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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In general, printing a Wikipedia article is as simple as selecting Printable version from the tools menu on the sidebar or at the top-right. Your browser probably has its own print preview feature.

The MediaWiki software that Wikipedia runs on uses Cascading Style Sheets in order to specify the style and layout that is suitable to a printed version of the page. In modern browsers, the print function of the browser should automatically use the rules in the style sheets when you print an article, therefore the print command of your web browser is also useful.

Certain page elements normally do not print; these include self references like section edit links, navigation boxes, message boxes and metadata.[1]

Printable version


The default Vector skin has a selection in the tools menu at the top-right for 'Printable version'. This printable version is often misunderstood, as it is not exactly a print preview. It does not show page numbers, headers and footers applied by your browser. For a proper print preview, use the one supplied by your browser.

Print page is not needed for any modern browser, as these browsers will parse the media="print" CSS styles included in the markup of Wikipedia pages. The print rules are applied automatically when the page is printed or previewed from the browser.

Printable version does not apply @media print rules from user style sheets— see below.



MediaWiki provides a print specific styling. This style sheet can be edited only by the developers.

The Wikipedia specific print style sheet is at MediaWiki:Print.css. This style sheet can supplement and override the base; it can only be edited by interface administrators.



MediaWiki:Print.css defines certain classes that are non-printable, specifically navbox, infobox.sisterproject, editlink, noprint, metadata, dablink. For example: since {{navbox}} uses the navbox class, any elements based on it will not print.

@media print


CSS media types define the rules for different types of presentation media. The normal display uses @media screen rules; printing rules can be defined with @media print.

Controlling print




When creating a new element that should not print, the noprint class can be applied; for example:

<span class="noprint">foo</span>

Here, the content foo would display, but not print. You can also use {{noprint}}, a template wrapper for the noprint class. Some other templates, such as {{unprintworthy-inline}}, also include the noprint class.

Personal customization


Readers with accounts can modify their Special:MyPage/skin.css to customize their individual printing experience. Remember that rules using @media print will show— or not show if that is the intent —in print preview but not printable version.

Print URLs for references in citation templates
/* print URLs for references */
#content cite a.external.text:after {display: inline;}
  • Note: URLs will always print for references that do not use citation templates
Do not print references
/* do not print references */
@media print {
    ol.references {display: none;}
Change the print font size
/* save ink and paper with very small fonts */
@media print {
    body { font-size: 8pt !important; }
    h1 { font-size: 17pt }
    h2 { font-size: 14pt }
    h3 { font-size: 11pt }
    h4 { font-size: 9pt }
    h5 { font-size: 8pt }
    h6 {
        font-size: 8pt;
        font-weight: normal;
space above title, remove "From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia", URL, categories, modification text and license text
/* Remove non-essential elements */
@media print {
    .firstHeading { margin-top: 0; padding-top: 0; }
    #siteSub { display: none; }
    .printfooter { display: none; }
    #catlinks, .catlinks { display: none; }
    #footer { display: none; }



It is possible to include links to the printable version of a page. Such links should not be needed in articles, and the use elsewhere should consider the actual need and limitations.

The link to the printable page is of the format:


A link to the printable version of a page can be created by using


See also



  1. ^ The rationale for not printing navigation boxes is that these items contain wikilinks that are of no use to print readers. (See User talk:Ruud Koot/2010#Do you recall the reason?) There are two problems with this rationale: First, other wikilink content does print, for example See also and succession boxes. Second, navigation boxes do contain useful information regarding the relationship of the article to the subjects of related articles.
  • "Media types". Cascading Style Sheets Level 2 Revision 1 (CSS 2.1) Specification. World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Retrieved 8 April 2009.