Feedback wanted - print function on product comparison tables

Hi everyone,

We’re looking for feedback on improving the Print function on the product comparison tables (you can get to them by selecting ‘Compare all’ or viewing a shortlist you create on any product review, for example from this page: “Home espresso coffee machine reviews”).

We’re keen to hear your feedback on what we plan to build. It’s all in image form at the moment, so nothing on the website just yet. If you have a minute to spare, please view the four attachments and answer the corresponding questions below.

Thanks in advance for your time.

Here are the questions!

  • In the past when you’ve wanted to print a comparison table, tell us what frustrated you. Was there anything you wanted to print and couldn’t?

  • This will be the ‘Compare all’ view for Espresso machines (click to view). If you printed this view in landscape, the output would look something like this. What do you find useful about this preview, and what not?

  • This will be the View 'shortlist’ view for Espresso machines when three products have been selected (click to view). If you printed this view in portrait, the output would look something like this. What do you find useful about this preview, and what not?


While needing deeper thinking, printing anything in html can be highly variable as to what prints. Sometimes images don’t, sometimes things do not align as they should, but the most irritating aspect is the inability to page. The example splits a product on the right margin, and depending on sizes/fonts run-over crossing successive pages is the norm.

Web sites that offer to print and construct a pdf to print provide a better experience than those that depend on the users’ kits to do so.


I find the ultimate flexibility on printing or viewing tables through manipulation in Excel. I realise this is probably only a solution for a smaller cohort but an accompanying xls file would a welcome addition.


Yes, they are difficult to print as they either go across multiple pages or if one tries to print on one page, they become illegible.

Having the header (product id) on the top of each page is useful. The only suggestion I would make is does the image need to be placed on the page as this extends the print length (could be at least one page less for the comparison you generated) and uses more member’s printer consumables (toner/ink/paper).

  • Is it also possible to get the comparison as a PDF. Many websites now allow printer friendly versions as PDFs rather than printing HTML coding. This can reduce presentation bugs which can happen with HMTL code printing.

  • Another option would be to select the parameter one wants to compare rather than getting the full suite. Sometimes there may be key parameter which assist with product comparison. This is particularly useful if the parameter across all compared products is the same or say, one is thinking about a particular but would like to compare with or without in store. It could be useful to have a select all or individually deselect the measure within the first column.


Because compare pages rarely print correctly (as per PhilT and phb comments) I usually end up reading the compare info on the screen and typing it into a spreadsheet.
This manual process helps cope with the fact that the same feature in product A may be described differently in product B and thus not appear on the same line in the compare info on the screen. <== this is common on non-Choice comparison sites.


Thanks @phb @PhilT @Geoff2 @vombatis for the feedback you have all provided. It’s very useful for us as we look into what can technically be done.


The ‘Compare all’ is good but i, personally, would benefit from the ‘shortlist’ - looks very useful.


A very timely request by you folks. I was just on your site a few days ago looking at Front Loading Washing Machines. I selected 5 models for comparison and tried to print all the info out. My printer Epson 2650 Workforce simply would not print more than one page and I could not convince it otherwise even when I reduced size from 100% to 75% or switched to landscape. It would have been nice to be able to see all the info! Alternatively, it would be nice to be able to elect/suppress information I do or do not care about. Also, would be nice to order the info in a flexible way. For example, if i want the country of origin to be at the top off the list then I should be able to do that.


Steve Braddon


Thanks for your feedback @rogerseccombe, the shortlist will be available in future. Could I please ask how many items you might wish to shortlist, if you have a rough idea or range?


Thanks @ekoi1951 for the information about your experience. The printing issue is on our end unfortunately.

It’s helpful to hear that you’d also like to edit and order the content you’d like to print.

Thank you!


