All I wanna do is print!

Printing should be a simple task, but in the interest of a “cleaner look” websites, email and software providers often hide the print option.  You can always print from an internet browser (Mozilla Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer etc.) and a control P on your keyboard will also get the job done, but the job may come out formatted strangely, cut off or just plain blank.

So how do you print?  Here are some tips on how to print from some of the most common sources:

Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint

In Word, Excel or PowerPoint 2007 or later you can print by clicking on the Windows symbol in the top far left corner. This will bring down a list of helpful tasks including Print, Print Preview, Open, Save As etc.  I always recommend clicking Print Preview, because Microsoft products have a nasty habit of adding a blank page to print jobs.  At home it’s just a nuisance, but at the library you can get charged for that page.

E-mail and Printing from the Web

Always look for a website or email provider’s print button.  Don’t use the browser to print, because you will get an unformatted job, this can cut off what you intended to print or shrink the text size so that it’s unreadable.  Since the provider’s print function optimizes your emails and other articles for printing, your job should print formatted correctly and in its entirety.

Hotmail, now Outlook

To get an email in a printable format click the ‘…’ button near the top right corner of the Outlook tool bar.  This button brings down a menu including Print (just take my word for it).  Click Print and follow the prompts.


Gmail includes a printer button in the top right corner of the email, but since Gmail groups your messages into “conversations” you want to make certain that you want to print all of the email/conversation before using this option.

If you want to print only a portion of a conversation, select the desired message in Gmail and choose the down arrow symbol next to the reply button.  This will bring down a menu which includes the option to print.  Click print and only that message will be printed.  Click OK to print.


Select or open the email you’d like to print and click the “Actions” button in the top right corner of the tool bar.  This will give you the option to Print Message.  Click Print Message and follow the prompts.


When opening PDFs from the internet sometimes there’s a print button in the top right corner of the PDF tool bar.  Some, more sneaky PDFs, require you to hover near the bottom of the page.  When you do this icons will appear including one to print.  In either case click the printer icon and follow the prompts.



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