Dear Lifehacker, I'm all about going paperless, but occasionally I need to print something off the web. Is there any way I can get rid of the annoying, ink-wasting URL, page title and other text when I print from the web? Signed, Sick of Superfluity
Dear Sick, You know, we've always hated that cluttered meta-text, too. In theory, it's nice to know where you printed something from, but for most websites you'll probably be able to find the original page more quickly by just searching for it rather than fastidiously transcribing the printed URL. The good news is it's pretty easy to get rid of if you're using the right browser.
You can either watch the quick video above (which covers disabling headers and footers on popular Windows and Mac browsers) or just read by OS and browser below.
On Windows, it's easy to get rid of unwanted headers and footers on Firefox, Internet Explorer and Opera. From what I can tell, Chrome's another story — but you can still try a workaround.
Firefox: Go to File -> Page Setup, then click the Margins & Header/Footer tab. Set every header and footer to —blank— and click OK.
Internet Explorer: Go to File -> Page Setup, then set every drop-down in the Headers and Footers section to -Empty-. Click OK.
Opera: Go to Menu -> Print -> Print Options and untick the Print headers and footers checkbox.
On OS X
Like Windows, the process is pretty simple for most browsers OS X.
Firefox: Go to File -> Print... (or hit Cmd+P), make sure the printing options are expanded (click the down arrow button next to the Printer if not), select Firefox from the third drop-down menu, then set all the Page Headers and Page Footers drop-downs to —blank—.
Safari: Go to File -> Print... (or hit Cmd+P), make sure the printing options are expanded (click the down arrow button next to the Printer if not), select Safari from the fourth drop-down menu, and untick Print headers and footers.
That Stubborn Chrome
For whatever reason, Chrome doesn't have any options I can find for disabling headers and footers in printing. For Windows, a Chrome user on this Chrome help page came up with a workable (if inelegant) solution, which basically entails setting up Internet Explorer to print without headers and footers (details above), then installing IE Tab for Chrome and loading pages you want to print with IE Tab before printing, then print from the right-click context menu to print the page using IE's default printing setup.
If you're a Mac user who prefers Chrome — as far as I can tell, you're out of luck until Google lets you tweak printing options in Chrome.
So while your options vary depending on what browser you're using, you should be able to get rid of those pesky headers and footers on most browsers with relative ease. Hope that helps!
P.S. Know of a better workaround for Chrome? Let's hear it in the comments.