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September 24, 2014

Printing Part of a Web Page

Filed under: Main — Tags: , — admin @ 12:01 am

I did it once last week, and then I showed the trick to my son. We both had the same problem and it was resolved in the same way: How do you print only part of a web page, as opposed to wasting multiple sheets of paper?

In my case, I wanted to print a recipe. The only information I needed was the ingredient list and the procedure. I didn’t care for the chef’s narrative or the photos — and especially all the ads.

My son wanted a series of steps to help reset a game. “I don’t want to waste six sheets of paper,” he told me.

Originally the lad was doing what anyone else would do: He copied the relevant text from the web site and pasted it into a Word document. He was then going to print that document, getting the information on paper. That’s a logical solution, and he started at the right spot, but he took too many steps.

This trick doesn’t work in every web browser, but it does work in Google Chrome, my current preferred browser.

Start by selecting the portion of the web page you want to print. This step is actually more difficult than it sounds because many web pages have complex formatting that makes selecting a specific chunk of text fairly difficult. In Figure 1 you see my portion of the recipe selected.

Figure 1. The information I want to print is selected (in blue).

Figure 1. The information I want to print is selected (in blue).

To print the selection you must summon the Print screen or dialog box. Press Ctrl+P or Command+P — do not right-click on the web page, as that deselects the text. Figure 2 shows the Chrome Print screen.

Figure 2. Chrome's preview screen shows only what I want to print.

Figure 2. Chrome’s preview screen shows only what I want to print.

Place a checkmark in the box Selection Only. That’s the secret. If your web browser doesn’t feature that option in the Print dialog box, then you can’t complete this task. Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Firefox sport Print dialog boxes that let you print selected text. Apple’s Safari browser does not.

The preview screen, shown in Figure 2, details only the selected text. For my purposes, that was the just the essential part of the Blackberry Cobbler recipe.

Click the Print button to print out only the information you need.

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