How to make any webpage into a printable PDF file

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Something I hear from clients from time to time – “I tried to print this web page, and when it printed it’s all messed up! What’s wrong with my printer?”  However, the problem is not with the printer – it’s working fine. But there is a solution.

printer

 

Here’s the underlying problem. A web page is designed to look good when viewed in a specific way: on your monitor. Or on your phone (actually, a properly created website will know if it’s being viewed on a computer or on a mobile device, and adapt the content so it gets displayed properly).  A web page is usually not designed to look great on paper. So if you’re looking at a website, and you just click File – Print in your web browser, the results may not be what you expect. What you see on the screen is not necessarily what you’ll get on the printed page.

But regardless of all that, you might still have a need to print content from a website. There are a couple of possible solutions.

The first option would be to see if the website itself offers a printer-friendly version of that content. Some websites do this for each page, if the content is such that people might want to print it. If a website offers this option, it’s usually seen as a little printer icon somewhere near the article to be printed:

printer icon

If you get your email at the Gmail website, you can print one of your email messages by clicking the printer icon in the top right corner of that email:

printer icon

 

But what if the website does not offer this? That brings us to option 2: printfriendly

All you have to do is highlight the website address of the page you want to print and copy it, then go to printfriendly.com and paste it there:

print friendly

When you click “Preview”, you have the option to print that page, or make it a PDF file, or even send it by email:

print, pdf or email

 

And if you find yourself needing this feature regularly, you might consider getting the browser extension to make the whole process even faster. That eliminates the need to copy and paste, and you can use it directly on the web page.

And another bonus – if you have a blog or some other type of website that your visitors might want to print, you can get the Print/PDF/Email button right on your site, to make it easy! And you might notice that the Computer Tutor website now offers that option at the top of each blog post.

print options

What do you think – is this something you will use? Let us know in the comments.

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Dick Grondin
April 15th, 2019

Scott
I certainly will use that feature.
Thanks for the tip.
Not sure how to get the browser extension?
Dick

Scott Johnson
April 15th, 2019

Browser extension is offered at the PrintFriendly website.

Michael Scott
April 16th, 2019

Used it already. Great solution to an everyday problem.