Printee Saves Paper, But Doesn't Spare You Trouble

Free program Printee for IE sounds like an excellent idea: Better control what you print from the Web in Internet Explorer, and in doing so help the environment by reducing the total number of pages you print. Unfortunately, in practice Printee doesn't quite live up to its promise. It does give you more control over your printing, but it can be awkward and difficult to use.

Printee for IE screenshot
Printee for Internet Explorer promises to reduce the amount of paper you print with Internet Explorer, but it's confusing to use.

Printee for IE works as an Internet Explorer toolbar. Click the Printee button, and a series of buttons appear just below Internet Explorer's tabs. They let you perform actions such as removing images from a page before printing, removing the page's background, selecting portions of the page you want to print, changing the width, and so on.

Your first confusion may come in when you first expose the Printee toolbar. At that point, links don't work; when you click something, it turns green, which means that you've chosen to print it. But if you then click the Printee Print Preview or Print button, you won't print the page or see a preview of it. Instead, you'll get a tough-to-decipher error message that reads, "There are contents highlighted on the page you could continue editing the highlighted contents or preview after cancle highlight" (sic).

It turns out that after you make selections, you need to click the Pick button before you can preview or print. Once you've done that, though, you'll still be confused, because the Web page you visited now only has what you've chosen to print. Everything else vanishes. You need to hit the Undo button--possibly several times, depending on how you've made your selection--before you can get back to the page with all of its contents intact.

A better bet than Printee for IE is GreenPrint World, a free program that also promises to reduce the amount of paper you print. It's simpler to use, and works with any piece of software, not just Internet Explorer.

Note that you'll have to restart Internet Explorer after you install Printee for IE for the toolbar to appear. Even then, you might not see it as available, because it is placed on the right side of the toolbar. To see it you may have to click the double arrow on the right side of the toolbar.

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