Many years ago, there used to be a thing called magazines where comparison tables were printed and if necessary people could actually take them out of their house to the retailer to be able to check on site what is probably a better option. These tables used to be accompanied by some text that actually discussed the individual products and described why the widgits produced by “F” were a better option than those by “G”. Sadly, most reviews by Choice now ‘feature’ neither of these ‘old fashioned’ traits. Electronic access is an upsell - something Choice rails against on a regular basis but insists on it’s customers using to get access to most product reviews.

Until there are printed tables on one page in a magazine format (because no one will ever read them on a mobile phone) they are another indication of the increasing lack of understanding of their customers frequently demonstrated by Choice (ironically owned by the “Australian Consumers Association”.


For clarity the online reviews Choice publishes are often more regularly updated than is possible in a hard copy magazine format. The ability to read/print them is a point well taken and the point of this topic.


Is this not available in the print version the Choice magazine?


I vouch for the flexibility of spreadsheet files to format and sort as I wish. The simplest is .csv (Comma Separated Variable) files, rather than the invariably bulky and sometimes version-sensitive .xlsx or .ods files. If you were to offer .csv files please use tab as your field-separator rather than the comma to avoid formatting accidents.

Otherwise PDF should be fine to get a clean printout from any browser (Msoft, Mozilla, Google etc, etc). Thanks for requesting feedback!


I too tend to extract information from the review and transfer manually to a spreadsheet to do the final selection and take to the shops.

I would like it if the top horizontal section with the product details and the first column with the criteria remain frozen on the page as you scroll left/right or up/down. This is because when I scroll for example to the right, I lose track the criterion/criteria being displayed, or if I scroll down the list I lose sight of which product is in which column.

It would also be a boon if you had a ‘same as’ entry. Some brands produce goods under many brands. Sometimes the products are identical, or all but identical with only cosmetic differences. Sometimes it is just the product identifyer that is different. With this ‘same as’ information our choices would be vastly increased because we could see what other products to look out for, or if negative, what to avoid.


This seems to be the quickest and optimal solution - otherwise it’s cut and paste for ages


In the past when you’ve wanted to print a comparison table, tell us what frustrated you.

Like others I don’t tend to print, because browsers are really bad at formatting ‘complex’ layouts.
I also cut/paste. Sometimes I also do a screen capture and print that, as it doesn’t get reformatted.

I note you say “This will be the View 'shortlist’ view” I have been getting that for some time.
I don’t like one aspect. You got rid of the blue X buttons on each product (shown on your examples), both on the Compare All & shortlist. My usage was to click X to get rid of products I find I dislike as a first step, I can’t do that any more.

But back on topic.

This will be the ‘Compare all’ view. What do you find useful about this preview, and what not?

Useful is the actual information, what detracts from it is all that wasted white space (this also applies to viewing in the browser), there are margins around everything, when you print you want concentrated information.
For example ‘Test Results’ has space before, a line of information ‘Choice expert rating’, larger space after, a line, space before, a line of info, space after, a line etc.
If that printed like you would print a book, with a table, it would be more concise.
It would also save paper.
As others say, repeating the images on every page is not good, but keep the product name.
Having half of ‘Measured heat up time’ one one page, then as a whole on the next is not good.
Likewise, half of a product column on the right is useless.

This will be the View 'shortlist’. What do you find useful about this preview, and what not?
See above, re white space.
This also applies horizontally. With few products it would be better to spread out the product columns evenly to fill the page, thus text heavy entries like ‘good points’ would have fewer lines and be more readable, it would also save paper.


In the past when i have attempted to print one of your comparison pages it takes 2-3 screen shots or when i use a scissor tool to copy your reviews it is far too large for just 1 attempt.


Hear, hear. Definitely want concentrated information, logically and consistently arranged


Thank you so much for addressing this issue. I often print stuff to PDF so I can use it later. It is hard to take active web pages and make them into printed material so I appreciate your concerns.

I’d like to choose the criteria I print and to choose landscape or portrait depending on the number of selected items to compare.