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PrintFriendly_logoI spend a lot of time on the Web researching products, finding recipes, learning new stuff – you name it. As such, I have a frequent need to make a print web pages, usually to pass off to someone else.

If you’ve done much printing from websites, you know that it can be problematic. It might print everything, including ads, log-in boxes, headers, and a bunch of other things that aren’t really what you want. Some sites will frustratingly not print the section of the page that you went there for. Other sites just don’t seem to want to print at all.

What to do?

I’m happy to say that I’ve found a Web-based app that can make your site printing much easier. www.PrintFriendly.com  Go to this site and enter the Web address of a site or page that you’d like to print. Print Friendly will generate an interactive preview of the output for your review. It eliminates all the ads, navigation, and Web crud, leaving you with very usable output.

How usable? How interactive?

  • For starters, it gives you the option to print the site, save it as a PDF, or send it in an email.
  • It gives you the ability to increase or decrease the size of the type.
  • Print Friendly gives you the option to show or hide all images.
  • Not only that, but as you hover your mouse over the page, it gives you the choice of deleting any section of the page with a click of your mouse. This is slick. Be careful, though, because if as you hover between paragraphs Print Friendly highlights the entire page. If you highlight the entire page and click to delete, your printout won’t have any content.
  • Not happy with the changes you’ve made? Print Friendly has an undo button.
  • Install Print Friendly as a bookmarklet on your browser’s bookmark bar. (Their home page has a link that will take you to the simple directions for a number of popular browsers.) With the bookmarklet installed, you don’t have to go to Print Friendly’s website and enter the address of the site you want to print. Instead, just click the button in your browser’s bookmark bar to access all of Print Friendly’s awesome abilities from the comfort of your target site.

Here’s a short YouTube video of Print Friendly in action:

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