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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Usability Rant of the Day: "Print this Page"

In the past two days I tried unsuccessfully to invoke the "print this page" function on articles I read online. In the first case, on an advertising publication's site, the "print this" link crashed Firefox. In the second case, at a direct marketing publication's site, the "print this" link brought up a box with the article supposedly formatted for better printing. Not only did they stick a new batch of text ads at the top, but page 3 of 3 did not in fact print, leaving me with an "article excerpt" rather than the full article.

The solution? Just use the regular print function on the browser -- isn't that what it's for? That doesn't require me to reboot my computer or to head into a meeting with a partial article to hand out. A little less pretty, but less annoying.

Given the frequency of glitches with "print this," I'm led to wonder why websites bother with the feature at all.

Posted by Andrew Goodman




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