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Beginning CSS: Cascading Style Sheets for Web Design, Second Edition by Richard York

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Chapter 13. Styling for Print

You can use a specific style sheet to style content for print. In Chapter 2, you saw the differences between length units used for a computer screen and length units used for print. This is one of the key reasons that separate style sheets for print exist. Specifying measurements designated for computer screens, such as pixel units, can potentially be inconsistent in printed documents, whereas real-world, absolute length units, such as inches, centimeters, points, and so on are ideally suited for print.

A style sheet written explicitly for print enables developers to exclude irrelevant portions of a web document from the printed version. For example, no document navigation is required in a printed version. Additionally, because color documents have some expense associated with them, depending on the type of printer and what type of ink or toner the printer uses, it is also often better to exclude background images or other aspects of the design that result in greater consumption of expensive ink or toner. For these reasons, print versions of web documents are often simplified to simple black and white productions of the original document. Only foreground images relevant to the document are retained. In fact browsers, by default, strip out all background images and color; to print these, the user must specifically enable them before printing.

CSS 2 provides several properties for controlling the presentation of paged media, although at the time of this ...

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