Kindle, iPad and other e-book readers and tablets might be the future of publishing, but nothing can replace the feeling of reading from the printed page – yet. That’s why most people still buy printed books and print articles from the web. But if you’ve ever tried to print webpages, you will know how horrible the results can be. To overcome this problem, people have invented tools like Readable, Readability and Instapaper, that come up with their own version of good looking printed webpages.
If you are on a quest to find a way to print nice looking webpages – either physically or digitally, you could try joliprint. This service will create a pretty PDF from any web page, and it will also help you add PDF-printing features on your website or blog.
Readers: Just Add The Address
From the readers’ point of view, using joliprint is as easy as writing down the web address and clicking the “joliprint it!” button.
The web service will compile the information on the page, strip out the unnecessary elements, convert it into PDF, and send the result to be downloaded by the user’s browser. This is a good way to collect information for your research. Later on, whether or not you want to print the PDFs into physical copies is up to you.
To see how good the PDF result is, I “joliprint”-ed one MakeUseOf article. Below is the result. To make the pages easier to read and to optimize the use of space on the paper, joliprint divides the text into two columns. It also resizes the images to fit the column width.
Then I printed the same article into PDF – unmodified. I got the same layout as the website, along with the ads. Even though the web layout might be best for web viewing, it’s not optimized for printing.
Another thing to note is that after comparing the two printouts, the joliprint version took less pages (only 3 pages) than the non-modified PDF version (6 pages).
While adding web addresses one by one to be PDF-printed is fine on one or two occasions, you might want to install joliprint’s bookmarklet if you do a lot of web printing.
After dragging and dropping the bookmarklet button to your browser’s bookmark bar, give it a name.
Now you can easily print any webpage that you encounter by clicking the bookmarklet.
Publishers: Integrate The Print Feature
If you own a website or blog, you’ll do your visitors a great favor by adding the joliprint button. To do that, go to the “Get the button” page and follow the instructions.
The first step is to decide the type of your site.
If your site is a normal website, choose the kind of button that you want to use.
The last step is to get the embed code, then copy and paste the code to your website.
But if you own a WordPress blog, you’ll get more power by installing the joliprint plugin. You can download the plugin from the WordPress plugin repository, or…
You can search and install the plugin from within your WordPress blog admin area.
After the plugin is installed, you can customize several things about joliprint via its “Options” pages.
One of the available customizations is the header of the resulting PDFs. You can use your blog name as the header or define your own text header. You can even use your own graphic as the header.
Another cool thing you can add to your joliprint feature is Google Analytics. By inserting your analytics code, you can track down and analyze the statistics of PDF-printing that your visitors do from your blog.
After you are done with the settings, you can check out your blog to see whether the joliprint buttons appear and whether the feature works well. By default, the joliprint button will appear at the end of posts and pages.
As a person who still relies heavily on printed documentation, I find joliprint’s service to be indispensable. What about you? Have you tried joliprint? What do you think about printing out webpages? Do you use other similar services?
Please share your thoughts and opinions using the comments below.
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