Formatting for the Web Vs Formatting for Print

Today there are two main ways to get information to other people. One is through the web and the other is through print. If you want to get information out you have to be aware of the different kinds of formatting that you need to go with. The formatting for print is different to the web and you have to know what to do so you do not end up with a terrible end product.

Formatting for print

Formatting for print is possibly easier to do that any other formatting. The reason for this is that the text processor you use will default to print format. This is true for programs like Word but there are some programs where you have to be more vigilant. On these programs when you type up the information the format you see on the computer is what it will look like when you print.

Of course formatting may still need to be done. If you have subheadings within a page of text then it is important that you keep a few things in mind. They should always stand out and they should never be at the end of the page. If they do end up at the bottom of a page you should bring them onto the start of the next.

Formatting for the web

Formatting for the web can be a bit harder than for print. When people read information on the web they tend to scan instead of completely read like they do with print. The reason for this is the sheer amount of information out there on the web. There are some tips that you need to keep in mind:

  •     Use shorter sentences than in print.
  •     Have clear heading in your text which describes the information in simple language and in the least amount of words as possible.
  •     Try and use subheading as often as you can. As with headings they need to be short and describe what the text is about.
  •     Bullet lists will get more attention than a long paragraph.
  •     If you do write in paragraphs make sure they are shorter than in print versions.
How printers affect formatting

The printer that you use can actually affect how your formatting comes out. There are some printers that do not recognise certain types of formatting so you need to be careful. If you have one of these printers then you should work out how to format your text so that it comes out neat, professional and easy to read.

Print formatting and web formatting are very different and you should avoid mixing them up. With printed information people generally take more time to read it so longer paragraphs and sentences are fine. With web content you have to use shorter sentences and paragraphs as people do not read this information as they do print but rather scan through it. If you are printing your information then you should also make sure that your printer recognises your formatting and will not change it.

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