The Print What You Like (PWYL) editor provides an effective way to save ink and paper when printing webpages. Because printer ink is more expensive per ml than oil or caviar it is always worth trying to save ink.
Printing in grayscale and/or draft mode may help but you still end up printing unnecessary banners, adverts and sidebars etc. And it doesn’t help if you want a color print in good quality…
Another option is to use much cheaper compatible ink, that I reviewed here instead of genuine cartridges from the manufacturer. But what if you want top quality color prints?
How Print What You Like Editor Helps Save Ink
Print What You Like (PWYL) is a webpage editor that offers a more effective way to save ink and paper – you can just print the parts of the page that you want!
It lets you choose which elements of the page you want to keep – so you can avoid printing unwanted adverts, animations and junk.
As an example, here is a sample Lifehacker page before any editing:
Here is the same page after using the Print What You Like editor to remove unwanted elements from the page:
The left sidebar is the PWYL menu – the rest of the page is the original article with all the adverts and rubbish removed. Clearly that’s going to save a ton of ink!
Note: I left in two pictures but I could have removed them with just a single click. And I could have changed all the green text to black if required – black cartridges usually contain much more ink than color cartridges so it often makes sense to save color ink if possible.
There are three ways that you can use the PWYL editor:
1. Print What You Like Online – No Installation Required
Visit the editor website and enter the URL (address) of the website page you want to print. The PWYL editor displays the page with a left sidebar menu.
As you move the cursor around the page, elements of it are highlighted in red – if you haven’t worked with inline element editors before you will soon learn how to choose specific areas – you can select a whole page, paragraph, title or heading etc.
Clicking a highlighted element displays a sub-menu:
Using this menu you can ‘Remove’ the contents of an element from the page (get rid of junk) or ‘Isolate’ it which keeps only this selected element – great for extracting just the main article on a page.
This online method is useful if you only want to save ink and paper occasionally – and it gives you the chance to have a play using all the editor options without having to install anything.
However, it does require manual entry of the URL which is probably too cumbersome for frequent use – and you can’t use it for a secure URL e.g. a shopping basket where you have to be logged into a site to view that page.
For easier use on any webpage, use one of the following two methods.
2. Browser Bookmarklet
A bookmarklet is a piece of code stored as a button in the bookmarks toolbar of the web browser. See the instructions here to install it in your browser – Chrome, Firefox, IE, Safari and Opera etc are all supported.
Once installed, click the Print What You Like button to display the editor in the left of the page and start editing away, just like in the previous method.
3. Chrome Extension
Users of Chrome could install the bookmarklet from the previous method but, if you don’t want to have to display the bookmarks toolbar, there is a Chrome specific extension.
The highly rated Print What You Like extension can be installed from Chrome’s webstore here.
The editor’s side menu offers a variety of quick options to hide images, background or margins and there is an Undo button to revert any changes if they don’t look right. There is also an option to save the webpage to PDF or HTML instead of (or as well as) printing it.
The PDF option works very well and is a simple way to create a PDF of a webpage for easy storage or sharing.
Note: the ‘Save As’ feature sends the content of the page to the PrintWhatYouLike.com server and third parties (to perform the conversion) – so, for privacy, don’t try to ‘Save’ a webpage with personal or secret info on it…
Print What You Like editor is an excellent way to hide unwanted elements of a page and remove junk or pictures.
It offers a strong feature set and a variety of methods to use it. It is a helpful tool to save ink and paper when printing webpages – and the online version lets you experiment without even installing anything.