O'Reilly

Optimize Your Links For Print Using CSS — Show The URL

By on  

When moving around from page to page in your trusty browser, you get the benefit of hovering over links and viewing the link's target URL in the status bar. When it comes to page printouts, however, this obviously isn't an option. Most website printouts simply show the link as text with an underline. What good is that?

Providing URLs for links in the print version of your page can be extremely helpful to the reader. Using a small snippet of CSS code, you can get printouts to display link URLs right next to the link text.

The CSS Code

a:link:after, a:visited:after { content:" [" attr(href) "] "; }

The pitfall of this method of displaying links URLs for print is that Internet Explorer ignores this code. If showing link URLs is critical, I'd recommend using a JavaScript alternative. If not, add this snippet to your print stylesheet to make your page print-outs more informative.

Track.js Error Reporting

Recent Features

  • Create a CSS Flipping Animation

    CSS animations are a lot of fun; the beauty of them is that through many simple properties, you can create anything from an elegant fade in to a WTF-Pixar-would-be-proud effect. One CSS effect somewhere in between is the CSS flip effect, whereby there's...

  • 5 More HTML5 APIs You Didnât Know Existed

    The HTML5 revolution has provided us some awesome JavaScript and HTML APIs.  Some are APIs we knew we've needed for years, others are cutting edge mobile and desktop helpers.  Regardless of API strength or purpose, anything to help us better do our job is a...

Incredible Demos

  • MooTools onLoad SmoothScrolling

    SmoothScroll is a fantastic MooTools plugin but smooth scrolling only occurs when the anchor is on the same page. Making SmoothScroll work across pages is as easy as a few extra line of MooTools and a querystring variable. The MooTools / PHP Of course, this is a...

  • Fixing sIFR Printing with CSS and MooTools

    While I'm not a huge sIFR advocate I can understand its allure. A customer recently asked us to implement sIFR on their website but I ran into a problem: the sIFR headings wouldn't print because they were Flash objects. Here's how to fix...

Discussion

  1. I´ve been reading your blog and CSS zone for a couple of weeks and I have to say that you work is pretty amazing.
    Due to my work I don’t have enough time to mantain my website, but the day that I come back to design my site or blog, I’ll check your tricks, these are really good.

    Keep working that way, you’re a VERY helpful resource for people like me. ;)

    Cheers

  2. Great one.

  3. Great tips !
    Thanks a lot :D

  4. Good trick for printing a web page. But as usual, this simple tricks are not working with internet explorer

  5. Реализация битых, аварийных и подержанных автомобилей. Продать автомобиль – срочный выкуп подержанных автомобилей. Можно после ДТП.
    магазин автозапчастей мерседес
    http://gava.ru

  6. Выбираем отделочные материалы линолеум продам линолеум калуга ковролин brintons Оставьте вашу заявку и вам ответят! мытищи линолеум ковролин синтерос
    Ковровые покрытия для гостиниц ковролин выстовочный коллекции линолеума линолеум terrana top
    http://kovroliny.ru

  7. I figured out how to get around this not working in IE6 and IE7 by using jQuery and a couple of proprietary IE events to show the link when printing. Any interest in porting it to mootools?

    http://beckelman.net/post/2009/02/16/Use-jQuery-to-Show-a-Linke28099s-Address-After-its-Text-When-Printing-In-IE6-and-IE7.aspx

  8. The stuff on this web site is really witty and cool wise

  9. visit

    I happened upon this site while following the links from another site. Your site is wonderful and i bookmarked it. Thank your for the hard work you must have put in to create this wonderful facility. Keep up the excellent work

  10. I love everything about this site!!

  11. Steven Schrab

    This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks!

  12. Alok

    Is there something I can do as an end-user to print the links when printing a webpage? The CSS method (as well as jQuery method posted by Bill in a comment) seems to be intended for the author of the web page. How do I do this as an end-user given that the author has not done this? I could not find any Firefox add-on that does this.

  13. Alok

    Is there something I can do as an end-user to print the links when printing a web-page? The CSS method (as well as jQuery method posted by Bill in a comment) seems to be intended for the author of the web page. How do I do this as an end-user given that the author has not done this? I could not find any Firefox add-on that does this.

  14. Pravin

    Hi all I want to know …How can we avoid printing url and dates and page no from print window

  15. Robbiego

    Thanks for this simple trick. Works great.

  16. Alok

    This tool allows inserting the CSS into any web page when the page author did not.

    http://readable.tastefulwords.com/

    Checkout the option “More CSS” and use the specified CSS:

    a:link:after, a:visited:after { content:” [” attr(href) “] “; }

  17. Alok

    This custom CSS works still better:

    a:after {content: ” [” attr(href) “]”; color:blue;}
    a:link {color: #800000; text-decoration: none;}
    a:visited {color: #800000; text-decoration: none;}
    a:hover {color: #000000; text-decoration: underline;}

  18. why not simply:

    a:after { content:" [" attr(href) "] "; }

    • Because it would show empty parens for anchors, try with the current page ;)

  19. Chirag

    Thank you!

  20. Thanks for this article. It’s exactly what I needed to figure out how to suppress this on our site. Now at least I know what to look for in debugging the URLs being printed.

  21. Thats very good I hide it because my customers need print invoice without links:

    @media print
    {
    a:after {  display:none;}
    }
    

Wrap your code in <pre class="{language}"></pre> tags, link to a GitHub gist, JSFiddle fiddle, or CodePen pen to embed!

Recently on David Walsh Blog

  • Loading Static Templates for Intern Testing

    I use Intern by SitePen for all of my JavaScript functional testing.  Intern has loads of features other functional test frameworks don't and it's completely Promise-based -- something I got very used to when I used the Dojo Toolkit every day. Async test creation can...

  • Convert Video to mp3

    Let's all be honest for a moment:  we've all ... not paid for ... music.  Whether it was via a file sharing app like Kazaa or Napster, or it was downloading and seeding on bittorrent, or maybe even downloading a music video and ripping its audio,...

  • Sort git Branches by Date

    I'll be first person to admit I don't do as much git repository maintenance as I should.  I rarely delete branches which have been merged, so a git branch execution shows me a mile-long list of branches that likely aren't relevant.  The best way to find branches I've recently...

  • Best Tools and Resources for Web Professionals in 2015

    Looking for the right resources to help you satisfy the needs of your clients? On the lookout for the best tools to help you increase your revenue? Searching for the right software to help you improve your business? Well, then you’ve come to the right place....

  • JavaScript Polling

    Polling with JavaScript is one of those ugly but important functions within advanced front-end user experience and testing practices.  Sometimes there isn't the event you can hook into to signify that a given task is complete, so you need to get your hands dirty and simply poll for...