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.

Raygun Pulse

Recent Features

  • By
    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...

  • By
    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...

Incredible Demos

  • By
    Cross Browser CSS Box Shadows

    Box shadows have been used on the web for quite a while, but they weren't created with CSS -- we needed to utilize some Photoshop game to create them.  For someone with no design talent, a.k.a me, the need to use Photoshop sucked.  Just because we...

  • By
    GitHub-Style Sliding Links

    GitHub seems to change a lot but not really change at all, if that makes any sense; the updates come often but are always fairly small. I spotted one of the most recent updates on the pull request page. Links to long branch...

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!