WordPress Plugins can help your WordPress blog break the virtual barrier between the user and the real world by adding aids to print your WordPress blog posts and convert them into documents.
Helping You Print Your WordPress Blog
You can manually style your WordPress blog for the printed page by using a
print.css stylesheet, hiding the unprintable elements and cleaning up the page to look pretty when printed, or you can take advantage of a WordPress Plugin to help you print your WordPress blog posts.
WP-Print WordPress Plugin allows you to put a link to a “print version” of your WordPress blog post so it will print properly, without cutting off the edges or distorting the content.
ViewFinder Design has another version of WP-Print that is slightly improved, which you might want to try as an alternative to see which one will work best with your blog.
If you design or tweak your own WordPress Theme, it’s best to just add print styles to your stylesheet if you don’t want to clutter up your blog with “print this” links.
WordPress-to-PDF WordPress Plugins and Tools
There are several WordPress Plugins and scripts that will allow you to add a PDF conversion link or icon to your WordPress blog. Visitors click on the link to turn the page they are reading into a PDF file. They can then save it, print it, or take it with them as a reference, whatever you want them to do.
pdf24 offers several different types of WordPress-to-PDF converter WordPress Plugins you might try on your WordPress blog.
Other WordPress-to-PDF Plugin converters include:
- post2pdf (not yet ready for WordPress 2.1)
- Zirona’s ContruttoPDF WordPress Plugin
- Post2PDF WordPress Plugin (English)
- WP2PDF is an older script that used an interface from Chris J. Davis which he is no longer supporting and looking for volunteers.
Including Documents on WordPress Blogs
There are many different types of documents you may want to add to your WordPress blog and inside your WordPress posts.
ThinkFree Viewer Blog Plugins has a WordPress Plugin that allows you to add live ThinkFree or Microsoft Office documents to your WordPress blog by attaching them to the post like an email attachment. This includes presentations, charts, graphics, spreadsheets, and more.
AttachFiles WordPress Plugin also works like an email attachment to add data files to their WordPress posts.
To include static files and documents into your WordPress blog, you can use Safe Include Plugin. Static content can only be HTML or PHP files, though TXT might work. Just add a placeholder to the file name in double brackets and it includes the content in the post or Page.
Cleaning Up Your WordPress Documents and Post Pastes
As with any imports of documents or copy and pasting of web or word processing content, a lot of junk tends to come in with the pasted content. The cruft tends to be pretty quote marks and apostrophes, fonts, colors, styles, and other pretty characters and elements that you might not want in your WordPress post. The odds are that when you save this, all that junk will mess up your WordPress post anyway.
Here are some options to clean up your WordPress posts.
WP Unformatted WordPress Plugin by Alex King will remove the smart quotes or curly quotes (texturize) and auto XHMTL tags (autop) on a per-post basis, allowing you to use code on those pages without the curly quote conversion.
If you are deadly serious about controlling how your WordPress blog displays its content, by format, style, and encoding options, you can control how it displays the content on a per-post basis with Text Control WordPress Plugin. I’ve used this for years. It allows me to include HTML formatted content among non-formatted post content in my blog posts easily.
Other smart quote or curly quote killers which allow you to kill smart quotes on a per-post or global basis are:
- Smart Quotes WordPress Plugin
- Smart Quote Fix WordPress Plugin
- Word Fix Plugin
- Semiologic’s Unfancy Quote Plugin for WordPress
Turning WordPress Into a Book or Documents
If you are thinking about turning your WordPress blog into a book, a large PDF file, or a series of documents, you can also export the content from your WordPress blog so it can be imported into word processors, static HTML pages, and other tools to create a book or document.
WPexport will export your WordPress data to Movable Type, which is a format that can be easily converted to HTML with a text editor and search and replace.
Blurb, the self-publishing book company, now offers importing from WordPress and WordPress.com blogs to help you create a book from your blog. The technology is new, and tends to be a bit slow from initial reports, but it’s getting better all the time.
WordPress currently only offers an XML export format, which will work with programs which accept XML imports. Most of the HTML inside of the post content area remains.
Tips for Moving WordPress to Paper
Do you have any tips for moving your WordPress posts and blog to paper, print, or book form? Have you found a better HTML/XHMTL exporter for WordPress blogs?
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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network