At first printing a website may seem like a silly task, but it’s exactly the request I got from a client once. They called and said, “we have a big meeting with our board and we want to print out our website – can you fax it to us.”
This task was going to take a lot of paper as the site had over 1,500 pages. We instructed them it might be best to show just the most important pages via a printout.
Though this request seems absurd, there are times when printing out a page makes sense. It is easy to markup and take notes, carry around when you don’t have internet, or show to others.
When the internet was gaining traction the idea of printing a webpage was quite popular. There were “print page” buttons scattered across the web. As time progressed these buttons have dispersed. This does not mean you can’t print a page. Today we have a few tricks for how to get those pixels to paper.
For this tutorial we will be using three:
Any browser will do, but some like Chrome have the ability to add extentions like Awesome Screenshot that make printing 100% easier.
Find Target Webpage
The page that you choose may provide complications. You want to make sure to resize to the width you want to print at. Responsive sites look different depending on the width of your site. You can use the command + and command – hotkeys to zoom in and out.
To zoom in press and hold commandCtrl while pressing +.
To zoom out press and hold commandCtrl while pressing -.
To zoom in press and hold command while pressing +
To zoom out press and hold command while pressing –
Choose the Export Method
There are three main methods for export and print: Export as PDF, Take a screenshot, or use the print method.
Export as PDF
This is the most simple method. You can then send or print the PDF. This can be found by going to File > Export as PDF.
You can also screenshot the entire page or a section of the page. This is helpful if you only want to print a certain part of the page. I like to use the tool for Chrome Awesome Screenshot.
This seems like the most logical place to start, but it actually can be quite frustrating. You can find this option by going file > print. The way the print functionality works is is
Crop, Prep For Print
Here you can see some notes I put together with Preview on my Mac.
If you have any edits to make to the page this is the stage. Use a third part program like Adobe Illustrator or Excel to add notes to the pages. You also can use one of these programs to put multiple sections together.
Print Your Page
Make sure you have your toner cartridge refilled and are ready to print. After all this work, the last thing you want is a low quality image. Make sure you have selected the same size paper that you have on your print screen. You can use any small printer at your house. If you have issues with the bleed or margins you can try another method from above or re-size.
If you are printing many pages, it is best to just print one first as a test. This way you can spot any potneital issues before printing 100 pages.
There is how you can print a webpage. Depending on the browser and operating system you are using it will change the best method. If you have any questions make sure to drop them in the comments section below!