Monday, January 11, 2016

Chrome Extension: Print Friendly & PDF

Do any of these situations apply to you?
  • You're given the task of reading an article online. You prefer physical paper, so you print the article before reading. 
  • You print web articles for your students to read and/or analyze. 
  • You share article links with students and/or parents. 
  • You want to read an article online but find the font too small or large. 
  • You have a student with a vision impairment who needs text enlarged.
If so, you'll enjoy today's post about a free Chrome extension called Print Friendly & PDF

Install the Extension
1. Make sure you have a Google account. {If you have a Gmail, YouTube, or Blogger account, you have a Google account. It's possible to connect an existing e-mail -- like your school e-mail -- to a Google account; ask me about that if you're interested in learning more! I definitely recommend separating personal from professional, so if you only have a personal Google account, I'd make another one specifically for school.}

2. Launch Google Chrome {download it here if you don't already have it}.

3. Sign in to your Google account on Chrome. {Click the small silhouette of a person in the top, right corner to sign in for the first time.}

4. Click here to view the Print Friendly extension page. To install it, click the blue "add to Chrome" button in the top, right corner of the pop-up box.

The Print Friendly icon will appear in the upper, right portion of your Google Chrome browser and, n most cases, will look like the first option in the list below:

You can change your icon to any of the options seen in the screenshot below by right-clicking the icon in your browser and clicking "options."

To Use
1. Open the article of your choice in Google Chrome. For demonstration purposes, I'm using this CNN article about pizza wars. :) 

2. Click the Print Friendly icon. When I clicked it while viewing the above-mentioned pizza article, I got a pop-up that looks like this:

3. Remove all images from the article in one click by using the "remove images" button at the top of the pop-up. {This is particularly useful if you're trying to conserve ink and/or if you're doing some type of project that requires the students not see the images.}

4. Increase or decrease the text size from 70% to 130% if needed:

text size is at 70%

text size is at 130%
 5. Print, turn the page into a PDF, or e-mail the article as-is:

For those with a vision impairment, it's easy to enlarge the text and either print or e-mail to the student as a PDF. I also love the idea of removing images from an article, and then asking students to draw the images they see in their brain while reading. 

If you're trying to go paperless with your class, don't worry about the printing part. You could always doctor the article however you want it, save it as a PDF, upload it to a cloud service like Dropbox or Google Drive, and use a service like Symbaloo to share the link {click here to read about 8 ways to share links with students}. 

It's a great way to save some paper or just remove unwanted portions before sharing an article with students. 

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