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The “Other” Print Command

A friend of mine found a great recipe on the internet but when she printed it, she was disappointed . . . not with the recipe (the brownies were delicious!), but with the printed page itself.

Sure, the recipe printed, but so did everything else: the website header, various ads, the site’s navigation bar, the search box, and other peripheral information.

Not only were these various items distracting, the space they took up on the page forced the recipe itself to print in tiny type, or to cut off the right edge of the directions. And the ads wasted a lot of expensive color ink. Not very friendly.

Is there a better way? Sometimes.

My friend printed the recipe the way we’ve all been taught to print anything from our computer: File > Print.

This works for printing most applications: word processing, spreadsheets, images, calendars, etc. But when printing from the internet, the File > Print sequence often prints the whole window: headers, ads, and all.

Some websites for recipes, coupons, airline confirmations, boarding passes, and forms now include a “printer-friendly” option for printing just the salient content, but you need to look for it; it’s usually within the window itself, and not up on the menu bar. It is worth looking for.

There is another way to print only what you want from your screen — it’s called taking a “screen shot” — and it is a very useful skill. You can Google it if you wish, or wait for me to address it in an upcoming ITmail.