Determine How Your Site is Seen or How it’s Printed From the Other Side

Bloggers are curious by nature, especially if you’re going to want to see how your site is from the outside in. Now this is different from visibility which I covered a few days ago with the awesome tools you can use to rock your presence online. Thus, today it’s about what you see on your monitor. So for that matter, I went and did that the other day at a friend’s house and noticed how he had set up his display settings to the low 16-bit and larger view of 800×600. When I typed in my blog, wow did it stretch!

I had to scroll over to the right, the fonts were perfectly large and the design overall was a big combustion of gray! Before I started to frown, I decided to take the study on a couple of the blogs that I frequently visited. To my surprise they had the same exact problem.

So what did I do to try to solve this problem?

I thought about users who couldn’t read the fine print when you’ve got the highest resolution going on, instead they stick to the large settings and minimal display tweak. Overall, it just looks easy on the eye. With that, a lot of questions went through my mind. Is there a plug-in to solve this issue? What shortcut can I take to optimize the site better for viewing? Are these tools FREE or premium?

I did a little digging and here are some of the solutions I found.

Ctrl and + , Ctrl and -

Your browser has the capability to zoom in and out. By pressing the Ctrl key and the complimentary + or – you can increase or decrease your browser’s view. This is great for those who have weak visions. Also, you don’t have to install anything at all, just zoom in and out. Adjust accordingly and reset it back to regular settings when you’re done. You won’t have to fret about the webmaster or the small font you’re reading from.

By inserting a site URL, you can cut, adjust and print what you like. There’s nothing to install so what you see is what you get. Just highlight the areas you want to print, ignore the ones you don’t want, print preview it and let it rip. When you’ve compiled the way you want the printed page to come out, you can save it as a PDF or modified HTML. Of course, you have to register with their site. Don’t worry. It’s all FREE!

WebKut will appeal to the artist in you if you’re more into design and eye candy. Especially if you’re into Adobe products. Thanks to Mars Dorian who mentioned this app recently as part of his 7 online tools. With that being said, you need to install Adobe AIR in order to use this FREE application. Once you’ve got that covered. The installation of the app is painless. You’ll open up the app and just like Print What You Like, you’ll insert the URL of the site, choose your cutting option and specify the type of file to save as. You got a couple of choices – JPG, GIF, PNG or PDF.

WP-Print coded by Lester Chan who has quite an impressive resume in web development. Most of the plug-ins he has is used by big name companies worldwide. Thus, if you have a wordpress blog, make sure you make your post accessible to your readers who want to print out any information you may have for offline reading. Yaro Starak of Entrepreneur’s Journey uses it and so do I. I like that it’s simple, does what you need and print your posts with or without images. You get all the reference to the links at the bottom of the page. The only problem I had was implementing it into my Thesistheme. That was because I had to insert a code within the stylesheet and you can’t do that because Thesis uses something called hooks. I resolved that by installing a wordpress plug-in called Thesis Open Hook. It allowed me to insert the code in the exact place I wanted. Overall, it gets the job done and now readers can print my posts directly from their browser.

If you noticed, I just implemented a Save as PDF button at the top of each post. That’s because I use Web2PDF a lot in bookmarking posts and saving them to my archive. I’m sure there are other users out there who are the same. As I started to build my collection of PDFs over the past few months, it became a must-have tool for those who like referencing to what they have read. Thus, there’s also a plug-in for Firefox users to make the convert quick and easy. So instead of tinkering with the site internally, Web2PDF allows you to view sites from the outside the way it is seen from your browser. Of course, if the resolution is large you’ll want to zoom out a bit :) .

There you have it! Some simple yet effective ways which you can make your site printed offline and seen through your browser better.

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