If I print from my web browsers’ File > Print, then all the colorful ads, buttons, widgets, useless X-tra gibberish, web addresses, and other crap shows up.
The Problem With Printing Straight From The Web
It wastes ink and paper and I ain’t made out of money!
Sometimes I reduce the zoom on my webpage (from my browser) and specifically tell my printer NOT to print that extra page that has just that last little bit of webpage cut-off at the bottom margin…
Sometimes it does print that crap. One whole paper sheet wasted! At $5:35 & upwards $6.00 a ream, (for generic print paper that is) that’s a whole lotta money, especially in this economy. And generic black ink cartridges are about $45-$52 depending if you get the xl size or not. Shit yea, money’s tight these days!
Print webpages without all the clutter
I print from the internet all the time…
I Cut & paste like crazy from any website > Microsoft Word. This way I don’t end up printing all that extra crap. But it’s too much clicking!
You have any idea how long all that set up takes???
Then I came across two apps that cuts out all those steps… PrintFriendly and Greenprint! FINALLY. And they’re both free to use for home use! (can’t beat that price, eh?)
I’ll show you how to use both in the following steps.
For this demonstration, I’m gonna go to a website:
So if I print right out of my browser with File > Print Preview, this is what would come out:
This prints out the ENTIRE webpage + all the unnecessary sidebar content. That’s 7 pages, and only because I shrunk the printable content down to 60%. If not, I’d be printing a whole 11 pages! I don’t need that. You don’t need that.
Now let’s see how it looks in PrintFriendly, shall we?
Printouts On PrintFriendly
PrintFriendly is software that lets you pick & choose website content to print.
So no more will your printer ink out all the tables/ menus/ ads/ and crap-crap-crap when all you want is to print out a given article on a website!
You can even print the accompanying images. Or not. PrintFriendly gives you choices. I’ll demonstrate, since I already installed it on my machine.
There’s 2 ways to go about using PrintFriendly for printouts.
As you can see in the image above, that’s PF’s website homepage. Where I circled number 1, you can manually enter the name of any website and it’ll get it print-ready for you:
PrintFriendly brought up our site. As you can see, it automatically selects on mouseover any elements you wish to delete.
Let’s take a look at that tool bar:
The following options are available on PrintFriendly:
- Email (opens up software of choice with selected site’s URL)
- Tweet (clips the website’s URL that you want to print and sends it via your Twitter account)
- Undo – It undoes any elements you accidentally deleted prior to printing)
- Remove Images – exactly that. Print without them.
Here’s what it does after it tweets your ready-for-print page:
The above is from my own Twitter account. It’ll ask for your login if you’ve not already done so.
And here is what it looks like when you PDF your ready-for-print page:
Now the second option I circled earlier allows you to use PrintFriendly without having to pull up their website each time, since it’s not software one installs. You do however, get to install a tiny PrintFriendly button instead!
So go to the main page and pick the Get The Bookmarklet option:
I need to explain something here. This button thing is what you’ll be clicking on everytime you want PrintFriendly to pop up for all your printing needs. You want this if you don’t want to pull up the PF website for printing stuff.
Now this button stations itself as just another ol’ bookmark. And that’s where you’re gonna put it. So drag & drop that grayish Print Friendly button I circled above in pink, and drop it’s ass right into your web browser’s Bookmarks column.
It should look something like this:
And everytime you want to use PF to print, just go into Bookmarks > Print Friendly and the PF window will pop up the same as if you were using it from their site.
Now make it easy for your own readers to PF your articles. Just click the circled portion from below and follow the instructions:
Now how easy was that I tells ya?
On The Downside: It gets buggy on webpages heavily laden with too much multi-media. I believe this is a conflict in coding, but whatever. Still decent app.
Printouts On Greenprint
Second runner up is Greenprint. It’s time to go green:
It’s a very granola company packed with stats on ecological waste and such. Their focus is on saving you and your business money and reducing waste, so yeah, win-win!
Again, I’m using Firefox as my web browser for this session but feel free to use any kind. So from my browser, File > Print :
And when your Printer window pops up, you’ll be tempted to use the default printer machine you set your computer to. But resist temptation!
Instead, scroll down the menu > Greenprint > click Ok:
Now it’s gonna look like you’re printing when in actuality, you are not.
Expect a tiny window to load up/ disappear, and in a few seconds (depending how fast your computer is) the Greenprint window will appear!
Looks like this:
I mean how freaking cool is dat???
Greenprint has the following sweet features:
- Automatic Cost-Per-Print calculation (see how much it $aves ya!)
- Zoom; accomodates all pages into view no matter how many
- PDF button – can it REALLY be??? Sweet Jebus!
- Real-time page removal & preview
- Page View (sorts each page into sequential slides)
- Page Tools, with Remove Page/Text/ Images
And here’s another sweet-ass screenshot to drool over:
Yes, you can even print as a PDF any website content you want. No need for Acrobat or to wait for the website’s author to instill a PDF plug-in on their site. How amazing is that, I ask ya?
Best guilt-free program ever. Talk about reducing carbon offsets.
On The Downside: You don’t get to pick & choose which text/ images to remove at this time. It’s all or nothing.
However, it seems there’s been many requests for such a feature and according to GP forums support admin:
Thanks for the feedback! We have had numerous requests for individual image and text removal and are pleased to report that this will be a new feature in GreenPrint 2.1, which should be available in the next few weeks.
Jul-15 2009 11:00.
Well, that’s all she wrote. Start printing and start saving.