Most printer-friendly pages are not really reader-friendly, but they could be.
We all know that web surfers skim and scan; they generally don’t read carefully. So, consider this online publishing strategy: When you publish a lengthy article that requires concentration and serious consideration, make is easy for your readers to print out a hard copy.
Unfortunately, the printer-friendly options on many websites are not very reader-friendly. While they reformat the content to better fit on the printed page, they don’t change the typeface.
Most websites use a san-serif typeface such as Helvetica, Arial or Verdana. That’s okay for reading short bursts of copy online.
But for reading a longer, hard copy article offline, a serif typeface such as Times Roman, Georgia, or Courier is much easier on the eyes. And serif typefaces have been proven to increase reader comprehension.
So offering reader-friendly PDF files is a better online publishing strategy.
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If you create your website articles in a word processor, choose the Georgia typeface, and simply save a copy in the Portable Document Format (PDF) using Adobe Acrobat. Then after you post the “regular” version to your website, upload the PDF file to another password-protected area of your subscription website.
Offer it to website visitors (with a hypertext link) as a “reader-friendly” alternative to the online sans-serif version. It’s an online publishing strategy that makes sense.