Printing and Sharing Portions Of a Document

Have you every wanted to print only a portion of a web page, such as an airline ticket? Or, have you ever wanted to print or share a small portion of a Pages or Numbers document? You can do this easily by using the print function to send the document as a PDF to Preview. Then in preview you can crop out everything you don't need before printing or sharing it. A few clicks can save a lot of ink.

Video Transcript
So unfortunately many times we still do need to print things out. When we do we usually get a lot of stuff we don't want with it or sometimes we want to print a specific area of something and there's really no way to do that in the app. So I'm going to show you three examples of how easy it is to print only the sections of things that you want.

For instance, say you get an airline ticket on line and you want to print it. You notice there's all these advertisements and bits of information and things around it that you don't need. You just need the ticket. Now it's really hard to come up with an example of that without buying a ticket but let's use this wikipedia page as an example. Pretend one of these little images here on the right is the ticket.

So if I want to print I'll do Command P and I go to Print and you see it's going to print the whole article or in the case of the airline ticket all the extra stuff around the ticket. Instead of just going right to Print, I'm going to go to the PDF menu here and say Open in Preview. This will open the entire thing in Preview where I now can manipulate it. The first thing I want to do here is I see that pages 2 and 3 have nothing of interest. I just want the ticket. So I'm going to select in the thumbnails here on the left, if you don't see the thumbnails go to View, Thumbnails and turn that on. I'm going to select page 3 here and hit the delete key, select 2 hit the delete key. So now I'm down to one page.

Now I'm going to go and I'm going to turn on the Tools here. Let's get rid of that. Hit this little Tool button here, hit the Selection and I'm going to highlight just the thing I want. Just say this is the ticket here. Now I can go to Tools and there's Crop and it's just Command K. That will crop out everything else. Give me a little warning here. Crop it all out and now I just have that one piece there. This is exactly what I want to print out. So now I use the Print button that appears at the bottom of the window here. I print and I don't get all of the other junk. It's a great way to print out part of a web page, only that part that you want, especially when it comes down to things like airline tickets.

Now let's suppose you want to do the same thing but with something you're working on. Like a document. Like perhaps I wanted to show somebody this document here and I just wanted to show them how the top of it looked. I don't want to do the entire thing. So the same thing here. I do Command P and I use the PDF menu here as I open it in Preview. Now I can go and get rid of the pages I don't want. So I'll click on the other thumbnails here on the left. Get rid of them. Get down to this one page here and I can just print that one page. But I can also use Tools, select, select only the area that I want. Say I want to print this area out or maybe email this area to somebody. I will then go to Tools and Crop. Now I'm down to just that area. Now I can hit Print.

Or, if I want, I can actually Share this. I've got the Share menu here so I can actually hit Mail and now it will start a new email message with this PDF attached of just that section. So it's an easy way to actually send it or share it to somebody as well as to print a section of something.

Now one of most common apps where this is asked for is in Numbers. So let's look in Numbers here. I've got something typical here. I've got a bunch of stuff here, some charts, a table, and everything and it's very common for somebody to say I just want to print this pie chart. I don't want this table, I don't want this other table. I just want a section of my spreadsheet. You can do the same thing here.

Do Command P to print. Then from here I'm going to want to, I get this little print thing here so I'm going to continue by hitting Print. But here's where I go PDF, Open in Preview. Now I've got this thing in Preview. I've got all this stuff in Preview. Now I can use the editing tools. I can make a selection. Just select that. I'll use Command K to crop. Now I've just got that section. So a few clicks and you can print only a section of the actual Numbers document. You can do this with anything you can print. You can print just a section of it using this technique.

Comments: 16 Responses to “Printing and Sharing Portions Of a Document”

    Peggy Aldworth
    2/1/18 @ 9:36 am

    Thank you so much! I’ve been bumbling around forever trying to do this sort of thing. You’ve solved it! Thank you!

    Brenda Brooks
    2/1/18 @ 10:23 am

    Brilliant, so easy why didn’t I think of that. I will be using it a lot in the future, especially in Numbers. Before I was forcing graphs to fit of another page but this will be much easier.

    Ken Clayton
    2/1/18 @ 11:27 am

    Why so complicated? In Mac computers including Mavericks I could simply zoom a portion on a page that I wanted a screen shot of, hold shift, command, 3 and press. Easy. Go to desktop and ‘WALA’ there it is! Done. Now Apple for some reason has excluded this wonderful feature. With High Sierra, If I am doing several screen shots it is a nightmare of time consuming, tedious and unnecessary work, whether using Preview or Photos. A very bad decision in my opinion. Can this feature be brought back?

    2/1/18 @ 11:31 am

    Ken: You can still do screenshots that way. That functionality hasn’t changed. Perhaps you have disabled it? Check in System Preferences, Keyboard, Shortcuts, Screen Shots. That method is fine for taking screenshots, which are bitmap images at screen resolution. But the Preview method will maintain the full resolution of the area, which is better for PDFs and printing. You can also even select text if you share as a PDF.

    2/1/18 @ 11:44 am

    I’ve been using “Command/Shift/4” to copy out to the “Desktop” only what I want to print. Then open it with a “right click”, select “Open With” pick “Safari”. The selection opens in Safari then select “File” and “Print”.

    2/1/18 @ 11:48 am

    Roger: That works, but keep in mind a screenshot is a bitmap image of the pixels on the screen, and does not include smooth letters, lines, shapes, and higher resolution images. You’ll get much better printouts if you use the method described here.

    Rick Conners
    2/1/18 @ 12:08 pm

    Why not just use command shift 4?

    2/1/18 @ 12:49 pm

    Rick: See my earlier comments above.

    2/1/18 @ 12:50 pm

    You can also go to the Edit Menu after you select what you want and choose “Copy” and paste it into an email.

    Steve M
    2/1/18 @ 6:48 pm

    What if you want to print more than one part of a document but deleted other info. For instance, when I get emails confirming purchases of books, I want to print them as a receipt, keeping the “header (To & From Address, Subject, date, etc) and the purchase info. But often there is a bunch of marketing blah-blah between the header and the purchase info — as well as more stuff below that. And, often when I go to “Print”, the email becomes multiple pages …. and I’d like just one page?

    2/1/18 @ 6:53 pm

    Steve: After you delete pages you don’t want, you can always use annotations to create white-filled rectangles on the page to cover up things you don’t want.

    Steve M
    2/1/18 @ 7:08 pm

    Tks, Gary … Yes, I could do that. But covering up things with white-filled rectangles still would leave me with a document that prints on 2 pages. The only work-around I’ve found is to take screen shots of the sections I want and then paste them into a Pages document. That’s “kluge” & results don’t look very “real” — but it gets me to a single page — saving printing costs (I’m on HP’s “Instant Ink” pgm) & reduces papers in my accounting files. Need a way to cut sections instead of cropping

    2/3/18 @ 6:51 am

    Thank you!! So helpful!

    2/6/18 @ 12:14 pm

    Cropping in pdf is very useful. Is there a way to share if I am using gmail? I have not figured out how to do that, and it seems just mean of Apple to insist/assume that all sharing must be with Apple Mail.

    2/6/18 @ 12:27 pm

    Carol: The Sharing function sends the document to the Apple Mail app. The Mail app can access any email account type, including Gmail. So I’m not sure what you mean by saying that Apple insists all sharing must be done with Apple Mail. Apple Mail is just an app.

    geo lud
    2/28/18 @ 4:12 pm

    Opera browser has a snapshot feature that uses the same box feature to copy just what you want…it creates a png file you can put on your desktop…and then insert it wherever you want…..

Comments Closed.