How to Print a Web Page

Print web pages without ads quickly and easily

Printer printing a web page.
Secrets of printing a web page. Pixabay / CCO Creative Commons

Printing a web page from your browser should be as easy as selecting the option to print this page. And in most cases it is, but when the website includes lots of ads your printer will waste ink or toner on content you don’t want, or spew out so much paper because each ad seems to demand its own page.

Printing the important content while minimizing or eliminating the ads can be very helpful. This can be especially important with DIY articles that contain detailed instructions.

No one wants to be trying to install a new operating system, or fixing the rear oil seal on their car's engine while flipping through unnecessary printouts. Or even worse not printing the instructions at all, hoping you will remember them.

We're going to examine how to print a web page with as few as ads as possible for each of the major web browsers including Explorer, Edge, Safari, and Opera. If you noticed that Chrome seemed to be absent, that's because you can find the needed instructions in the article: How to Print Web Pages in Google Chrome.

Printing in the Edge Browser

Edge is the newest browser from Microsoft, replacing Internet Explorer in Windows 10. Printing a web page can be done using the following steps:

  1. Launch the Edge browser and browse to the web page you would like to print.
  2. Select the browser's menu button (three dots in a line in the far right upper corner of the browser window.) and pick the Print item from the drop-down menu that appears.
  1. The Print dialog box will appear.
    • Printer: Use the Printer menu to select from a list of printers that have been set up for use with Windows 10. If you haven’t set up a printer yet, you can choose the Add a Printer item to start the printer install process.
    • Orientation: Select from printing in Portrait or Landscape.
    • Copies: Pick the number of copies you would like to have printed.
    • Pages: Allows you to select a range of pages to print, including All, Current, as well as specific pages or rage of pages.
    • Scale: Pick a scale to use, or use the Shrink to fit option to get a single web page to fit on a single paper sheet.
    • Margins: Set the non-printing margins around the edge of the paper, pick from Normal, Narrow, Moderate, or Wide.
    • Headers and footers: Choose to print any headers or footers. If you turn headers and footers on, you can see the results in the live page preview in the print dialog window.
  1. When you have made your selections, click the Print button.

Ad-Free Printing in the Edge Browser

The Edge browser includes a built-in reader that will render a web page without all the extra junk (including ads) that routinely take up space.

  1. Launch Edge and navigate to a web page you would like to print.
  2. Just to the right of the URL field is a small icon that looks like a small open book. Click on the book to enter the Reading View.
  3. Click the More button.
  4. From the drop-down menu, select Print.
  5. The Edge browser will display its standard print options, including a preview of the resulting document. In Reader View, you should not see any ads, and most images that are part of the article will be replaced with gray boxes.
  6. Once you have the settings correct for your print needs, click the Print button at the bottom.

    Edge printing tips: Ctrl + P + R opens the Reader View. In the print dialog box, you can use the Printer selection menu to pick Microsoft Print to PDF if you would prefer a PDF copy of the web page.

Printing in Internet Explorer

Although Internet Explorer has been superseded by the Edge browser, many of us may still be using the older browser. To print web pages in the desktop version of IE 11, follow these instructions:

  1. Open Internet Explorer and navigate to the web page you wish to print.
  2. Click the Tools button (Looks like a gear) in the far right upper corner of the browser.
  3. Roll over the Print item and select Print from the menu that opens.
    • Select Printer: At the top of the Print windows is a list of all of the printers that have been configured for use with your copy of Windows. Make sure the printer you wish to use is highlighted. If you have a lot of printers available, you may need to use the scroll bar to see the entire list.
    • Page Range: You can select to print all, the current page, a page range, or if you had highlighted a specific section on the web page, you can just print the selection.
    • Number of Copies: Enter the number of printed copies you would like.
    • Options: Select the Options tab at the top of the Printer window. The options available are specific to web pages and includes the following:
    • Print frames: If the web page makes use of frames, the following will be available; As laid out on the screen, Only the selected frame, All frames individually.
    • Print all linked documents: If checked, and documents that are linked to the current page will also be printed.
    • Print table of links: When checked a table listing all the hyperlinks within the web page will be appended to the printed output.
  1. Make your selections then click the Print button.

Print Without Ads in Internet Explorer

Windows 8.1 includes two versions of IE 11, the standard desktop version and the new WIndows 8 UI (formely known as Metro). The Windows 8 UI version (also called Immersive IE) includes a built-in reader that can be used to print web pages ad-free.

