PDFs have been the solution for many, but how does one take a cluttered, ad-ridden webpage and turn it into an easy-to-read document? As a website owner you should provide a cheap and green solution for your readers, who want to take your content with them either on paper or in a PDF.
If you have a self-hosted WordPress site, the solution is simple – the PrintFriendly And PDF Button plugin, one of our favorite WordPress plugins. However, if your website or blog is not hosted on WordPress, you’re not out of luck, as this button is available on additional platforms as well – skip down to the “Not Just For WordPress” headline for a quick note on that.
If “PrintFriendly” sounds familiar, that’s because it’s one of the leading tools people use for printing webpages in a minimal form. If it doesn’t sound familiar, go ahead and just consider yourself a fan now. Even if you don’t print web pages often, we all need to once in a while, and when that time arises, PrintFriendly is right there to save you paper and ink. Plus, it does an awesome job at saving PDFs and sending articles in emails too.
The above video is a demonstration of how the PrintFriendly website itself works, but the WordPress plugin works just the same, and is actually more feature-packed now than when the video was made.
To install into WordPress, simply type “PrintFriendly” in the “Add New” plugin search field – it should be the first in the list. To ensure that it is, look for where it says “by PrintFriendly” at the end of the plugin description.
Awesome Features For Both You And Your Users
PrintFriendly is free, although it’s supported by ads. Should you want to provide your users with an ad-free experience, you can register for the Pro plan at $4 per month or $40 per year.
Moving on to the features, there is a wide array of functionality for you to customize, as well as for your users to take advantage of. First off, don’t underestimate the perk of having more satisfied readers with their newly-given ability of creating great printer and PDF friendly documents. Here’s what else the plugin offers:
- Custom print/PDF button (text link or image)
- Choose the exact location and placement of the button
- Professional-looking branded headers in print and PDFs
- Your website address and name is printed on page or saved in the PDF
Features your users will appreciate:
- Easier-to-read printed documents and PDFs, which saves paper and ink
- Ability to edit page before printing or saving: remove images and lines of text
- Options to print, save as a PDF or email to someone
- Available in 25 different languages; automatically matching your visitors’ browser language settings
- Trustworthy (See “Privacy & Data” section on the Description tab of plugin page for complete information)
Customizing The Settings
You can access the plugin’s settings under Settings > PrintFriendly & PDF in the Dashboard sidebar. The first section will give you the option to choose from various styles of a button. You can change the text (including font size and color) of some of the buttons and also choose your own graphic by entering its image URL.
Of course, you’ll probably want control over where the button is positioned on your website too. You can choose the alignment, whether it’s placed above or below the content, and CSS styling in the margins.
If you don’t want the button appearing everywhere on the website, you’ll want to adjust the “Display button on” settings.
Next are the PDF options. You choose a page header, either your website icon or upload a different image, allow “Click-to-delete”, allow or prevent images and adjust their position, and allow or prevent any of the following: emailing, PDF and printing.
Lastly, you can add custom CSS URL (advanced), which is great for those wanting the button to be fully integrated into the website theme (overrides PrintFriendly defaults).
PrintFriendly In Use
Above is what the plugin looks like in use. As you can see, the interface is extremely clean, yet feature rich with all the options from printing, saving as a PDF and emailing (pictured below) to adjusting text size, toggling images, deleting text and undoing. You can also see the name of the website is displayed on the top left and the URL on the top right.
If you don’t have a self-hosted WordPress account, don’t fear, PrintFriendly has WordPress.com, Blogger and Drupal-specific plugins. There is also a generic website code (HTML) that you can past into any website for a PrintFriendly & PDF button.
Have you used PrintFriendly much? What do you like/dislike about it? If you have other awesome WordPress plugins to recommend, we’d love to hear about them.