Safari: Printing Nicely Formatted Articles with Reader

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If you do a lot of Web browsing, Safari's Reader feature is pretty much the best thing since ever. And if you've gotta print out an article, it's even better than that. Especially what with printer ink costing more than I could sell my first-born child for, and all.

So take a look at how cool it is. Here's how this random article will print:

See how ugly that is? The header of the page is all up in there, along with a couple of ads and even a video thumbnail. That's just a big ol' waste of printer resources. But if instead I hit the Reader button on Safari's toolbar first…

…and then hover near the bottom of the window to make the controls pop up…

…I can then print a much nicer version of the article, with only associated images (and no ads!).

Why, that's just nifty. Of course, this won't work if the page isn't Reader-supported, but pretty much anything Safari sees as an article can be viewed and printed in this way.

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Thank you, again, Melissa

Melissa Holt

Why, you’re welcome, BurmaYank! Thank you for reading.


I wish that there was a “Save” option there also, in addition to “Print”.

You can save but it’s the full version, not the Readerized one.

Maybe someone at Apple is lurking smile


Thanks Melissa

Thats useful.

Melissa Holt

You’re welcome, furbies! :D

vpndev, you can do that! When you’ve got Reader view open, click the Print button, and then choose PDF> Save as PDF. That’ll save out the Reader-ized version.


Lee Dronick

Thank you! I knew about this one, but now I can show it to a certain someone who prints way too much stuff.


Melissa, I figured that PDF would work but I prefer saving as webarchive. That’s because Safari thoughtfully includes the URL in the “More Info” for it, as “Where from”. That is incredibly useful as sometimes I have the page but can’t remember how I got it.

Hey - that sounds like another tip smile

Melissa Holt

Hey Lee! The concept of printing out Web stuff is kind of foreign to me, too, but hopefully it’ll help your friend.

Well, vpndev, I was all hopeful that I was gonna help you. Sorry I couldn’t be of more assistance!


vpndev—If you click on the “Show Details” button in the print dialog box, then select the Safari popup, you can select the “Print headers and footers” checkbox which will then put the screen title, date and time in the header line, and the URL, and page numbers in the footer line in the PDF file.

Melissa Holt

NC_MacGuy, that is a GREAT tip! Thank you.


“I wish that there was a “Save” option there also, in addition to “Print”.”

You CAN save it, by printing it to pdf.


LVChris - true, but the URL isn’t saved in the metadata. However, as NC_MG pointed out, you can enable URL in the footer.

The slickest way requires help from the web site, and not all do it. It’s when they have a “Print” option that formats the page in a way similar to “Reader”. Then I get the simple formatting plus the URL in metadata. But only for sites that support it.


Wow… is this a useful feature. I didn’t even know about it.
Usually I used to simply use Grab to get text only, but it was really really pixelated at times.

Fantastic tip. Now I can make even better PDF’s too.


I don’t use Safari, but Firefox with the ‘Readability’ add-on. It’s been around longer than ‘Reader,’ and does the same job. It’s also available for Chrome. I use it to make PDFs of all the how-to and troubleshooting articles from TMO and elsewhere.

The only time I actually print one out, is when it’s something major requiring one or more reboots, or when I know the next step in the PDF won’t be available to me.

Paul Goodwin

Great tip Melissa. I don’t do a lot of printing but when I do, I usually select the text and copy it, then opening the PrintMagic where you can print the clipboard. “That’s better. I like that better”.... Spencer Tracy in Woman Of The Year

Paul Goodwin

Too bad you can’t open more things on web pages in Reader. It would be nice if when you select web page text, that an Open In Reader option would come up besides Copy and Speak.

Nick Drengenberg

Has this feature now been removed from Reader? I used it all the time, but now the tools don’t appear when i hover over the Reader window.

Melissa Holt

Hey Nick,

Looks like the tools have been removed, but if you print an article when you’ve got Reader open, it should still format it the way it used to. So now we just have to use Command-P instead!


Nick Drengenberg

Works! Thanks Melissa.

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