Whenever you visit say a news website, one of the most common features offered by the site is a “printer-friendly” button. As you probably know, this strips out all the adverts, excessive colours and unnecessary “fluff” and then turns the page into a nice neat clean format that requires the minimum amount of printer ink possible to print that page out.
But what if a particular website doesn’t offer a printer-friendly button? What if you find a really great article that you want to print out or email to yourself but you want to get rid of the huge adverts, writer byline box and any other crap that dares to get in your way?
Well if you happen to be reading the article in Firefox then don’t despair because there is an extension to help you clean that page up into a “printer-friendly” format – Aardvark.
Aardvark has the distinction of being one of those Firefox extensions that I simply can’t live without. When Firefox got upgraded and Aardvark stopped working, I went totally nuts with despair and I eventually emailed the developer asking when it was going to get fixed! This is one amazing extension. Just by right-clicking on the webpage and choosing “Start Aardvark”, you can remove ANY element of the page and make it temporarily disappear (you can make it re-appear by refreshing the page).
So if you want to clean up a page for printing and emailing purposes, just “Aardvark it”. Right-click on the page, start the extension, and hover over the element you want to remove. A red square will then surround the element. Click “R” (for “remove”) and the element will disappear. But here’s the cool part – when the element disappears, the rest of the page reformats itself to fill the empty space!!
When you have removed what you need, just press “Q” (for “quit”) and Aardvark shuts down. But the changes you made will remain in effect until you refresh the page. Then just either send the page to the printer or copy and paste the text to your email.
But as people like to tell me, that’s not all Aardvark can do. You can also use the extension to see how the webpage is created and you can use it to view the source code of a particular element on the page. But since I am not a website developer, these features don’t interest me so much. What I do like however are productivity tools that make my life a lot easier and Aardvark definately qualifies on that count!