Easy Tabs: Even Better with Print Friendly!

Author: Kerri Abraham, Revenue Cycle Sharepoint Coordinator, Mercy Medical Center.

Several months back I was tasked with a training build for our highest turnover position.   The main function of the job was a 7 screen registration process, and because of government regulation and business requirements, every field on these 7 screens needed thorough instructions.  The information I was to work from was half a paper ream thick as hard copy!  First step was a severe edit of the information and then solid structuring to make it useable to staff.  My thoughts went right to the Easy Tabs!

I started with organizing according to the 7 screen requirements, and soon realized that wouldn’t be enough, staff might still be overwhelmed with content.  Taking advantage of the natural breaks in the process it broke out a bit further, until finally that half ream of hard copy was just 17 wiki pages of instructions.  Using the Blog to Wiki publishing technique, I utilized a color coding strategy to keep the look consistent across all the pages and links at the bottom of each page moved staff through the steps.  Initially the trainer can walk new hires through the process using these handy links, but shuffling through the links to find the spot they are caught on (while the customer stands waiting) is unrealistic.  That problem was resolved with the Easy Tabs

By modifying the view of the wiki content and filtering it on ID, then adding them one after the other on the page, changing each of the web part’s titles to reflect the contents, and then implementing Christophe’s Easy Tab solution I was able to get all 17 pages of information neatly tucked up under each other on the page.  Keep in mind that the native content of the wiki does not roll up under the tabs, that gives the display as below.

This worked out perfectly, staff could keep this page up as they worked, if they were stuck on a step in the process, they could click the tab and immediately find their information.   When I sent a picture of my use of Easy Tabs to Christophe, he suggested that I add the Expand All tab, but call it ‘Printer Friendly’, as a way to appeal to  the trainer’s needs who was really impressed with the wiki, but still  attached to hard copy.  Up to this point she was printing each page separately because without page breaks the information was confusing the way it ran together.  Easy Tabs v5 completely solves that issue with ‘Printer Friendly’ plus page breaks.  Now this documentation prints just like a procedure manual.  The trainer is thrilled with the results!

I can offer a few tips for creating this kind of procedure manual with the wiki:  use the Advanced Web Parts gallery to quickly add multiple web parts.

The default display under native wiki content is ‘no Title’, so ‘Appearance’ on each addition will need to be adjusted to display as tab.  Note the only columns checked to display are Wiki Content and Edit.  Filter wiki content on ID.   Consider adding the column of ID to the Wiki Pages/All Pages view of the library to make it easier to identify ID.  The rest is simply a matter of perseverance in repeating the steps and setting the toolbar displays to none for a nice clean look.

I have a feeling this is only the beginning…  A comment Dux Raymond Sy recently made in a video recording about “printing a project plan” got me thinking.  I am a fan of Dux, so I’ve been using Sharepoint for project management for quite some time, but “printing a project plan” suddenly struck a new cord!  So I went to work rebuilding my project site template to include Christophe’s Easy Tabs, and while I was at it, I incorporated some color coding into the task list as well.  I restructured all the lists and libraries on a Web Part page.  In addition to the standard lists, again I utilize a wiki library, exposing just the content field, which is part of the site template and includes several project related forms that provide the project managers with an easy to edit alternative to Word documents (and now even more printer friendly under the tabs.)  The results were dramatic especially since I used the new color options with Easy Tabs v5!  

Now the project managers can quickly print off just the Web Parts they need, or the entire project documentation with just a few clicks.  Maybe regular hard copy reports are needed to communicate at Shareholder meetings?  Create a web part page just for report out, adding the desired web parts with list views and dashboards that can be tucked under Easy Tabs and printed in a moment’s notice.

I have number of other ideas in the works for these tabs as well, meeting minutes and agendas with easy printability, printable lists displayed in “Preview Pane” style, a telephone directory based off a contact list built with Easy Tabs v5, why, I’m just getting warmed up!

I think the new options make an already great solution into an awesome feature. What do you think? Someone recently told me “Printing web parts kind of goes against the purpose of electronic data capture doesn’t it?” Help me prove them wrong. There are countless uses for print friendly! I’ve listed out my ideas, now it is your turn, how are you using the Easy Tabs?

6 thoughts on “Easy Tabs: Even Better with Print Friendly!

  1. I’d like to know more about the project management template you have. My company is moving towards this and we need some good examples.

  2. Hi Jen. I am actually writing another article for EUSP that covers my project management template more in depth, if you can wait a week or so, I should be able to push that out to publish with them. I studied project management, searched the web for document templates and built my lists around what our needs were (everyone’s are so different) and what had already been built as standard PM. It was a real learning experience. Oh, and watch a few of Dux’s recorded talks, he’s very inspirational.

  3. I absolutely LOVE the newest version of easy tabs! My oldest daughter attends an online school, and while they have worked veryhard to create a good online class enviroment, the grade, assignment, and claendar interface leave much to be desired. It is impossible to see what they have due for every class in one place so students are left to navigate through nested folders to find what assignements are due.

    Obviously not the best solution, and one that is impossible for my husband, who runs his business out of our home, to manage. So this summer I installed SharePoint Foundation on my home network and my daughter and I sat down to design a sharepoint site to organize and manage her shcool work.

    We created lists to track assignements and their grades and calculate her gradefor each class, calendars to keep her class schedule and others for her to schedule when she would work on her assignement, and so on.

    She loved it but we wanted to create a kind dashboard that would allow her to see what is due to due, this week, what is late, grades and assignements, and be an easy place for my husband to be able to see how she was doing.

    Easy tabs to the rescue! Using easy tabs we created a tab for each catagory she wanted to see. We also added the Print PreView tab so she could easily print out her to do list for the day, week, or her schedule for the day.

    She loves it!


      • Actually I was going to send you some screen shots. I thought you might enjoy seeing how your readers are using your tools.

        I also used color coded calendars and some of the visualizations you showed us in the EUSP workshop I attended. Had some fun getting the DUE THIS WEEK view to work for the assignments list, but we worked it out int he end. 🙂

        Thank you so mauch for all you do, so many people benefit.


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