Print selection of a document


i am wondering if it is possible to print just a selection of a document instead of the whole document?
and if not, how do you guys do it quickly/efficiently - and still keep the formatting of the document?


How would you print just a selection of a Pages, Mellel or TextEdit document, if you were working within one of those applications? There’s no ‘Print Selection’ command in most applications.

Copy/paste the selection into a new document (perhaps opened from a template with the same style settings) and print it. That’s the quickest and most efficient way to do it, and the formatting will persist.

That’s what you would do if, e.g., you were working in Pages. A simple set of manual procedures to achieve the desired result.

In DT Pro/Office, if you need to print a portion of many RTF documents and can define the selection area you could develop an Automator and/or AppleScript set of procedures to do this for a definable range of documents, perhaps choosing another application such as Bean from which the printing will be done. DT Pro/Office has one of the largest AppleScript dictionaries compared to other Mac applications. Development of an automated procedure is of course efficient if the operation is to be repeated many times, but inefficient for an operation that is one-time or seldom done.

For a quick one-off printing of a selection from a document within my database I would copy/paste it into Bean (for margin control and the possibility of header/footer, or into Pages for still more layout options, then choose Command-P from the receiving application.

My previous suggestion:

Maybe Schubert’s Print Selection Service could make it easier (from Services-supporting apps).

Ah, the one area where Microsoft Word trumps the rest! :smiling_imp:

@Bill: Firefox, Word have the ability too :wink:
And yes, too many apps lack the selection support, doesn’t excuse DT for not having it IMO.

@sjk: that looks great and i just tried it, seems to work smoothly. thanks

True — but that’s far from enough to persuade me to ever return to it for general usage. :laughing:

Thanks, sjk, for that tip about Services.

OS X Services provide wonderful and powerful interoperability features among what I call “True” Mac applications (as opposed to Word and Firefox).

I checked the list of Services available on my Mac, and sure enough, there was ‘Print Selection’, but with the box not checked. Checking that box immediately adds it to the list of Services available under contextual menu choices for DEVONthink and other ‘true’ Mac applications on my computer.

Frankly, I don’t remember the last time I needed to print just a selection from a document in my database. But I sometimes do want to print an entire text document, and the result if I just printed it from within my database RTF document didn’t have acceptable top and side margins, which is why I’ve had a habit for a long time of copy/pasting text into another app, such as Bean or Pages.

‘Print Selection’ does layout the selected text with acceptable top and side margins. That’s good enough for some purposes, although I’ll probably still use copy/paste in most instances, as I usually also want page numbering and a header.

How about that! Word and Firefox required their developers to add specific code to achieve what the ‘Print Selection’ Service does automatically for good Mac applications. Take that, Microsoft. Biff! Bam!

My my, an old Okidata dot matrix printer on that page. Ah, the memories of the 80s.