Better Internet Printing With Mac OS X Services

  Matt Cone       April 20, 2007      Tutorials Mac

One of the more frustrating aspects of the Internet is printing those darn webpages! Sure, some websites have helpful “Print” links that take you to pages specially formatted for printing, but many sites don’t provide such help. (Yes, Macinstruct is guilty as charged!) If you’ve ever tried to print a webpage and had half the page chopped off, this tip is for you.

Enter Services – one of the least known features of Mac OS X. These cool options reside under every application menu. Look at your Mac’s screen right now. See the menu with the name of the application you’re using? Click on it and select Services. Look at all those options!

Mac internet printing with services

Our most used and favorite friend in that group is the last in the list: TextEdit - New Window Containing Selection. There is magic in this option.

Ever try to copy and paste content from a website only to find that you only get the text and not all of the images? How about trying to copy or print from a PDF that someone else created? Mac OS X Services is the answer to printing all of this and more.

Just select the content you want to print and then proceed to the Services menu-item under the current application’s menu. Select TextEdit - New Window Containing Selection. TextEdit will launch, make a new document, and load all of the selected material into the TextEdit document.

Mac internet printing with services

Because many web pages use colored or reversed out (white text on black background) copy, you may not see any of the text. To fix this, select Select All from the Edit menu. Then select Format > Fonts > Show Colors (or press Shift-Command C). Drag the color slider down to black, or choose the black crayon. All the text magically appears.

There you go – you’re ready to edit and print! You might consider printing the document to a PDF file for universal access or printing at a later date.

Remember that much of the material that you save this way may be protected by copyright laws. Respect the authors of the content – use your newly acquired capture skills for personal use only and not redistribution.

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