How do we find out how many pages are being printed out from our hobby site?

These two pages got me thinking about print.css for web pages:


I’m starting to create a print.css for my pages (on a very small static site). The pages have drop-downs in several sections, and those drop-downs don’t display in print. The second link above tells me how to print them out in a print.css file. Specifically:

/* Insert user-defined messages before the content */
#page-header:before {
content: "\ http://www.companyname.com (c) 2016 Your company name";
color: #777 !important;
font-size: 12px;
}

My first question: In the age of Internet bookmarking, is there even a need for creating a print.css anymore?

My second question: how do we find out how many pages are being printed out from our hobby site? The answer to that question will answer the first question.

I have no idea how you would find that out.

I think people do still print stuff if they want a hard copy for whatever reason. I occasionally do.

To see what the print css needs, use print preview, and see what could look better.
I will hide stuff that’s no use in print, like the nav. Re-style things that will use too much ink and just alter whatever looks bad in the preview.

I think browsers generally put that stuff on anyway.

It depends on the site but yes people do still print web pages.

AFAIK there is no way of telling if a page has been printed. It MAY be possible with some JS but why bother?

The OP may just be interested; but if a lot of people are printing them they may introduce some more?

I suppose the print could be on a separate page and you check how many people visit that page?

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Rubble: I imagine a PDF version can be made of each page for printing.

gandalf458: Why bother? Because if nobody is using the print function of their browser, then there is no reason to take on the extra work of making the print.css.

SamA74:“Browsers print that anyway”: That was only an example. I am using the print function to add details that are not visible, such as the drop-down box Select contents.

I use the browser Print Preview too. That is helpful in deciding what to display: none.

Having a separate file is the only approach I can think of that could even possibly provide a clue.

Because of Security there is no way to intercept a users browser chrome actions.

That is once a page is loaded you can not tell if they click “print”, “zoom”, “inspect” etc.

What might be doable is to have a variant of a SPAM email “beacon” image.

ie. in the print CSS include an image that isn’t normally there.

Then the number of times the image was served could give some indication.

3 Likes

Mitteneague: Like background-image? I don’t see any other way to embed an image in a css file, but I doubt it would be recorded in Analytics. That’s a cool idea, though.

Few people allow background images to print so the image would need to be added to the page itself by the print CSS.

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