Printing from the Internet should be easy to read, and not print useless junk (say Advertisements with me) to save paper and ink. Not to mention those print outs look awful. Taylor Norrish understood that and founded PrintFriendly back in 2009 by teaming up with Manu Janardhanan for the heavier technology stuff. Together they created a simple and FREE tool to make printing web pages better for your bank account and the environment (bonus!) PrintFriendly claims to “make a printer friendly and PDF version of any webpage.” And it works.
It accomplishes the task by removing the unnecessary crap, including the navigation buttons and any advertisements. By focusing on printing only the content area it reduces the number of pages needed to print and the amount of ink your printer will use. A bonus is the prettifying (is that even a word?) of the content itself, reshaping the information for easy readability.
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Did I mention it’s super easy to use? Well, it really is.
You don’t even need to install anything. Simply head over to PrintFriendly.com and paste your link in the box provided, click “print preview” and it generates a printer friendly version of the website you provided in a Print Preview. There are three options available to you; printing the webpage, saving it as a PDF document, or you can email yourself or someone else.
Before you head over I wanted to point out three nifty features that actually will help people more. It has the ability to 1) remove images, offering more paper and ink savings, 2) allows you to adjust the text size, between 70% (less paper, less ink) to 130% (easier to read in print), and 3) gives you the ability to ‘delete’ any section of content.
You’ll also notice in the sample above, it offers a simple approach to offering the information. At the top is the title of the webpage, or website, you’ve provided. Below the line it offers the website’s URL in bold, followed by the rest of the URL link in a lighter shade. There’s even a little favicon Logo of the site. And yes, they throw in an advertisement of their very own in the upper page of all pages printed. You can see it for yourself in the pop up print box.
WordPress users get the convenience of a PrintFriendly Plugin. The free version shows ads only in the email confirmation window, while the paid subscription removes them. The Pro Version offers real person support and making it Ad-Free. It’s $4 per month, or $40 yearly.
Now, that’s all there really is to it. Of course, if you are planning to use it more often they created a handy PrintFriendly Chrome Extension. If you use another browser, such as FireFox, you can still use this by dragging a “Bookmarket” into your Bookmarks Bar. Other compatible browsers include Internet Explorer, Safari, iPad & iPhone, and others. All these options are provided, with instructions, on their website under Browser Tool.
For those of you building websites, this tool could be helpful in creating a customizable Website Button for yourself, a friend or even a client. Choose your type of website, a button style, any features you want, and you’ll be provided with copy-and-paste code. There is a helpful support center for those of you choosing this route.
Sample: The button below used the simple “website” option for getting a button. There is another option for WordPress users, plus one for Drupal users.
In conclusion, it’s a simple and helpful tool for people who tend to print from the Internet. It doesn’t matter how often as they provide several options for different types of users. Personally, I’d use it for trying new recipes. The offered WordPress Plugin is great as, according to W3Techs, WordPress is currently used for 21.5% of all websites.
What do you think? Are you planning to use this website in the future? Let us know in the comments below.