MacMost Now 847: Printing a Portion Of a Document Or Web Page

You don't always need to print an entire document. Sometimes only a portion of a single page is all that is needed. By using OS X's ability to print to a PDF that opens in Preview, and some quick keyboard shortcuts, you can select and print only a small portion of a page, therefore saving paper and ink. This tip works for web pages, documents, or anything that can be printed.

Comments: 31 Responses to “MacMost Now 847: Printing a Portion Of a Document Or Web Page”

    Cliff
    6 years ago

    Gary,
    This doesn’t work for Snow Leopard, right?

      6 years ago

      If you have Snow Leopard, try it and see. Each version of OS X included a new update to Preview, so it may be that you can’t do it with Snow Leopard. But it is easy to find out — just try it.

        Cliff
        6 years ago

        I tried it but I don’t get the same options from the Tool bar menu as your video showed. Oh well, stuck in caveman status.

          6 years ago

          Snow Leopard’s Preview does have the same features, just in a different location. It pays to play around with software and try things — that’s the best way to learn.
          Go to the Tools menu and choose Select Tool. Then select the area, Edit, Copy, then File, New From Clipboard. It works. Very close to how it is done in Mountain Lion, just the selection tool is in a slightly different place.

            Cliff
            6 years ago

            Thanks.
            Cliff

    Antrim
    6 years ago

    Isn’t there a Print Selection service as part of the OS? I have such a service on my machine, but can’t remember where it came from,

      6 years ago

      I believe that is for a selection of text only, not for a rectangular selection of a page or document. So it wouldn’t be useful for most web pages and other complex things.

    James Dawson
    6 years ago

    Thanks for the alternative,
    I usually use Shift-Cmd-4 to get a png on my desktop or Ctrl-Shift-Cmd-4 to get the selection to the clipboard where you can paste it into preview but of course you ONLY have rectangular selection (text selection is greyed out).
    But I see now your way is good for zooming in.

    Rick
    6 years ago

    Great tip Gary. Will save a lot of ink and paper! Thanks.

      Mac Carter
      6 years ago

      I agree… GREAT TIP!!! I always wanted a simple, fast way to do this.

    madtoe
    6 years ago

    I use Snapz Pro…. It’s faster and worth the price. :-)

      6 years ago

      For screenshots, yes. But keep in mind that a screenshot creates a bitmap at your screen resolution. But this technique will create a smooth copy of text and graphics so when printed or saved will look much better.

    jan
    6 years ago

    Can’t tell you how useful this information is! I’ve wanted to be able to do this
    for a very, very long time.

    Thank you so much. You’re awesome!

    Richard Johnston
    6 years ago

    You’re tips are awesome!

    Marsha Avery
    6 years ago

    Gary,

    That was helpful but a lot of steps. I save many emails so it would be nice just to save the body of the email in my file. Is there any other way – one that doesn’t require copy, paste etc. that this can be accomplished? Thanks.

    Marsha Avery

      6 years ago

      Not that I can think of. This technique only takes a second with the keyboard shortcuts. Try it a few times and you’ll see it is pretty quick.

    Larry Kraus
    6 years ago

    Great tip. I have OS X version 10.6.8, but it doesn’t have a rectangular selection under Tools. Is there some other way to do this? I can’t believe Pages and Numbers don’t have an easy way to print only a portion of the file. Is there some way to highlight an area and print only that area? Thanks.

      6 years ago

      See the earlier comment where I address doing this in Snow Leopard in response to Cliff.

    Jim White
    6 years ago

    Gary –
    Great tip, thank you. I am relatively new to the Mac world and am learning that Preview is useful in many unexpected ways.

    Eric Jackson
    6 years ago

    Pretty cool Gary! Thanks so much for this tip. I always look forward to your tutorials and emails. I’ve recommended your website to our MacSig club at my place of employment.

    Alan Wharton
    6 years ago

    I hope this will save me a lot of paper, thanks for the tip Garry. And, oh by the way, as a silver server, how can I play your videos back in slowmo? Thanks Alan.

      6 years ago

      I don’t think YouTube offers any slow motion option — but you can always just use the pause button as much as you want.

    Karen
    6 years ago

    Absolutely Brilliant!! I always use Cmd Shift 4 but have been disappointed by the pixelated outcome. This is the perfect solution and so quick and easy. Thank you so much Gary!

    Karen
    6 years ago

    This tip is terrific! I’ll use it to print coupons I receive from stores and restaurants. I like saving ink! Thank you.

    slracine
    6 years ago

    Excellent tip! This is not only saving money but is a good way of going a little greener for those of you who care. This is a very useful practice in office environments just because it’s good form.

    I subscribe to The MacMost news letter and almost always find something useful. I like the way I don’t get hammered by useless email from this subscription. Just good info every few weeks. Thanks, Gary and everyone supporting him! Keep up the good work!

    George
    6 years ago

    Your podcasts are almost always helpful to me, but this is one of the best! Thanks so much for the tip!

    Chris
    6 years ago

    One of the best videos I’ve seen. Thanks, Gary!

    mary parks
    6 years ago

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    Glenn
    6 years ago

    Thanks for the video, Gary.

    Jenny
    6 years ago

    How do I get info that is partially on two pages, onto one page?

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