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Cleanup web pages before printing in Safari Web Browsers
Safari 5 introduced the Safari Reader to allow for great reading and printing of web pages by removing a lot of the clutter you wouldn't want to have in the printed copy. Unfortunately, Safari Reader is not available on all pages, but only those it recognizes as 'articles.' [crarko adds: And Readability is still available for other browsers.]

This hint shows you how you can get rid of those items and save a clean version on pages where Reader is not an option.

For this hint you need to have the Development options active. In Safari 5's Preferences go to the Advanced setting and click 'Show Develop menu in menu bar.'
  • For each of the elements that you want to remove right-click on the element and select 'Inspect Element.'
  • The Inspector window will open and highlight the element.
  • If you hover over other HTML code the page will highlight the elements that are contained in that code.
  • Note that elements may be nested in the Inspector window, and you may have to drill down by using 'Open Element' to get to the item you want to delete.
  • Once you have found the exact part of the page that you want to remove right click on it and select 'Delete Node' to delete it.

[crarko adds: I tested this on a simple page, and it worked. I can see this getting really tedious on complex pages, but if Reader is not available this is an option if you really don't want the extra stuff around when printing.]
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Cleanup web pages before printing in Safari | 13 comments | Create New Account
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Cleanup web pages before printing in Safari
Authored by: seika7 on Sep 17, '10 08:50:38AM

Cool, thanks! Editing external web pages like that was one of my favorite features of SafariStand.

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Try Printliminator
Authored by: chancer on Sep 17, '10 02:11:58PM
Or you can try the Printliminator bookmarklet, which I use often and love.
Edited on Sep 17, '10 02:12:28PM by chancer

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Re: Try Printliminator
Authored by: sjk on Sep 22, '10 02:19:35AM

Very cool. Thanks for mentioning it.

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Cleanup web pages before printing in Safari
Authored by: asmeurer on Sep 17, '10 03:13:25PM

Of course, if you're html/css savvy, you could always just download the webpage using Save As Web Archive and edit the resulting file.

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Cleanup web pages before printing in Safari
Authored by: RayCon on Sep 17, '10 04:20:21PM

I still have Readability working with Safari (latest version), and I use it when Safari Reader doesn't work. Am I missing something?

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Cleanup web pages before printing in Safari
Authored by: ateichman on Sep 18, '10 01:03:33PM
I'll second the recommendation for Printliminator. It is similar to the approach taken in the hint, but much easier. A single click can, non uncommonly, get rid of all the dross.

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Or use a CSS stylesheet
Authored by: gidds on Sep 18, '10 03:27:02PM

Over the past few years I've been building up a CSS stylesheet to hide adverts and other clutter, and set my preferred font face and size for body text. It's not quite as drastic as Reader, leaving the headers and site navigation and stuff, but it does make many sites dramatically more readable.

The advantage of that method is that it works in all browsers (I use both Firefox and Safari), is automatic and transparent, and partially works on new sites too.

The disadvantage is that it takes a bit of time to maintain, and it can also have negative effects (e.g. hiding stuff by mistake), though as I fine-tune it those lessen. And it can't block stuff that doesn't have something it can match on (id, class, image size, source URL, etc.). So I run AdBlock on Firefox too.

It's too big to post here (nearly 1500 lines), and is heavily slanted towards the sites I visit, but I can post snippets if people want.


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Cleanup web pages before printing in Safari
Authored by: pablorph on Sep 19, '10 07:33:13AM


Thanks for the Printliminator suggestion. I have downloaded it and will use it.

Testing it, it seems so very "Apple-like", easy to use and intuitive.

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Cleanup web pages before printing in Safari
Authored by: MalEbenSo on Sep 20, '10 02:03:39PM

I send web pages from Safari to Mail via cmd-i.

I can then edit the e-mail like standard text, but Mail also allows me to remove unwanted elements by selecting them and clicking the close-button that appears.

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Cleanup web pages before printing in Safari
Authored by: TheFLP on Sep 21, '10 07:28:38AM

I was fond of the Aardvark extension for Firefox the UI is like something out of the DOS era, but it gets the job done and I just discovered there's a bookmarklet version that works in Safari and Chrome (yay!).

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Cleanup web pages before printing in Safari
Authored by: ramarrie on Sep 21, '10 01:17:52PM

Or you can copy what you want in the page and paste it into Bean and it will look just like in the web page, without the extras, and if by chance you copy an item not needed,it is easy to delete it just like in a word processor.

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Cleanup web pages before printing in Safari
Authored by: OmniDragon on Sep 24, '10 06:14:27PM

Heck, I use this all the time to delete ads that AdBlock doesn't get or stuff I see scrolling in the sidebar. :)

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Cleanup web pages before printing in Safari
Authored by: webDeclutter on Dec 01, '10 10:11:52AM

I have recently written a JavaScript bookmarklet which can perform this task quite simply by clicking on a tooltip interface. Please visit web-declutter dot com. This tool is purely 'gratis' - I have developed it as an interesting exercise whilst learning JavaScript programming and web design.

It provides the facility to remove individual elements and, via a 'container heirarchy', whole blocks of elements from a page. Control-clicking removes everything EXCEPT the element/container (I am a Windows user - I believe the Mac equivalent is Cmd-click?) . There is also a 'Quick' version which removes all of the Flash content in one click.

The tool can also be helpful for saving a page to hard drive, ie you can save your lean decluttered web page to the hard drive - BUT unfortunately that feature only works on Chrome and Firefox (though these are great browsers, and it would be handy to have them installed for this feature alone). Safari and IE8 appear to download the original page from the host again rather than use the one you have just cleaned up.

The tool works on all major browsers, including older versions, and on any kind of page, not just 'article' type pages. I have placed a video illustration on YouTube (search for 'Web Declutter Illustration') (though there is a video on the above site also).

The tool does require some idea of what is meant by an 'element' and a 'container' in the context of a web page, though other than that its quite easy to use.

If anyone has any comments/questions or notes any bugs please visit the Feedback or Contact section of the above site, thanks!

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