can be dynamically accessed and altered on demand, even after
the document has loaded.
DHTML's features. For example, the code
the layer object of NS 4. In IE 4, web developers can use scripting languages other than
allow that kind of liberty.
What is the relationship between CSS
(Cascading Style Sheets) and DHTML?
CSS is a styling technology that allows web
developers the liberty to apply style and formatting to a document through a centralized
location. In Netscape 4, that is all that CSS does, but IE 4 also utilizes CSS (namely,
the id attribute of CSS) to allow web developers easy access to various elements in a
Simply copy the below into the <head>
section of your web page. Change printversion.doc to the file intended to be used for
printing. The file can be of virtually any format (pdf, Word etc). When the user selects
"Print", the printer will look for this file and print it instead of the current
page. Netscape will simply ignore this tag, and print out the original page.
Pretty neat, uh? At least we thought it was :-)