New in Basecamp: Significantly improved print layouts Jason 13 Jul 2006

28 comments Latest by afaf

We’re not big printers, but our customers tell us they are. They often have to print screens from Basecamp to take to meetings, present to clients, or prepare a report for their superiors.

basecamp print layouts

Printers rejoice! Basecamp now looks great on paper too. Who said a web-app only needs to look good on-screen?

We’ve been spending some time working on new print layouts for all major screens inside Basecamp. We’re not entirely finished yet, and we still have some adjustments to make, but starting now the following screens are updated for beautiful printing:

  1. To-do lists and a single to-do list
  2. Message list and a specific message with comments
  3. Overview and Dashboard
  4. Files page
  5. Writeboard list
  6. Milestones
  7. To-do tab on the dashboard (milestone page coming soon)

How do you print? Just select “Print” from the file menu in your web browser. Your browser will do the rest. You don’t need to manually click to special printer-friendly pages — that’s all taken care of behind the scenes.

Thanks again for your support and we hope you enjoy the cleaner, prettier, better designed print layouts.

28 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Drane 13 Jul 06

Way to go … the old ones bugged be every time. I typically print out to go to an off-site project meeting. Tnx

Keane 13 Jul 06

Very nice. I too wanted this. And I’m liking the page — great use of a graphic to explain why it’s good (picture, 1000 words, etc.)

Raymond Brigleb 13 Jul 06

Wonderful. Thanks so much. I’ve had my fingers crossed for this one for a year now. I hope I can still un-cross them….

robert monn 13 Jul 06

Nice move!

FYI, tables still print without borders from Writeboards… I’d still love to see a fix for that. They print wonderfully from Basecamp and Backpack.

John 13 Jul 06

Great! I was beginning to worry that “opinionated software” meant “no new features.” Thanks.

JF 13 Jul 06

A list of some of the “no new features” in Basecamp over the past 2.5 years.

Judson 13 Jul 06

As a frequent printer of backpack, I just want to say thank you so much for thinking about this first, and second using print stylesheets! It’s such an easy thing to do and it seems like hardly anyone does it. I mean it’s a better solution than those stupid “printer friendly” pages, and it’s easier… I don’t understand.

Anyway, thanks! :D

Chris Mear 13 Jul 06

Judson: I use print stylesheets in the sites I design, but I do find that many clients get very confused when they try and print out their new website design, and get something different on paper.

Dave 13 Jul 06

Chris: I find the same thing. I’ve had to screenshot sites for clients (for their own presentations) when they found their printouts dropped all the non-content stuff.

37Signals: Thanks, these new printouts look great!

Kendall 13 Jul 06

Thanks for always pushing yourselves forward without creating bloated software.

treehugger 13 Jul 06

Great. Contributing to the depletion of the world’s forests and natural resources.

Why not write a blog titled: “37signals joins the ranks of companies who help destroy the environment.” ah!? ah!?

Just kidding but I knew a co-worker who would “browse the internets” and print everything he thought was important or funny just to add it to a 2-feet-tall pile of paper next to his desk. That does piss me off.

Ry Walker 13 Jul 06

Nice work 37signals — let’s see if ActiveCollab can match the feature over this weekend :)

Emily 13 Jul 06

SWEET!!! I asked for this and now it’s here! Thanks!

Olumuyiwa Ayandosu 13 Jul 06

Any plans of adding the print stylesheets for Backpack? Great work guys!

Olu 13 Jul 06

Any plans of adding the print stylesheets for Backpack? Great work guys!

JF 13 Jul 06

We will be incorporating beautiful printing on all our products. Basecamp was first. Stay tuned.

clifyt 13 Jul 06

Good job ya’ll — most people forget about the whole print.css thing.

Over the last few months I’ve been wrestling with this stuff too…makes web development a LOT simpler when you don’t have to build a print button into the app and add lots of useless code to format it towards a different medium.

The only wierd thing I’ve come across is that I’ve found that Acrobat seems to render the pages differently than the actual printed page, though that could be my own incompetence (and thus have to have two print CSSs to avoid this — I’d rather not waste paper, but I need documentation I can send via email).

Past this, sadly, few browsers render the page-breaks features correctly.

Any tricks or tips ya’ll want to pass along that you’ve figured out in your conversions?

Lindsey 13 Jul 06

She looks pretty good in blue She wears it out a lot You look good on paper, too…

Sorry, couldn’t help throwing some Mr. T Experience lyrics in there.

Cool new print layouts!

Ken Rossi : 13 Jul 06

Awesome. I have been looking forward to this. I am hoping one of these days just for private to do lists in basecamp…then I wont have to use tadalist and basecamp…it would just be better management…..

JF 13 Jul 06

Ken, Basecamp already had private to-do lists.

Ken Rossi : 13 Jul 06

meh… Where is there a private to do list? If you mean private for the company where the client can’t see it then yeah I have seen that. I meant private to-do list for individuals. So that another person in my company can’t see it. I have certain items that I need to do with a project like call client with invoice number etc. that I don’t want one of my employees or interns seeing.

JF 13 Jul 06

Oh, there’s no “only I can see something” in Basecamp. Basecamp is about collaboration with other people. If you need to keep things to yourself consider using Backpack or Tada.

Ken Rossi : 13 Jul 06

Ah, k. Have to keep using Tada. Oh well *sigh* have to use *another* 37s app and keep *another* tab open on FF. ;-)

I am glad the new projects I am starting are all using Basecamp. It is kind of funny now that a couple of clients ask me “Do you use Basecamp?” I am like “yes, we do” Unfortunately (and somewhat fortunately) they say “Great! I will set you up an account on our projectpath” I am using mine less and less.

Is there a possibility in the future of linking your own basecamp account with another persons so you can see a project in your own camp along with your other projects. I currently have 3 accounts. (1 is mine and 2 are client projectpaths) Not that the info is stored but that you can just hook in your user info and login info and you can just see the overview amongst your own items but then you can click over. Some sort of universal account I think is what I am saying. And this is my last Q of the night.

Thank you for your responses.

JF 13 Jul 06

Is there a possibility in the future of…

We really don’t comment on future features, sorry. We don’t know what the future holds so we don’t want to set expectations now and let you down later. Unfortunately whatever you say people expect to come true and when it doesn’t they get mad.

Ken Rossi : 14 Jul 06

Point well taken. Understate and overdeliver.

Matt 14 Jul 06


Wasn’t this supposed to be “Compass” or some other app? I do remember you mentioning looking into having two accounts working together in the past. It may have been on the campfire teaser video, where someone went through and read your chats and found it.


elv 14 Jul 06

I’ve had mixed feedbacks on print stylesheets with some clients. While it’s a clean and simple solution, it seems sometimes they would like to print exactly what they have on their screen, and they simply can’t.
On the other hand you may really need a printable version for some complex pages.
Here again there’s no definitive answer, use what’s appropriate for your project.
You could even use both : a print stylesheet if the visitor uses the Print menu on the regular page, and a revamped page if he follows a “printable version” link.

afaf 14 Jul 06