Printing a Web Page - dummies

By Andy Rathbone

Because of their graphics-rich content, you may be tempted to print a Web page. However, trying to print a Web page often provides a print that is somewhat different than what you see on-screen.

To make matters worse, all those colorful advertisements can run your printer’s color cartridges dry fairly quickly. Only four things make for successfully printed Web pages, and they are ranked here in order of success:

  • Use the Web page’s built-in Print option. Some, but not all, Web sites offer a tiny menu option called Print This Page, Text Version, Printer-Friendly Version, or something similar. That option tells the Web site to strip out its garbage and reformat the page so that it fits onto a sheet of paper. This option is the most reliable way to print a Web page.

  • Choose Print Preview from your browser’s File or Print menu. After 15 years, some Web page designers noticed that people want to print their pages, so they tweaked the settings, making their pages automatically reformat themselves when printed. You may have stumbled onto one of those sites.

  • Copy the portion you want and paste into WordPad. Try selecting the desired text from the Web page, copying it, and pasting it into WordPad or another word processor. Delete any unwanted remnants, adjust the margins, and print the portion you want.

  • Copy the entire page and paste it into a word processor. Although it’s lots of work, it’s an option. Choose Select All from Internet Explorer’s Edit menu. Then choose Copy (which is also on the Edit menu) or press Ctrl+C. Next, open Microsoft Word or another full-featured word processor and paste it inside a new document. By working away the unwanted portions, you can sometimes end up with something printable.