Making WordPress Posts Printer-Friendly

WordPress

Many people read WordPress posts online but, every now and then, someone may want to print off one of your posts.  This is especially true if your post is a tutorial, DIY guide, recipe, or other type of instruction.  However, when the blog reader hits print, what they may get is an oddly formatted post that is hard to read or that cuts off information.  How can you get around that?  This WordPress how-to will show you how to add a Print button to your post that will print it in an easy to read format with no extra logos, ads, or other things that waste ink.

One quick and easy way to print posts is to use the WP-Print plugin.  This free plugin can be found on the main WordPress plugin website and is very easy to configure.

First, you need to download the plugin.  You can get it from wordpress.org/plugins.  Just visit the site and search for WP-Print.  Click on the download button to download the zip file.

Open the zip file and extract the files to a folder.  To make it easy to find, you may want to select your desktop as the extraction destination.  The extracted folder should be named “wp-print.”

Next login to your WordPress site using an FTP client.  Go to the directory called /wp-content/plugins/

Upload the entire wp-print folder from the desktop to this directory.

Login to your WordPress account and go to the WP-Admin, Plugins section, and click on the Activate link.  This will activate the plugin so that it can be used.

Next, you have to create printer-friendly links for your posts.  This is incredibly easy to do.  In each post, simply add the code [print_link] to the text.  When viewed on the site, this code will be replaced by a small printer icon with a link that reads “Print This Post” beside it.  Clicking that link will open the post in a printer-friendly format.

Note that you can go to WP-Admin, Settings, Print to change the print text link.

You can also modify your WordPress theme so that it automatically adds the print button to all of the posts on your site and any new post you create.

First, go to the index.php file for your theme.  You will find it at wp-content/themes/theme_name/index.php, where theme_name is replaced with the actual name of your WordPress theme.

Find the code below:

<?php while (have_posts()) : the_post(); ?>

Then add this code on the line below it:

<?php if (function_exists(‘wp_print’)) { print_link(); } ?>

This will add the [print_link] code to every page.  If you do not want it on every single page, you will need to manually add the code to each page you do want it on.

Note that this is just one of a few ways in which you can make your posts printer-friendly.  Using this plugin is the easiest solution.  A different option would be to create a CSS file that outlines specific styles for printing, which takes more work.

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