This Chrome Extension Makes Cluttered Webpages Print-Friendly

deepblue4you/iStock via Getty Images
deepblue4you/iStock via Getty Images / deepblue4you/iStock via Getty Images

Websites designed to look elegant on screen don't always translate well to physical paper. Anyone who has ever tried printing a webpage can attest to this: Clutter from ads and widgets ends up wasting page space (and expensive ink), while formatting issues make the content you're trying to save unreadable. But printing pages from the internet doesn't have to be more trouble than it's worth. A free Google Chrome Extension called PrintFriendly is designed to make messy websites look clean and printable.

PrintFriendly is easy to use once you install it. The next time you want a hard copy of an interesting article you find online, just click the plugin. It will bring up a version of the page with just the text and article images presented in a clear, easy-to-read layout. The content is reformatted to fit a standard printer page, so you don't need to worry about oversized margins or other examples of wasted white space. You can also edit the layout, scale, and margin size of the page in the preview window.

The same extension can be used to save clutter-free versions of webpages to your computer. Instead of choosing to print the reformatted webpage, you can elect to save the file as a digital PDF. That way, you can read the simplified article when you're offline and print it later if decide you want a physical copy.

The internet isn't always a user-friendly place, but optimizing your browser can make it feel more hospitable. There are plugins for keeping track of your tabs, saving longreads, and making URLs and email addresses clickable. Here are more Google Chrome extensions that will help you get the most out of the internet.