O'Reilly

Fixing sIFR Printing with CSS and MooTools

By on  

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 the sIFR printing issue.

Sample XHTML

<h2>Sample Heading 1</h2>
<p>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. In ut lectus fermentum augue bibendum tincidunt. In hac habitasse platea dictumst. Nullam ornare nunc ac massa. Nam volutpat tempor tortor. Maecenas sapien. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Vestibulum a odio ut libero facilisis tincidunt.</p>

<h2>Sample Heading 2</h2>
<p>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. In ut lectus fermentum augue bibendum tincidunt. In hac habitasse platea dictumst. Nullam ornare nunc ac massa. Nam volutpat tempor tortor. Maecenas sapien. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Vestibulum a odio ut libero facilisis tincidunt.</p>

Just some sample XHTML.

The CSS

@media screen {
	.print-only	{ display:none; }
}
@media print {
	.print-only { display:block; }
	.no-print	{ display:none; }
}

Setting a couple of standard print-related CSS styles.

The MooTools JavaScript

$$('h2').each(function(el,i) {
		//new print-only h2
		 new Element('h2',{
			  text: el.get('text')
		 }).addClass('print-only').inject(el,'before');
		 
		//inject swiff into current h2
		el.addClass('no-print');
		var swiff = new Swiff('sifr450x23.swf',{
			 id: 'sifr-' + i,
			 width: 450,
			 height: 23,
			 container: el,
			 params: {
				  wMode: 'transparent'
			 },
			 vars: {
				  titleText:el.get('text')
			 }
		});
  });
});

We first inject a new H2 element that will be used for print. Then we inject the Swiff into the original H2. Of course you can see where I've added the print-only/no-print CSS classes.

The only browser I found that printed the Flash sIFR objects was Internet Explorer. This solution will work across all browsers.

Treehouse Learning

Upcoming Events

Recent Features

  • Creating Scrolling Parallax Effects with CSS

    Introduction For quite a long time now websites with the so called "parallax" effect have been really popular. In case you have not heard of this effect, it basically includes different layers of images that are moving in different directions or with different speed. This leads to a...

  • CSS Gradients

    With CSS border-radius, I showed you how CSS can bridge the gap between design and development by adding rounded corners to elements.  CSS gradients are another step in that direction.  Now that CSS gradients are supported in Internet Explorer 8+, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome,...

Incredible Demos

  • Send Email Notifications for Broken Images Using MooTools AJAX

    One of the little known JavaScript events is the image onError event. This event is triggered when an image 404's out because it doesn't exist. Broken images can make your website look unprofessional and it's important to fix broken images as soon as possible....

  • Full Width Textareas

    Working with textarea widths can be painful if you want the textarea to span 100% width.  Why painful?  Because if the textarea's containing element has padding, your "width:100%" textarea will likely stretch outside of the parent container -- a frustrating prospect to say the least.  Luckily...

Discussion

  1. sIFR itself actually does contain a print stylesheet which hides the Flash movie and shows the alternative text.

  2. I am a little confused too Mark. I have not had a problem using sIFR3 and printing, prints out just fine for me. I know many have the resize and load issues but it is all down to proper use of the styles and setting it up correctly covering everything like line heights etc. Not quite sure Davids Problem here, never run into it not printing before.

  3. My issues were on Firefox 3.1 / Windows XP. The sIFR headings don’t show up which is why I created this script.

  4. Marc

    david, i’m new to sIFR too and i am looking for a better text-replacement alternative.. did you include the line:

    <style type="text/css" media="print">
    @import url("sIFR-print.css");
    </style>
    

    in your heading?

  5. @Marc: Nope, just used the CSS code above.

  6. kst

    I didn’t work on FF 3.0.12 for me. Maybe better to use base64 technique for Firefox?

  7. Antonio

    Another great technique as usual. To be honest, your method is far greater than needing all those unnecessary http requests that comes with the original sIFR implementation, CSS & Javascript files.

    Having said that, that’s why I prefer using sIFR Lite (By Dave @ AllCrunchy.com) and tweaked your script slightly. Would love to turn it into a Moo-ish class but still don’t know how to do it.

    Keep up the great work.

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