Saturday, November 26, 2011

Less Paper Clutter: Using Print/Save as pdf

Upgrading my computer was one of the best things I did this year.
I’m proud that I managed to use my old iBook for more than 6 years, but it was so time to upgrade.

I chose the MacBook Air. And I love it.
But this isn’t about that.

I just wanted to share something here that is reducing my paper clutter  and obviously reducing use of paper and printer ink.
That is the use of Command: Print >Save as pdf.

I have no idea if something equivalent is available on PCs, but on a Mac, most of the time when you use the Print command, when the window pops up, there is an option to Save the page as a pdf.  This isn't something new on Macs either.  I just didn't use it like I'm using it now: to reduce the amount of paper I have to deal with.

Here’s how I’ve used this just in the last couple of days, to save things I normally might have printed out or tried to save the URL so I could go back later to read online:

Order record from Republic of Tea
Article from the July  28 2008 New Yorker on how we come up with ideas
New York Times article on Marianne Moore
emails from Blogger with my blog entries

That’s at least a dozen pieces of paper I might have printed and then had to find a place for. Of course, I have to find a place for them on my computer. I generally try to do that right away.  I have a file marked Digital Articles which I use to store articles until I read them and decide whether to save them permanantly. Then they go into a more informatively labeled file. Or get deleted.

Here’s a screen shot of the Print Window and location of the drop-down menu that lets one Save as pdf.

See it large in your browser window here.

Sometimes you'll still want to print things, but this option gives you a chance to have it securely stored (if you back-up regularly!) and think a bit before making a hard copy.


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