Print From Web Without Wasting Ink Paper

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

First up? 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.

Another example:

Let’s take a look at that tool bar:

The following options are available on PrintFriendly:

  • Print
  • PDF
  • 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 Features

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:

User  photo
support
GreenPrint Support
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.

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5 responses to “Print From Web Without Wasting Ink Paper

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Print From Web Without Wasting Ink Paper « Supermunk's Blog -- Topsy.com

  2. I was pretty excited to find this post. Unfortunately, both of these services were so buggy that I couldn’t use either.

    PrintFriendly didn’t work with Firefox for me. It worked in Explorer, but the generated page had zero images at all, even with the delete images checkbox unchecked. The article had some charts that were critical to understanding the story.

    Greenprint’s drag-selection tool simply didn’t work. There was no way to edit the pages.

    PrintFriendly seems the easiest to use by far, it just needs some user controls for including images. Perhaps setting rules or filters for a page. Thanks for the article.

    • Something I discovered about PrintFriendly after several uses… It tends to cut off images or articles depending on how the blog it comes from is formatted. So not all of if will show up if the blog template is all fancy tricked out (that tends to mess with PF).
      You can click on the article’s Print function (not the one in the browser) and when it brings up the lean version without all the ads, bells, & whistles, you can try PF over it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

      I’ve had issues with PF on Safari but not FF. I know, weird! Also, Firefox 3.6 is known for being buggy as well, but tomorrow is the debut of Firefox 4 BETA so you may wanna give it another shot. Just sayin’. Thanx for reading!

  3. Thanks for all the great information. I read about GreenPrint on someone’s blog but didn’t mark the post. While googling phrases to come up with the topic again, I found your blog post and followed your leads — then I blogged about printing without photos, too, leading any interested parties to your post.

    • No, thank you! I always appreciate folks spreading the word. (^-^) And there is something I wanted to say about Greenprint and it was that one of their drivers came out all buggy on my computer, something that happened later on after I blogged about it. I’m not sure if it’s because my machine is super old and has it’s own issues, but I suspect as long as you have more than 1gig RAM, you shouldn’t have any problems. If not, do a reinstall or stick with PrintFriendly.

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