Tech Tuesday – Using Evernote to eliminate advertisements

Me and my printer
There are times that I am reading an article on a website that I’d like to print out. Although I know I can clip the article to my iPad or smart phone, as a teacher I still have not moved completely away from paper. There’s something about holding that piece of paper when I walk into my classroom to start a discussion. So I really appreciate when an article I’m reading has that little print icon appearing somewhere on the page.

Then there are the times the print icon is no where to be found. The options I have to print are then limited. I can use control-P (or command-P for mac users) to print the entire webpage, but usually that means the formatting is horrible, sometimes the words run off of the end of the printed page, and usually all of the advertisements and extranous links are included in the printed out version.

All I want is a nice clean copy of the article or text of interest, and nothing else. Today I discovered a new way to pull out just what I am interested in, and all it takes is a free Evernote account and a few of mouse clicks (see below for the exact technology I use).

I’ll run through the example which helped me discover this wonderful trick today. I was reading the Fact Sheet: The American Jobs Act, The White House when I decided this would be a good topic for discussion in my finance course. I could not find a print icon anywhere. So I highlighted just the text that I wanted to print, in my case from “The White House Office of the Press Secretary…” all the way through the “*Proposal has a gross cost…” note at the bottom of the page, after the table, making sure not to highlight any of the unwanted ads or extraneous info (other blog posts, etc.).

Normally at this point I would right click and select “print selection” but that was not working this time. However, another choice presented itself to me: “Clip to Evernote.” Once I chose “Clip to Evernote” I was able to select “Clip Selection.”

At that point Evernote did it’s thing and saved the highlighted text into a note. I then opened the note from Evernote (or Evernote web), and printed it using control-p (command-p) or the “print” icon that appears in the Evernote web dialog box.

Alas, a nice, clean, crisp copy of only the information I want to save. The beauty of this method is if for some reason I lose this printout in a pile of paperwork I should have filed months ago, I can just go back to my clipping in Evernote and re-print it (to add to the pile of paperwork I still need to file).

My technology:  I am working in an iMac running OS X 10.6. I use the free Google Chrome browser and have the free “Clip to Evernote” extension installed. From this computer I only work in Evernote web, but you could also work from the downloaded Evernote software, as long as you have the browser extension installed.

I’d be interested to hear if this works for you, and if not, what workarounds have you discovered?


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  1. Thomas MacEntee

    Great post. Two things:

    Did you know you can use Google Reader’s Send To feature to send blog posts you like to Evernote? Takes a bit of hand coding but here is more info:

    And I have a recording of my recent Evernote explorinar for those wanting to learn how to use Evernote:

  2. 1ancestry2littletime

    Terrific – I’ll check both of these out. I had no idea about the Send To feature in Google Reader. I love adding tools to my toolbox!! Thanks!!!

  3. Christopher Shaw

    I did not know that Evernote could do that. I use OneNote myself (it does have the same capability) but have been contemplating trying Evernote because of it’s web presence. You have given me another reason to try it out. Thanks.

    • 1ancestry2littletime

      No problem! I had tried OneNote briefly but the web access is what really keeps me coming back to Evernote. Between Evernote and Dropbox my research is completely portable.

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