  1. Launch IE from the Windows 8 UI interface (click on the IE tile), or if you have the desktop version of IE open, select File, Open in Immersive Browser.
  2. Browse to a website who's article you would like to print.
  3. Click on the Reader icon which looks like an open book and has the word Read next to it. You will find the reader icon to the right of the URL field.
  4. With the page now displayed in the reader format, open the Charm bar and select Devices.
  5. From the list of devices, select Print.
  6. A list of printers will be displayed, select the printer you wish to use.
  7. The print dialog box will appear allowing you to select the following:
    • Orientation: Portrait or landscape.
    • Copies: preset to one, but you can change the number to how many you wish to have printed.
    • Pages: All, current, or a page range.
    • Print Size: offer to print at various sizes from 30% to 200%, with a default option of shrink to fit.
    • Turn Headers on or off: On or off are the choices available.
    • Margins: Pick from normal, moderate, or wide.
  8. When you have made your choices, click the Print button.

Printing in Safari

Safari makes use of the standard macOS printing services. To print a web page using Safari, follow these steps:

  1. Launch Safari and browser to the web page you wish to print.
  2. From Safari's File menu, select Print.
  3. The print sheet will drop down, displaying all of the available printing options:
    • Printer: Use the drop-down menu to select a printer to use. You can also select the option to Add a Printer from this menu if no printers have been configured for use with your Mac.
    • Presets: You can select from a list of saved printer settings that define how the current document will be printed. In most cases, the Default Settings will be preselected.
    • Copies: enter the number of copies you would like to have printed. One copy is the default.
    • Pages: choose from All or a range of pages.
    • Paper Size: Use the drop-down menu to select from a range of papers sizes supported by the selected printer.
    • Orientation: Choose from portrait or landscape as depicted by icons.
    • Scale: enter a scale value, 100% is the default.
    • Print backgrounds: You can choose to print the web pages background color or image.
    • Print headers and footers: Choose to print the headers and footers. If you're not sure, you can see how they will look in the live preview to the left.
  4. Make your selection and click Print.

Print Without Ads in Safari

Safari supports two methods of printing a website without ads, the first, which we will quickly mention is to use the standard print function, as shown above, and to remove the Print backgrounds checkmark before printing. In many cases, this will keep the majority of ads from not printing, though its effectiveness depends on how the ads are laid out on the web page.

The second method is to use Safari's built-in Reader. To use the Reader view, follow these instructions:

  1. Launch Safari and browse to the web page you wish to print.
  2. In the left-hand corner of the URL field will be a small icon that looks like a couple of rows of very small text. Click on this icon to open the web page in Safari's Reader. You can also use the View menu and select Show Reader.
    Not all websites support the use of a page reader. If the website you are visiting is blocking readers, you will not see the icon in the URL, or the Reader item in the View menu will be dimmed.
  3. The web page will open in the Reader View.
  4. To print the Reader view of the web page, follow the instructions above on Printing in Safari.

    Safari printing tips: Ctrl + P + R opens the Reader View. In the print dialog box, you can use the use the PDF drop-down menu to select Save as PDF if you would rather have a PDF copy of the web page.​

Printing in Opera

Opera does a pretty good job of printing letting you choose to use Opera's own printing setup, or use the systems standard printing dialog. In this guide, we're going to use the default Opera printing setup system.

  1. Open Opera and browse to the website whose page you wish to print.
  2. In the Windows version of Opera, Select the Opera menu button (looks like the letter O and is located in the top left corner of the browser. Then select the Print item from the menu that opens.
  3. On a Mac, select Print from Opera's File menu.
  4. The Opera print dialog box will open, allowing you to make the following choices:
    • Destination: The current default printer will be shown, you can pick a different printer by clicking the Change button.
    • Pages: You can choose to print all pages, or enter a range of pages to print.
    • Copies: Enter the number of copies of the web page you wish to print.
    • Layout: allows you to select between printing in Portrait or Landscape orientation.
    • Color: Choose between printing in color or black & white.
    • More options: Click the More options item to reveal additional printing choices:
    • Paper size: Use the drop down-menu to select from supported page sizes for printing.
    • Margins: Pick from Default, None, Minimum, or Custom.
    • Scale: Enter a scale factor, 100 is the default.
    • Headers and footers: Place a checkmark to include headers and footers with each page printed.
    • Background graphics: Place a checkmark to allow the printing of background images and colors.
  5. Make your selections and then click or tap the Print button.

Print Without Ads in Opera

Opera does not include a Reader view that would remove ads from the web page. But you can still print in Opera and have most ads scraped off the page, simply use Operas print dialog box and select the option to not print Background graphics. This works because most websites place the ads on the background layer.

Other Ways to Print Without Ads

You may find your favorite browser lacks a Reader view that can strip out the fluff, including ads, but that does not mean you're stuck having to waste paper printing ads from websites.

Most browsers support an extension or plug-in architecture that allows the browser to gain features it may never have shipped with. One of the plug-ins routinely available is a Reader.

If your browser lacks a reader, check the browser developers website for a list of add-on plugins that can be used, there is a good chance you will find a reader in the list. If you don’t find a reader plug-in consider one of the many ad blockers. They can also assist in printing a web page ad-free.