Details of printing have been talked about, but this is the feature request for a Printer-Friendly Button. The button would print a good-looking version of the question and answers instead of just using the print feature of your browser. It would allow just the Q&A to be printed and not other additional items. There could even be a user setting or some way to print with comments also.
There's not really any need for a button, if a style sheet for printing is defined (with
media="print" attribute). Those "Click here for printer-friendly version" links are generally considered a bad idea.
Stack Overflow currently does not define a print stylesheet. I think you'd have a slightly better chance of getting your suggestion approved if you changed your question to something like "please provide a style sheet for printing." Of course, I'm pretty sure the response would be something like "this is already a very text-heavy website, I don't think it's needed." :)
Edit: I was wrong, printer styles are defined. They are in the same stylesheet, using
I don't know if there's a big need to support printing, but in truth, when you want to print something, it should come out of the printer in a way that's better formatted for printed media. The print stylesheet does a decent job by itself, but there are some things I find lacking.
It would be nice to have a "printable view" of a question that does/has the following:
- Shows the question, and all answers on a single (web) page. Currently it's question + each page of answers (by design), so you end up with multiple printed copies of a question. This wastes paper, is confusing, and also makes it somewhat annoying if you want to print only certain sections of the answers.
- Shows the vote count for answers
- Hides all functional links such as "add comment", etc. Currently, this is partly implemented.
- Shows the entire comment history on all answers. Currently you'd have to expand all the answer comment histories manually.
- Hides the page footer.
- Various layout tweaks to reduce the printed length. For example, comments currently have way too much empty vertical space.
I like that there are print-styles defined; I'd like to see Stack overflow use media selectors to make the printed result appear like a printed document, rather than a printed website.
The extra time and effort involved would allow me to put some of my most-important answers on my wall, or in a notebook and make the best use of the paper, etc.