Before I knew anything about inkjet cartridge yields and costs, I would just hit the Print button. Although I reuse paper, I was still wasting money on ink cartridges. This was because I had little page control over what was printed. I could print using “draft mode”, but that wasn’t enough. And using the Print Selection on my DeskJet didn’t work well if I had discontinuous items.
2 Ways to Print What You Like
I was little skeptical about Print What You Like as I had tried print management utilities such as HP Smart Web Printing. At first, that program worked well, but then it started giving me software driver problems and I uninstalled it.
Although the program is small, it’s packed with features such as:
- Ability to isolate items you want to print
- Increase or decrease font sizes
- Change from one font to another
- Remove images, ads, comments
- Combine items from different web pages
Print Friendly Alternative
You’ve probably seen websites that offer print-friendly pages. The webmaster has created a separate template that removes extraneous information such as ads. The Print icon I have to the right of each story headline does a print-friendly version. But not all sites offer this convenience.
As example, I used PrintWhatYouLike on a useful Twitter guide. The guide is informative, but 24 pages. It’s getting longer as people add comments. There were also sections I didn’t need as I was familiar with them.
To remove an item, I clicked the Print bookmarklet on my toolbar. That opened the program on the left side of the browser. I could select page objects and change them using my mouse and right-clicking. There is a bit of a learning curve, but you quickly get the hang of it.
In the example below, I chose to remove the Twitter Fail Whale graphic. You can repeat this process with other page items or allow the program to “Do it For me”. This is where the software removes as much extraneous info as possible. If too much is removed, you can click Undo and the content reappears. The process works the same if you use the service from www.printwhatyoulike.com.
Saving a Web Page as PDF
Another great feature is you can save a web page as a PDF file. I have some friends that won’t look at a webpage even if I send them an email link. However, they will look at an attached file. I could’ve used this service earlier this week when I needed to save a conference pass, but I wasn’t near a printer.
This process converts most web pages, but I did encounter two issues. I like to use a Firefox security add-on called NoScript which is incompatible with this feature. I also noticed that some pages, such as the Twitter guide above, the service can’t convert the webpage to a PDF file. My guess is its too large a page. You’ll get an error message with a cute picture.
I’ve found this free ink-saving utility very worthwhile. The company provides a nice demo that highlights some of the features. It does take some experimenting to see which features work best on sites. If you make a mistake, it’s easy to recover using the Undo button. While I can’t quantify how much money and paper I’ve saved, I can see visible differences. And every bit counts.
Additional Product Information
- Website: www.PrintWhatYouLike.com
- Cost: Free
- Requirements: Run from website or browser bookmarklet
- Rating: ★★★★
Last Updated (Saturday, 19 June 2010 10:03)