O'Reilly

Advanced CSS Printing — Using CSS Page Breaks

By on  

I have one customer that absolutely insists his web pages print perfectly. Why? Because he refuses to look at his pages on the screen -- he tells his employees to print the website for him to look at. And since he looks at pages that way, he believes most of his customers do just this.

Needless to say, I've learned quite a few tricks to making a website print properly. I've already shared methods for making your website content printer-friendly, as well as making your website structure printer-friendly. One important aspect of making your pages printer-friendly is by using CSS/XHTML page breaks.

There are numerous spots that are good for page breaks:

  • Between page sections (h2 or h3 tags, depending on your site format)
  • Between the end of an article and subsequent comments / trackbacks
  • Between longs blocks of content

Luckily, using page breaks in CSS is quite easy.

The CSS

The all and print medias should be addressed:

@media all {
	.page-break	{ display: none; }
}

@media print {
	.page-break	{ display: block; page-break-before: always; }
}

The first declaration ensures that the page-break is never seen visually...while the second ensures that the page break is seen by the printer.

The HTML

Creating a simple DIV element with the page-break class is how you implement the page break.

<div class="page-break"></div>

Quite simple, huh?

The Usage

<h1>Page Title</h1>
<!-- content block -->
<!-- content block -->
<div class="page-break"></div>
<!-- content block -->
<!-- content block -->
<div class="page-break"></div>
<!-- content block -->
<!-- content -->

There you have it. The importance of page breaks in the web should not be understated, as many users still print content regularly. Also note that your content may be printed into PDF format and shared.

Track.js Error Reporting

Upcoming Events

Recent Features

  • Regular Expressions for the Rest of Us

    Sooner or later you’ll run across a regular expression. With their cryptic syntax, confusing documentation and massive learning curve, most developers settle for copying and pasting them from StackOverflow and hoping they work. But what if you could decode regular expressions and harness their power? In...

  • 7 Essential JavaScript Functions

    I remember the early days of JavaScript where you needed a simple function for just about everything because the browser vendors implemented features differently, and not just edge features, basic features, like addEventListener and attachEvent.  Times have changed but there are still a few functions each developer should...

Incredible Demos

  • MooTools Accordion: Mouseover Style

    Everyone loves the MooTools Accordion plugin but I get a lot of requests from readers asking me how to make each accordion item open when the user hovers over the item instead of making the user click. You have two options: hack the original plugin...

  • jQuery Random Link Color Animations

    We all know that we can set a link's :hover color, but what if we want to add a bit more dynamism and flair? jQuery allows you to not only animate to a specified color, but also allows you to animate to a random color. The...

Recently on David Walsh Blog

  • Get Node.js Command Line Arguments with yargs

    Using command line arguments within Node.js apps is par for the course, especially when you're like me and you use JavaScript to code tasks (instead of bash scripts).  Node.js provides process.argv but that doesn't provide a key: value object like you'd expect: Bleh.  If you want to work with a...

  • OâReilly Velocity Conference â New York

    My favorite front-end conference has always been O'Reilly's Velocity Conference because the conference series has focused on one of the most undervalued parts of client side coding:  speed.  So often we're so excited that our JavaScript works that we forget that speed, efficiency, and performance are just as important. The next Velocity...

  • Free Download: Font Bundle Featuring 17 Incredible Typefaces

    The only thing we love more than a good font, is a good free font. So we’ve combed the Web for some of our favorite free fonts, and gathered them here in a single download. You’ll find a variety of useful typefaces, from highly geometric designs...

  • OâReilly Velocity Conference â Amsterdam

    My favorite front-end conference has always been O'Reilly's Velocity Conference because the conference series has focused on one of the most undervalued parts of client side coding:  speed.  So often we're so excited that our JavaScript works that we forget that speed, efficiency, and performance are just as important. The next Velocity...

  • CanIUse Command Line

    Every front-end developer should be well acquainted with CanIUse, the website that lets you view browser support for browser features.  When people criticize my blog posts for not detailing browser support for features within the post, I tell them to check CanIUse:  always up to date, unlike...