Even though we live in an increasingly digital world, many people still can’t let go of paper. Look around any office (even your home office) and you’ll see a hard copy of some content from one website or another. The next time you’re on public transit, take a peek at your fellow passengers; chances are at least one of them is reading a printed web page.
But if you look closely at those print outs, you’ll see that there’s often a lot of paper wasted. When you print a web page, you’re printing exactly what you’re seeing on screen. All menus, headers, images, and other cruft. And let’s be honest: not all websites have a printer-friendly version.
If you need to print a web page, you can do it while saving some paper and ink. How? with a couple of nifty services called Print Friendly and Joliprint.
Print Friendly takes a web page, cleans out things like ads and navigation menus, and leaves you with a plain page. From there, you can either print the page immediately or convert it to a PDF file. All you have to do is copy the URL of the page, then go to the Print Friendly website. From there, paste the URL into a field and click Print Preview.
After a few seconds, a printer-friendly version of the page appears. In the preview, you can delete certain elements, change the size of the font, or get rid of all images on the page.
Then, click either Print or PDF. If you click PDF, the service generates a stripped-down PDF file. The file is plain, but readable.
There’s also an email button, but I’ve never been able to get it to work for me.
Joliprint is somewhat similar to Print Friendly. The main differences are that you can’t delete elements on a page and Joliprint only creates PDF files. But it creates those files with a little more style than Print Friendly.
As with Print Friendly, you only need to copy and paste a URL into a field at the Joliprint website and then click joliprint it!.
After a few seconds, you’re asked to download a PDF. And a nice PDF is it, too. It’s laid out in two columns and in a very nice, very readable font.
Making Things Easier
Copying a URL, going to either site, pasting a URL in a field, and then clicking a button is a bit of a chore. You can cut out the a lot of that by adding a bookmarklet to your web browser. You can find instructions for doing that with Print Friendly and Joliprint at their websites. Once you add the bookmarklet, all you need to do is click a button.
If you have a website or blog, you can also add a Print Friendly or Joliprint button to it. It gives visitors to your site or blog an opportunity to generate a printer-friendly version of a post or a page. No need for you to worry about server-side trickery or using Cascading Style Sheets to create a printer-enabled version of your pages.
Print Friendly and Joliprint aren’t the only services to do this on the web, but they both do a great job, and are quick and easy to use. Both are great for archiving web content and printing. And best of all, they save time, paper, and ink.