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.

Track.js Error Reporting

Upcoming Events

Recent Features

  • I&#8217;m an Impostor

    This is the hardest thing I've ever had to write, much less admit to myself.  I've written resignation letters from jobs I've loved, I've ended relationships, I've failed at a host of tasks, and let myself down in my life.  All of those feelings were very...

  • 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

  • Prevent Page Zooming in Mobile Browsers

    Ever since I got my iPhone, I've been more agreeable in going places that my fiancee wants to go. It's not because I have any interest in checking out women's shoes, looking at flowers, or that type of stuff -- it's because my iPhone lets...

  • Digg-Style Dynamic Share Widget Using MooTools

    I've always seen Digg as a very progressive website. Digg uses experimental, ajaxified methods for comments and mission-critical functions. One nice touch Digg has added to their website is their hover share widget. Here's how to implement that functionality on your site...

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!

Recently on David Walsh Blog

  • 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...

  • Generating Alternative Stylesheets for Browsers Without @media

    If your CSS code is built with a mobile-first approach, it probably contains all the rules that make up the "desktop" view inside @media statements. That's great, but browsers that don't support media queries (IE 8 and below) will simply ignore them, ending up getting the...