O'Reilly logo

Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide, Second Edition by Eric A. Meyer

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Paged Media

In CSS terms, a paged medium is any medium where a document’s presentation is handled as a series of discrete “pages.” This is different than the screen, which is a continuous medium: documents are presented as a single, scrollable “page.” An analog example of a continuous medium is a papyrus scroll. Printed material, such as books, magazines, and laser printouts, are all paged media. So too are slideshows, where a series of slides are shown one at a time. Each slide is a “page” in CSS terms.

Print Styles

Even in the “paperless future,” the most commonly encountered paged medium is a printout of some document—a web page, a word-processing document, a spreadsheet, or something else that has been committed to the thin wafers of a dead tree. Authors can do a number of things to make printouts of their documents more pleasing for the user, from affecting page-breaking to creating styles meant specifically for print.

Note that print styles would also be applied to document display in a “print preview” mode. Thus, it’s possible in some circumstances to see print styles on a monitor.

Differences between screen and print

Beyond the obvious physical differences, there are a number of stylistic differences between screen and print design. The most basic involves font choices. Most designers will tell you that sans-serif fonts are best suited for screen design, but serif fonts are more readable in print. Thus, you might set up a print style sheet that uses Times instead of Verdana ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required