How to Print a Web Page Without Ads from Mac OS

Aug 2, 2017 - 26 Comments

Print an article or webpage without ads from Mac

If you ever print articles from the web, you may be interested in learning how to print a stripped down and more simplified version of articles so that only the article content is printed. This is made easy on a Mac with Safari, where by using a little trick you can print out a webpage article with a focus on the page content exclusively, thereby preventing you from also printing out various other page elements like advertisements, logos, buttons, widgets, polls, social media details, crazy layouts and formatting, and other information that is not particularly worthwhile to print to paper. The end result is a simplified printed article that is focusing only on the article content and article pictures, without any extraneous details or complex layouts; instead you’ll get just a nice simple and clean article printed out with text and images.


Another added bonus to this slimmed down article printing approach is that you can save a bit of printer ink and printer paper too, since unwanted or unnecessary content won’t be printed out with the article.

This approach to printing out simplified versions of webpages will use Safari Reader mode in Mac OS, it works the same in MacOS or Mac OS X and with any vaguely modern version of Safari as long as it has Reader support.

How to Print Web Page Articles Without Ads or Other Unwanted Content from a Mac with Safari

Here’s how to print any article from the web in simplified form, focusing just on the text and images within the article itself and stripping away other data:

  1. Open Safari on the Mac if you have not done so already, then visit the web page or article you wish to print a simplified version of (you can try it yourself with this article you are reading now if you’d like!)
  2. Click on the reader button in the URL bar of the web page to enter into Reader mode (alternatively, you can pull down the “View” menu and choose “Show Reader”)
  3. Enter into Reader mode

  4. The article web page will be redrawn into Reader mode, which offers a simplified viewing and reading experience
  5. Print article or webpage in simplified form without ads on the Mac

  6. Now pull down the “File” menu and choose “Print” as usual to print the article or web page
  7. Print the article in simplified view

  8. At the Print window, adjust any other printing settings as necessary, and optionally but recommended choose “Print Headers and Footers” so the printed version includes the original web page title and URL, and then choose “Print”
  9. Print an article or webpage without ads in simplified form from Mac

Now what is printed is will be the simplified “Reader” version of the article or web page, which strips out all content from a web page that is not directly related to the content text and content images.

You can also use this same approach to create simplified versions of web pages and articles to print to PDF from a Mac, which will generate a stripped down content-centric version of the web page or article just the same, except it will be saved as a PDF file instead.

Bonus Tip: Customize Reader Before Printing

Another nice bonus tip to combine with this; you can change the Safari Reader appearance and font too to make it even more suitable to your preferences before printing.

Printing an Article from Reader vs Default

Here’s an example of a webpage article printed out as usual from Safari, and the same webpage article printed out from Reader mode (these are just screenshots of PDF files but you get the idea).

In a typical article printed out from Safari, you’ll also be printing out other page data, including layouts, logos, links, ads, sidebar, and other information that just isn’t necessary to print out:

Printing a complete web page

Compare that to a Reader version of the same article printed out from Safari, where the article has been stripped down into a simplified version with no layouts, logos, ads, links, sidebars, and other data:

Printing a simplified page from Reader mode

The “Reader” version of a printed page in this case ends up using one less page of paper, and it would likely use less ink as well since there is simply less data being printed out.

This is a great trick but do keep in mind that most websites are supported by advertisers and run banner ads on webpages to fund their operations, and those efforts are circumvented by Reader mode. But, for printing out articles, it makes perfect sense for wanting to print out a simplified version of a webpage, particularly since it will reduce ink and paper usage. This makes Reader Mode in Safari particularly helpful for printing out articles and web pages, and it works on basically every website you’ll find on the web that has article type content, whether it’s news, blogs, tutorials and walkthrough guides, recipes, instructions, or just about anything else in article format. Happy printing!

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks

26 Comments

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  1. Luis says:

    Great tip. This functionality is also useful for creating a better formatted pdf from a web page. And, best of all, it can also be found in iOS devices such as iphones or ipads since reader mode is also available in safari for iOS. On an iphone or ipad, just tap on the reader button in the URL bar and then tap the share icon (a box with an arrow pointing up) and tap on print. This will display the print dialog, and from there, the webpage can either be printed or saved as a pdf without the ads.

