How do I print the text only from a web page?

Posted By : Ken Colburn of Data Doctors on January 22, 2001


Is there any way to print the text only of a web page? Often times I find valuable information surrounded by lots of pictures and ads that waste the ink in my printer. Please help!



This question was answered on January 22, 2001. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Since most of the “free” Internet sites are advertiser based, dealing with ads as well as unneeded images when you simply want a recipe or instructions on how to do something, can get both annoying and expensive Not only does it take that much longer to print the page, but also as you stated, it sucks up a bunch of ink.

Many information-based sites have an option for a “Printer-friendly” or “Printable” version of the page (usually towards the bottom or right side of the page), but they seem to always sneak in at least one banner ad at the top.

If you want to regain control of what prints out you have a couple of options The first is to use the Windows Copy/Paste technique that I discussed in a previous column (available at <a href=""><font color="#003399">></b></font></a>) to make a copy of the text and place it into another program such as Word or WordPad Once it is in this other program, you can edit, delete or print the text (isn’t this how most of our kids are doing their homework these days?) or even save it as a file for future use.

The other method is better for anyone that just wants a quick hard copy of something that they see such as a recipe Since I love to cook, I often peruse the offerings at various food related sites such as <a href="" target="_blank"><font color="#003399"> </font></a>or <a href="" target="_blank"><font color="#003399"></font></a> for recipes When I find one that I want to try, I print the text only of the recipe to take to the kitchen.

Start by putting your mouse at the top left corner of the text you wish to print Click and hold the left mouse button down and drag the mouse to the bottom right corner of the desired text This should highlight the body of the text you wish to print (typically in blue) The next step is to click on the File menu, then on the Print option This should launch the Print window for your printer Before telling it to print, be sure to change the “Print Range” from “All” to “Selection”

This method of selective printing works in most any Windows based programs including most standard e-mail programs In AOL Version 6, you must choose the Options tab before printing to be able to change the Print Range setting.

Another tip for anyone that prints often from the web or has kids with no concept of the “expensive ink cartridge syndrome” is to change to default print mode from color to black so that everything prints in black ink You can override this setting during any print job, but it will always default to black Also, make sure the print mode is set to the lowest setting (often called “Speed” mode), which uses the least amount of ink Text print jobs generally look no different in the lowest resolution modes and it can increase the speed in which you get your printout.

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Posted by Ken Colburn of Data Doctors on January 22, 2001


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