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"Show Printer Friendly" ?

Discussion in 'XenForo Suggestions' started by gordy, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. gordy

    gordy Well-Known Member

    I searched the threads on the term printer or printer friendly and zero results returned so I'm posting.

    The printer-friendly option with the click-here-to-see-N-posts after a doing a google search on a topic that lands on a vB page is a superb feature.
    example search work-flow:
    Google search "ubuntu xorg" -> results in ubuntu's vB community -> thread tools -> "Show Printable Version" -> "Show 75 post(s) from this thread on one page"
    the end result:

    The end result is free from ads, gawdy images, clean and clear to read -
    Will there be a similar feature ?
    Andy.N, sinucello, Liam W and 5 others like this.
  2. Brandon_R

    Brandon_R Guest

  3. Floris

    Floris Guest

    Turn off CSS, print. ..
    Set printer to not print css too.
  4. gordy

    gordy Well-Known Member

  5. Forsaken

    Forsaken Well-Known Member

    Kier might want to think about offering a print stylesheet by default.
    Enigma likes this.
  6. Enigma

    Enigma Well-Known Member

    Yes, and there's no need to open up a "print version". If there is a print stylesheet, then it will be used when printing.
  7. gordy

    gordy Well-Known Member

    So you won't be adding this feature in ?
    The point is I'm not sending it to a printer, I'm reading it in a clean format on the screen.
  8. Deepmartini

    Deepmartini Well-Known Member

    Has anyone tried something like this: http://www.printfriendly.com/ I think this might work if there is a way to add it into the forum posts easily.
  9. xf_phantom

    xf_phantom Well-Known Member

  10. Deepmartini

    Deepmartini Well-Known Member

  11. sinucello

    sinucello Well-Known Member

    this suggestion has been made a while ago but I think it`s still up-to-date. The xenForo permalink/share services are too difficult to find. The old vB printthread.php function was also a bit hidden.
    If xF would
    • feature a good print.css by default
    • in combination with a "turn off topic pagination" to print a complete thread
    • and a Print link in the "publicControls" section
    that would be great IMHO.

    all the best,
  12. Arantor

    Arantor Active Member

    There are pragmetic issues with 'turn off topic pagination'. Ever seen a topic that's *hundreds* of pages in length? Now try getting all that in one go. Not to mention that Google would also then prefer you link all the other topics to *that* one as the canonical version of a document, too.

    Making it accessible to members only might solve some of those issues, though.
  13. sinucello

    sinucello Well-Known Member

    @Arantor I agree. So pagination should be configurable (0/1, number of posts p. page, available per usergroup).
  14. Arantor

    Arantor Active Member

    This seems a lot to me like needless increase of options for what feels so much like an edge case.

    Firstly, I don't remember the last time I ever actually *printed* a forum thread. In fact, I've only printed a handful of things in the last few years simply because I don't really need to print anything. Having a print thread function pretty much implies you're not dealing with actual printing but changing the interface to be something else, which means investigating that use case. Let's do that.

    So, what we're talking about is not really a 'printable' view but a view with minimal navigation, limited formatting and removed pagination. Certainly, minimal navigation and limited formatting can be pleasant for reading, and such things could be achieved for a user themselves with a custom stylesheet in their browser should they wish to (and such services exist for providing ready-made stylesheets to drop into your browser). Issues such as hiding moderation and other controls and making them available only when necessary are more troublesome though. It could be presented as an alternative style in the ACP and to the user which would hide normal navigation and everything else, perhaps.

    Pagination on the other hand is another matter entirely. This is the one area that is logic-based, not style-based and has ramifications beyond the technical in terms of usability.

    For short threads (say, less than 5 pages) it's not too problematic (unless you have lots of long posts!), but the minute you have a larger thread, the full topic in one page stops being meaningful in any context because it's simply walls of text to deal with.

    Worse, you have to deal with the navigation that wouldn't normally be problematic; in a normal thread you only have or really need navigation from page to page, which we have and works fine. What you'd begin to need is navigation from slice to slice of the topic. Pagination without pages, if you will.

    It's the same basic problem infinite scrolling has, really, being able to find and return to a specific point in a single very large unit of content. At least with pages, you never have nearly so much of that problem...
  15. sinucello

    sinucello Well-Known Member

    thanks for sharing your thoughts. We have a recipe forum here and I have to admit that the reason for requesting the feature is that we don`t have a recipe database but instead use the forum for it. If we had the skill or money to develop a recipe database, we wouldn`t have the users need to print out forum pages. The xenForo`s resource manager could be a good solution. Add recipes as resources and then the discussion would be separated from the recipe so you could print the recipe more easily and without having to think about pagination. Then we`d need a print link/button for the resource only which I think is easy to implement along with a print style-sheet.
  16. Arantor

    Arantor Active Member

    Which means all we're then talking about is a less-cluttered style for RM rather than trying to change the fundamentals of everything, right?
  17. sinucello

    sinucello Well-Known Member

    Hm, I don`t think the style of the forum or the RM is cluttered. It just contains too many elements you don`t need when you just want to print out the pure content of a post/resource. Those people love paper and collect their printed out recipes in beautiful, hand-crafted folders. So when they look at an internet site, they expect to find a way to print it intuitively and the printed version should only contain the title and the content. No navigation or design elements. As xF uses CSS and well structured HTML this shouldn`t be too difficult to realize and is far away from "change the fundamentals of everything".

    OK, that was very specific but I also think that there is a general need for a print version threads - not only single posts. If you use the browsers built-in print function for this page here (or a RM page), it contains too many elements like the reply-box, public controls (Like, quote), header and footer nav, avatars, signatures etc.

    And the print-services available via the permalink menu are too complicated. This should be changed IMHO.
    Last edited: May 10, 2014
  18. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Well-Known Member

    IMHO, this would be more easily solved by an add-on solution (say, something like @Bob B's ShowCase if you could convince him to add a print display type option). ShowCase would be an ideal platform for something like recipes if it had the print capability. For general forum use, I don't think you would see wide-spread use for a feature like this. If anything, I'd rather see the ability to export a post to PDF than print.
  19. sinucello

    sinucello Well-Known Member

    Hello @Tracy Perry ,
    ShowCase sure is a nice add-on. Although I don`t fully understand the difference/benefit to the RM. If I look at http://backcountrypost.com/forum/index.php?trail-guides/ which is listed as a ShowCase reference, they seem to use both ShowCase and the RM. But anyway, the RM is a core product and maintained by xF which is huge advantage for me. I`ll have a closer look at ShowCase to find out the differences.

    Back to the print feature:
    the #number at the bottom of the post is not formatted as a link and there`s no indication what`s hidden behind it. The label "share this page" is confusing as printing / PDFing a page is not sharing it (for non techies). I don`t find any option to limit the choice of services or their order. This is why I`d prefer to change this in the core. Maybe a dropdown with message options featuring Like, Quote, Reply, Print, more options.
  20. jauburn

    jauburn Well-Known Member

    agree, there needs to be a print thread feature
    sinucello likes this.

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