About Printing Properties
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Printing Properties
page-break-before | page-break-inside | page-break-after
page | size | marks | widows | orphans

What Do They Do?
Printing of HTML documents has been problematic in the past because of the static, paged nature of the printed page disagrees fundamentally with continuous paged media (eg: screen rendering.) Continuous media allows for fixed widths and heights, but if content extends beyond these values, the dimensions of the document can be infinite. Scrollbars or other devices allow an application to provide a 'window' to the actual content that can be dynamically changed through interaction with the user.

Contrast this with media using static dimensions, such as printing to paper. In this environment there is some allowance for extending beyond a fixed width/height, but basically the dimensions are fixed and unmovable. Document content is divided into chunks for display in discrete pieces on separate pages.

The paradigms for transferring content from continuous media to paged media are already well established from the word processing field, and CSS2 borrows heavily from these concepts to create new printing properties. These properties allow the type and dimensions to be set (among other things) for a 'page box' - a rectangular area in which document content is rendered on a static page.

These properties have been included in CSS2, but were first included in the W3C Working Draft "CSS Printing Extensions" (http://www.w3.org/TR/WD-print, by Robert Stevahn, Stephen Waters, et al, June 26, 1997)
Related Sites
Official Reference: CSS Level 2, Section 13.2, 13.3
13.3.1: 'page-break-before',
13.3.1: 'page-break-inside',
13.3.1: 'page-break-after',
13.3.2: 'page',
13.2.2: 'size',
13.2.3: 'marks',
13.3.3: 'widows',
13.3.3: 'orphans'
Browser Reference: Microsoft MSDN

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