A recent debate came up that seems to mirror a continuing debate on
the web (at least it seems that way from the time I spent searching
today) - how to present a printable version of a web page to users.
My standard was to always have a print CSS stylesheet that did what
most of them are supposed to do - change the fonts to be more
readable printed, remove extraneous elements, reformat columns, etc.
That's the one thing we all agree on.
However, there is debate about whether the user should be presented
with a 'printable page' view before they print it. We have a
"Print this Page" link/icon on our sites, and I feel that most
people don't need to see a rendering of the page as long as it
prints correctly. So, by clicking the button, they should get a
printed version of the page that is styled to be read offline.
Others feel that they should be offered a preview of the page first,
and then offered the chance to print that page. To me, that seems
1) an extra click to accomplish the task
2) an unnecessary step in the process (particularly if the user were
printing multiple pages)
3) extra programming work to create
4) Easily accomplished by using "Print Preview" (granted, I know
many users WILL NOT do this).