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

Recent Features

  • Send Text Messages with PHP

    Kids these days, I tell ya.  All they care about is the technology.  The video games.  The bottled water.  Oh, and the texting, always the texting.  Back in my day, all we had was...OK, I had all of these things too.  But I still don't get...

  • 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

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

  • Follow Redirects with cURL

    I love playing around with cURL. There's something about loading websites via command line that makes me feel like some type of smug hacker, just like tweeting from command line does. I recently cURL'd the Google homepage and saw the following: I found it weird that Google...

  • Developers Have WordPress, Amateurs Have Squarespace, Professional Designers Have the NEW Webydo!

    Web design platforms have traditionally come in one of two varieties. There are the solutions like WordPress and Drupal that are incredibly powerful, but an understanding of web development and coding is required to be able to use those platforms effectively. On the other side of the...

  • Chris Coyierâs Favorite CodePen Demos II

    Hey everyone! Before we get started, I just want to say it’s damn hard to pick this few favorites on CodePen. Not because, as a co-founder of CodePen, I feel like a dad picking which kid he likes best (RUDE). But because there is just so...

  • GSAP + SVG For Power Users: Motion Along A Path

    Now that the GreenSock API is picking up steam, there are many tutorials and Getting Started guides out there to provide good introductions to the library, not to mention GreenSock’s own Forum and Documentation. This article isn’t intended for beginners, but rather a...

  • Copy a Directory from Command Line

    Copying a directory for the sake of backup is something I do often, especially when I'm trying to figure out why something isn't working when I use an external library.  I'll copy the directory structure as a backup, mess around with the original source until I find a solution,...