Hack The Web, Remove Elements Before Printing In Firefox

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 24, 2011
Updated • Mar 9, 2015
Firefox, Firefox add-ons

Back in 2007 I looked at two Firefox add-ons to prepare websites before printing them. Preparing in this case meant to remove unnecessary elements like advertisement, chat boxes or sidebar links from the page to save printer ink and get only the relevant information on a printed page (see best way to print websites).

At least one of the extensions mentioned in the guide, Aardvark, has not been updated in recent times. The last update dates back to February 2010 which more or less means that the extension is no longer actively developed and some users have noticed incompatibilities with recent versions of the Firefox web browser.

That's the main reason that Hack The Web was created. The Firefox add-on offers a similar functionality when compared to Aardvark  as it can be used to remove page elements from the active website.

Whenever you want to print a page you can right-click on the page and select to start Hack the Web. Another option that you have is to display the button of the extension in a toolbar to activate it with a click on it instead.

start hack the web

You will notice then that page elements are highlighted with a red border when you move the mouse cursor over them.

print websites

The highlighted element is removed when you click the left mouse button. You can alternative press the r key to do the same. If you have deleted a page element by accident you can get it back by pressing u for undo. Other keys of interest are w for making the element wider, n for narrower, d for removing the width limit of the element, l for turning the background color to white, b for black on white text and I for removing all elements but the selected element. The q key quits the editing mode.

Please note that all page elements will reappear if you reload the page or click on a link to open another page.

The extension offers several advanced commands that include adding global JavaScript variables, pasting a removed element in another location on the page or killing the selected element permanently which only works if the Remove it Permanently extension is installed.

Once you are done editing you can print the remaining elements of the web page on the printer or save it in its current state if you only want to save the information that remain on the screen after you have made your modifications.

Firefox users can download and install the Hack The Web extension from the official Firefox Add-on repository.

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  1. Roman ShaRP said on July 25, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    For this purpose I’m still using Readability 1.9 . It removes most of unneeded elements with just one click, and works correctly in most cases.

  2. Picsou said on October 24, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Hello all,

    There is too Print Edit Extension not to bad.


  3. Swapnil said on October 24, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    There an awesome thing called MediaPlus, a tool to take control over web media content.

    MediaPlus can also delete images, HTML5 videos, Flash videos and other things like Flash ads and games.
    And if you want something to be smaller, you can even resize the media content like videos and images.
    So it also allows to prepare webpages for printing by removing any videos and pictures and even resizing them.

    MediaPlus homepage-


    And there are MediaPlus extensions for Firefox, Chrome and Opera browsers.

  4. Masoud Sh. said on October 24, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Very useful, Thanks a lot.

  5. B. Moore said on October 24, 2011 at 9:55 am

    There is an AWESOME bookmarklet called The Printliminator made by Chris Coyier and Devon Govett. over at css-tricks.com


    I highly recommend using The Printliminator instead of installing another add-on that adds to the bloat of the rest of the Firefox add-ons you have already installed.

    1. Robert Palmar said on October 24, 2011 at 8:00 pm

      I prefer a bookmarklet to for this.
      I have been using PrintWhatYouLike:

      I just added The Printliminator to the arsenal of tools.

      1. Robert Palmar said on October 24, 2011 at 8:02 pm

        And I agree with you the less bloat the better.

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on October 24, 2011 at 10:25 am

      Excellent, thanks for posting.

  6. Efthimios said on October 24, 2011 at 9:52 am

    ScrapBook is another great add-on of this type.

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