  2. John Galt says:

    Thank you for yet another excellent hint about the beauty of OSX, our favorite operating system.

  3. Iain616 says:

    Excellent. Great tip. Thank you.

  4. Jane says:

    Your tips are just amazing!
    I recently discovered you, and I love this.
    Thank you!!!
    Jane

  5. Sandy says:

    I frequently use the “Reader” view, but often the pictures (not just the ads) on the pages are missing when I do.

    • Luis says:

      I found that to be happening in iOS too. Just wait a little longer before you turn on the reader view, or turn it off and back on until the pictures show up.

  6. James Katt says:

    Using Reader Mode does not always work.
    Many times it only shows an excerpt of the page.
    It also lacks the comments section which can be very important to print.

    The better solution is to use Ghostery to eliminate ads. You also choose services in Ghostery to show – such as Facebook comments if those are what is used for comments. With Ghostery you have significant control over what shows on the webpage. And you can turn them on and off.

    You can also use QuickNuke, a Safari extension, to remove specific parts of the web page such as ads or photos.

  7. Tom Grace says:

    Not only will the pared down web page print nicely, but apparently by using command-shift-I you can email the pared page quite easily.

  8. Mark says:

    Great tip, but we keyboard aficionados Cmd+Shift+R brings up the Reader mode without moving the mouse or using the trackpad. Different strokes…..

  9. Ray says:

    Also works on my iPad. Printing is a little different than Mac but iPad users should be able to figure it out.

    • Luis says:

      On ipad or iphone just tap the share button (square with an arrow pointing up) and then the print button. By the way, once in the print dialog it is also possible to save as a pdf by reverse pinching to zoom in on the first page preview (or hard pressing on 3D touch capable devices such as an iphone 6s or later).

  10. Bernard Leeds says:

    Now on iPhone how select all & copy so can share with a friend?

    • Luis says:

      From iphone or ipad, you can easily convert the web page to a pdf file from the print dialog by pinching to zoom in on the first page preview (or force pressing on 3D touch capable devices). Then you can share that file via imessage, email, airdrop, etc.

  11. Jochen Dwersteg says:

    use ⌘+shift+R to enter reader mode

    use ⌘+P to print

    set up keyboard shortcut in System Preferences to set up
    ⌘+P to print to .pdf to save without paper or send to a friend.

  12. Mark says:

    I might also add that I tried this tip using Firefox and its reader view, and that works as well.

  13. Tony says:

    Excellent tip, well for me anyway. Despite owning my iMac for 18 months there are so many options I have no idea about.
    Good contributions from others to, thanks to all!

  14. barbara says:

    Great and USEFUL tip!! I’ve already used it, thank you!

  15. Wieland (Jim) Hartwig says:

    I read newspapers on the web. Some of them have a paywall after a certain amount of views (NYT has 30 views per month). This can be circumvented by Command-Shift-R to use the Reader.

  16. Before you print and close out the window while using Reader, it is a good idea to carefully look over the new rendering to make sure all the original information is still there. Depending on how the web page was coded, some parts of the content may not transition over at all.

    Prime example: On the New York Times Cooking pages, if you try using Reader, it strips out the entire list of ingredients which effectively makes the use of Reader null.

    • Luis says:

      Yeah, the same happened to me on the Washington Post. I wanted to use reader view on the recently published transcript of the phone calls between pres. Trump and the presidents of Mexico and Australia, but they included a timeline of events at the beginning of the article that got disordered in reader view, so I had to go back to the standard view.

    • Benjamin Levi says:

      Try using PrintFriendly & PDF. You can choose what include/exclude; images, text, etc. It also comes as a browser extension. I’ve been using it for a couple of years with no problems.

      https://www.printfriendly.com

  17. manit says:

    only text is shown; graphics and/or pictures are not shown in the pdf format.

    Is there any way to include graphics and pictures on pdf?

    Please advise.

    Manit

  18. Bizybeejm says:

    Oh wow, great tip. I did not know this! Awesome….you made my day.

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