The PrintLess Program

Save Paper: Print Less

Additional Information

How other Institutions and Organizations Reduce Paper Usage

Print Only What You Need

When printing a document, especially a web page, print only what you need. Pressing the Print button to print 3 pages of a document of which you only need the first page is irresponsible.

Let's say you're viewing a web site and need some of the information it contains. Do you need to have the whole site? Invariably, the last printed page is just a single line of text that you don't need.

One technique for saving paper is to use the browser's Print Preview feature. From the File menu, select Print Preview and then scroll through the pages that are displayed to see which page(s) you actually need. You may, for example, only need to print page 1 or pages 2-4 rather than the full 8 pages of the site you've been viewing.

A second technique is to use the mouse to highlight the information you need and print just that information.

For example, if you are using Internet Explorer, highlight the section you want by clicking and dragging the mouse over the part(s) you need. Then from the File menu, select Print, then select Print Selection.

Here's an example of how the Print dialog box would look—note that the radio button in front of Selection in the Page Range area is selected.

If the selection is long, and involves scrolling down the screen, then click at the beginning of the selection, move to the end of the text you want, then hold down the SHIFT key to complete the selection.

All text from your first click to the SHIFT click will be selected. You can also choose to print just the first page or pages you need.

This technique is especially helpful in Microsoft Excel where you only need to print specific cells. The same highlighting technique can be used, or you can set the Print Area using that function from the File menu. You can also edit the spreadsheet in Page Break Preview mode (under the View Menu) to see exactly how the spreadsheet will print while you work on it.

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Last updated: August 7, 2003
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