Printee: make any web page printer friendly with this Internet Explorer extension

8
254

Printee is a free Internet Explorer extension designed to remove elements of a webpage to create a perfectly printable page without ads or extra information (e.g sidebars, unrelated images, other stories on the page) that you might not want to waste ink and paper printing.

Provides a single-click wizard when pressing CTRL+G that can provide a printer-ready page on-demand, instantly eliminating extraneous page elements.

Imagine the situation: you just found a nice article online that you want to print (or save to a mobile device to read later while on-the-go). And while a lot of sites offer a “printable version of this article” option, many others, such as Freewaregenius for example, do not. In this case (and if you are using Internet Explorer) you can use Printee to quickly strip the page of all text and images that you do not want.

You can do this manually or press CTRL+G for an automated cleanup, and then print the page or save or clip it for later use. You will also have much more control over what to include and exclude than a “printable version” could ever provide.

Printee screenshot1-1

Here are more notes on this software:

  • How it works: once installed, you can add the “Printee” icon to your IE toolbar (see below for how to do that). Once you are ready to start editing a page for printing you can do one of 3 things (a) right click and drag the mouse over the page elements to start selecting; (b) double click CTRL, then left click on page elements to start selecting them, or (c) click on the Printee button in the IE toolbar, the left click elements to select. Once you have something (anything) selected simply right click and you will get a useful little context menu that can help you refine your selection.
  • One click wizard: pressing CTRL+G is instant magic that will produce a printable version of your page instantly. Try it.
  • Printee screenshot5More on how to use: if selecting manually, remember that you don’t have to select the elements you want all at once. Start off by selecting those elements inside your text that you don’t want and remove those first. If your text is a dark font on a dark background make sure to use the “remove background” function.
  • Styles: you can quickly flip through several interesting pre-defined styles (sort of like “skins” for your printout).
  • Fonts and margins: are easily editable. Change font or font size for your entire document or sections of it. Manipulating the desired margins (width) of your document is also a breeze.
  • Other functions: you can print or email the edited page (using your system’s default email client)

Wish list (or how this software can be even better)

  • Allow exiting out of Printee selection mode by pressing Esc. Currently, if you want to abort selecting you need to display the Printee toolbar and click on the “x” in the right corner [update: implemented in v.1.5.3.1].
  • The ability to disable right click+drag, as I found that the selection mode is frequently accidentally launched when right clicking stuff on the page.  [update: implemented in v.1.5.3.1].
  • A Firefox version. For those of us (like me) who use both browsers.

The verdict: the real strength of this software and what makes it much better than, say, web-based services that do the same thing (such as PrintWhatYouLike) is the automated CTRL+G instant-printable-page function.

If you use IE and find yourself printing a lot of web content for whatever reason you will find this an invaluable addition to your browser (I am planning a Top-10 IE extensions post and I think this one will make it to the list). My only criticism is that the manual element selection process could have been more user friendly as it is it takes a little bit of getting used to.

Version Tested: 1.5.2

Compatibility: Windows 2000, 2003, XP, Vista. Requires Internet Explorer 6, 7, or 8.

The program page no longer exists, but you can download ver. 1.7.5 of the program here.