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Conserve Your Printing Supplies with PrintWhatYouLike

Tired of wasting lots of paper and printer ink just to get useful articles printed out? Learn how you can quickly & easily clean up those webpages in Firefox or your favorite browser.

Note: There is a bookmarklet available that you can add to your favorite non-Firefox browser.

Before

Here is the “Print Preview” for a weathernewengland.com story. There is a lot of additional “junk” at the top that you just do not need with a printed version.

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The bottom of the “Print Preview” is even worse. Approximately two of the five pages for this article would be a total waste of your paper and ink. But this is a problem that is very easy to fix.

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Setup

Once you have installed the extension the only thing that you will need to do is add the “Toolbar Button” to a convenient location in your browser’s UI. There are no options for you to worry with…

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PrintWhatYouLike in Action

To get started simply press the “PrintWhatYouLike Button” for the webpage that you are wanting to print out.

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A “Sidebar” will open with various commands that allow you to tweak the webpage to best suit your printing needs. Here you can see the areas being selected for removal are outlined in red. Click within the red border to select that area and hit delete.

Note: The selected area will have a “yellow tint” as confirmation for deletion.

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Notice how much cleaner the article looks already with the removal of individually selected sections. It is also easy to remove certain areas of the article if you are wanting to exclusively focus on certain content or a specific area.

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This is the result when we tried the “Auto Format – Do It For Me!” option. It did an extremely good job of cleaning everything up with only a single click. Notice that all of the text (i.e. article title, author name) even has the same color as opposed to the screenshot shown above.

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Use the PrintWhatYouLike Website Directly

If you prefer to use a different browser (or want to avoid an additional extension in Firefox), you can visit the website directly to enter the webpage address. While you are there you can also add a bookmarklet to your browser.

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Conclusion

If you are looking for a quick and easy way to clean webpages up for printing, then the PrintWhatYouLike extension, bookmarklet, and website are going to be your printer’s best friends.

Links

Download the PrintWhatYouLike Button extension (Mozilla Add-ons)

Visit the PrintWhatYouLike website

Akemi Iwaya (Asian Angel) is our very own Firefox Fangirl who enjoys working with multiple browsers and loves 'old school' role-playing games. Visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 11/18/09

Comments (3)

  1. moopenguin32

    This seems to work really well. I don’t print many things because I’m not a paper person, but this will come in handy for the few times I do.

    Even though I’m using Firefox, I opted to use the bookmarklet. Why install an unnecessary extension when you don’t have to?

    Great find!

  2. jonrichco

    Great idea, but button didn’t install on my browser. However there is a workaround – install the add-on, click right in the webpage you want to print. PrintWhatYouLike. Click the part you want to print – should put a red border round it. Click right, isolate – most other stuff should disappear. Then remove any remaining material you don’t want – select, click right, remove. Set font size if you want.

    Or follow Moopenguin’s advice and bookmark the PWYL site, where you can paste the URL of the page you want to print.

    It’s not highly intuitive – needs more instruction, or a help screen, particularly for those of us who can’t get the button to display. Hopefully the next version will address these issues!

  3. Jonathan

    Jonrichco- we are working on making the site more intuitive. In the meantime help on using the site is available here: http://www.printwhatyoulike.com/help

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