New live twitter feed

We love hearing what people are saying about PrintWhatYouLike!  That is why we added a live twitter feed to our homepage featuring the most recent tweets about PrintWhatYouLike instead of those fake, glowing testimonials you will see on other websites that say, “This product changed my life – I would recommend it to all my friends”.

Also, PrintWhatYouLike is on twitter, so check us out: http://twitter.com/pwyl

February 25, 2009 at 12:14 am Leave a comment

New features poll!

We have lots of great ideas for new features for PrintWhatYouLike.  Unfortunately, we can’t implement all the new features at once, so we need your help!  Can you take our poll and let us know which new feature you would like to be implemented first?


February 16, 2009 at 5:21 pm 2 comments

Site Redesign, New Resize Feature, and Improved Help

You may have noticed that PrintWhatYouLike looks a bit different now!  We worked with a great web designer to come up with a fresh, fun, new look for the site.  The process by which we came up with the new design was interesting.  We set up a contest on 99designs.com and received submissions from designers all over the world.  In the end, we picked the design we liked the most.  Could you tell that the old site design was done by programmers? 🙂

We also added a new feature that allows you to resize any element on the page.  This feature is great for:

  • Reducing the size of big images that you want to print
  • Compressing elements that have a lot of whitespace

We expanded the help on the toolbar so that it explains more than just the keyboard shortcuts.  On the toolbar, there is a question mark at the top of each grouping of buttons.  Clicking on the question mark will display the help section for each of the commands.  We also have a new Help page that should answer most of your questions.  If you were ever confused about how something worked, go check out the new Help page!  If you have any other questions you would like answered in the Help section. send us an email.

Side note: We changed a couple of the keyboard shortcuts so that they are more intuitive.  The keyboard shortcut for More is now M, and the keyboard shortcut for Less is now L.  We also removed the keyboard shortcuts for the page level commands, Remove Background and Remove Images.

February 16, 2009 at 5:10 pm 2 comments

Promotional Video

PrintWhatYouLike was selected as a finalist for the Iowa Technology Association Prometheus Awards for the Environment Award of Excellence (Products and Services). We produced a promotional video for the award ceremony that will be played when PrintWhatYouLike is introduced as a finalist. Check out the video!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Promotional Video“, posted with vodpod

February 16, 2009 at 3:54 pm Leave a comment

Life’s too short to spend clicking “Next” – Introducing PageZipper

Are you ever frustrated by websites which force you to click “Next” over and over again to get the next page in an article or the next image in an image gallery?  Next links chop up the flow of what you reading, and constantly leave you staring at that hourglass cursor waiting for the next page to load. PageZipper is a bookmarklet which automatically adds all the “Next” pages to the page you are on, so you don’t have to click “Next” and you certainly don’t have to wait for any pages to load.

Try it out: http://www.printwhatyoulike.com/pagezipper

PageZipper automatically finds the Next link on a page- you don’t need to tell it anything. As you scroll to the bottom of a page, it will append the next page to the bottom of the page you’re on. You can also click Control-Down Arrow to skip directly to the top of the next page. On image galleries, Control-Down Arrow will skip you directly to the next image in the gallery.

The original idea for PageZipper came from the brilliant Mr. Paul Davis who is working on a project similar to PrintWhatYouLike at http://github.com/PeeDee/webstrip/ and has a super-cool blog here: www.technologyinvestment.info

Eventually the code behind PageZipper will be integrated into PrintWhatYouLike.  Imagine printing Time’s list of the 50 best websites of 2008. You would have to individually print each one of the 50 web pages!! That would take hours, not to mention waste entire forests worth of paper.  But PrintWhatYouLike will soon have a solution- Instead imagine loading the first page of the list into PrintWhatYouLike.  Use the PrintWhatYouLike tools to remove all the ads and format the page to look just how you want.  Then click an “Extend Series” button. This button will use the PageZipper code to retrieve the other 49 webpages in the best websites list, apply your chages from the first page to each of those pages, and append those pages to your first page. The result will be one document which contains all 50 articles in the ‘best websites’ list, and looks exactly how you want. You could then print this as one print job or save it as one pdf. If you were using the plugin, you could close it and read the entire list all as one page.  That is where PrintWhatYouLike is headed.

December 16, 2008 at 1:59 pm 4 comments

Edit private pages with the new bookmarklet

At long last PrintWhatYouLike has a real bookmarklet! Now you can include the PrintWhatYouLike editor in any page just by clicking the bookmarklet. Here’s how it works:

  1. Install the bookmarklet by going here
  2. When you come upon a page that needs some editing, click the PrintWhatYouLike button in your bookmarks toolbar
  3. The PrintWhatYouLike editor will appear around the page you’re on.  The editor works the same as if you had loaded the url into printwhatyoulike.com, but you will never leave the page you are on
  4. When you are finished making changes, click the PrintWhatYouLike button again, and the editor will disappear. Only your modified page will remain

The bookmarklet has a couple advantages over entering a url into printwhatyoulike.com

  • more convenient – you never leave the site you’re on
  • works on any page, including private/password protected pages like webmail!
  • does not disable javascript

The bookmarklet works on map sites like mapquest and google maps. It does not work on the default view of ajax-heavy email sites like Gmail (Gmail’s iframes wreak havoc on the editor), but it does work on the printer-friendly view.

Since you can now use the bookmarklet on private information, a quick note on privacy is in order: The bookmarklet does not record or distribute any information about you or the page you are viewing. With one exception: If you click “Save as Pdf,” the content of the site you are on is forwarded to a 3rd party service which converts it to a pdf. PrintWhatYouLike does not store any of this data, but I cannot make any guarantees about the 3rd party service. So if you are reading the CIA personnel list or the recipe for Coka-Cola, I would recommend against using ‘Save as Pdf’. Everything else is safe. You can easily verify this by using a tool like livehttpheaders, firebug or wireshark to spy on the bookmarklet.

As always, if you find something which doesn’t work or you have any questions, let me know in the comments.

December 4, 2008 at 12:16 pm 10 comments

The Latest Updates

It has been a looooooong time since I’ve written anything here! Fortunately there is a good reason- I’ve been busy working on new features and fixing lots and lots of bugs. The biggest new feature is the option to save a page to pdf. This turned out to be a lot harder than I expected. After more than a week of teeth gnashing I finally came up with a ridiculously complicated Rube Goldberg method of saving the pdf that involved sending the data back and forth between the server and the browser. It worked, and it dodged all the browser bugs and incompatibilities that make ajax programming so adventurous, but it wasn’t pretty. Then a few days ago I learned a javascript trick using document.write, and in the space of an afternoon rewrote all the ‘save as pdf’ code into something that was simpler, faster, more reliable, and 1/3 as much code. Don’t you hate it when that happens!

Since going live, I’ve also made a lot of other changes, most of which aren’t as visible.

  • PrintWhatYouLike now handles sites with frames intelligently instead of just giving up and returning an error message.
  • The site also handles pages with international characters correctly. I’m not sure how I overlooked that while testing the app before it went live, but lots of people emailed to let me know about it 🙂
  • Pwyl can now handle any type of url, including urls with spaces in them
  • And tons of smaller bug fixes

Now I’m working on a browser plugin that will run the PrintWhatYouLike editor inside your browser. The advantage of this is that you can edit private/password-protected pages like your email (assuming you have webmail). So finally there will an easy way to print emails without those stupid three page legal disclaimers every corporation insists on putting at the bottom of every email!

November 21, 2008 at 6:31 pm 4 comments

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