The Importance Of Being Printer Friendly

On printing this website’s pages to PDF…    #print-to-pdf

Readers with even moderate skill using computers and the internet will easily recognise that for reading lengthy texts, the PDF format is far more suitable than having the same text displayed on the viewport of a web browser. Moreover, even for short(er) texts, you may still wish to keep an offline copy, for a variety of reasons: to read at a later time, perhaps from a location without internet access, to keep a local copy, lest the original is taken offline (or should you neglect to bookmark it, only to subsequently fail to find it again), etc.

Now, there are those so-called “offline browsers”, that allow you to create a mirror of a given website on your local computer. And while they can be very useful, on some circumstances, they may not always be the most adequate solution: for one thing, even for a single page, it will have to store several files, and furthermore, you will still have to read it from the browser—which, as mentioned above, can be somewhat of a pain with lengthier texts.

So what is the solution? I know of no general solution, but for the website of yours truly here, I propose using your browser’s capability to print the page to PDF.1 The pages on this website are designed in a way that will increase the odds of obtaining a “proper” PDF file—i.e. a PDF file that accurately mimics the original webpage. Now in my browser of choice—Firefox—there is one thing its printing to PDF engine is missing, which is the capacity to preserve internal links. Which is a shame, to be sure, but one that lends itself to a rather simple workaround: use chromium!2

February 17, 2023.