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Print Selection

Sometimes you might just want to print a selection of a webpage or a document, and not all the text and graphics that surround it.

How do you do it?

In most cases, it is quite easy. Select the area you wish to print (click and hold down your cursor and drag it from upper left to lower right; the selection will become highlighted), click “File” and then “Print.” When the print dialog box opens, click “Selection.” Then click “Print.”

Voila! Only your selection prints.

This works in Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Word, Excel, and most other frequently used programs. Interestingly, it does not work this way in Safari or Apple Mail; there is no “Selection” option in the print dialogue box. I don’t know why.

If you wish to print selections from Safari or Apple Mail, there is a way, albeit not as simple as in other programs. First, you have to set it up (just once):

  • Go to System Preferences (under the apple or on your dock)
  • Click the “Keyboard” icon
  • Click the “Shortcuts” tab at the top
  • Click the “Services” tab in the left hand column
  • Scroll down under the “Text” section and check “New TextEdit Window Containing Selection”
  • Close the window

Now that it’s set up:

  • Go to a webpage in Safari or to an email in Apple Mail
  • Highlight a section you want to print (something must be highlighted for this to work)
  • Click the word “Safari” (or “Mail”) at the top of your screen
  • Click “Services”
  • From the fly-out menu, click “New TextEdit Window Containing Selection”

The selected text will appear in a new window in the TextEdit program. Click “File” and then “Print” from the upper menu bar. Then click “Print.”

After the selection prints, you can close the TextEdit box, choosing to save it or not save it.

Maybe Apple’s next software update will include a “Print Selection” option. I’ve been waiting….