If you print out web pages regularly you may have noticed that it may not be the most economical thing to do, at least when it comes to printing out web pages that do not have a special print button attached to them to only print out the article or information, and not headers, sidebars or advertisement.
You have got multiple options on how to make the process more economical. You can only print a selection, but that works only well if the text is not cluttered with unrelated items. You can alternatively install a readability extension like Evernote Clearly or Tranquility for that purpose, or an extension like Nuke Anything that lets you remove page elements in the browser temporarily.
The author of the Google Chrome extension Dynamite was inspired by Nuke Anything, and had ported the extensions functionality to the Chrome browser. It adds a new entry to the Chrome right-click context menu that you can use to remove select page elements from a web page. This can be useful before printing the web page, or as means to read the contents more comfortably. If you ever had to concentrate on reading an article while a video ad was shown in the sidebar, you know how you’d wish there would be a way to remove that ad right now from that page.
Dynamite displays two options in the context menu. It is possible to remove the page element the mouse hovers over right at that moment, or all page elements but the one the mouse is hovering over.
The hide all but the select element option can be very useful on sites where you are only interested in the article. It is usually a lot faster than hiding individual elements on a page one after the other. It is however not as comfortable to use than a readability extension. For printing information though, it is an excellent option.
There is no option to restore a single element once you have hid it using the extension. Your only option to begin anew is to reload the page, at which point all hidden elements will be revealed again.
Wikipedia Beautifier is an extension for Google Chrome that removes all the clutter from Wikipedia and lets you focus on the most important aspect of the online encyclopedia: its content. Wikipedia Beautifier has been inspired by Readability, and aims to provide the same amount of article-centered beauty, while also keeping the familiar navigation menus within reach.
There are a ton of add-ons that dim the screen while you're watching a video or playing a Flash game. Heck, some Web sites even have this functionality built right in, no add-on required.
Reading Glasses for Chrome does the same, but for text. As you can see in the screenshot, with Reading Glasses, only the post text is dark, while all other page elements are grayed out. This is accomplished by highlighting some of the text of the post, and clicking the "glasses" icon which appears next to the address bar once the add-on is installed.
I wish the add-on could make the page background dark and the text light. Also, it would be nice if it could make the text a tad larger. Then again - this is what Readability is for. Then again, Reading Glasses is a bit more lightweight and it doesn't impact the site's look-and-feel at all, except for fading it out a bit.
One of the most talked about features in Safari 5 has been its Reader function -- Apple's built-in implementation of the Readability bookmarklet. Both are nice ways to reformat articles on blog or news sites for distraction-free reading.
If you like the look of Safari Reader but would rather not change from Google Chrome or Firefox, don't worry. The iReader extension brings the same functionality to your browser of choice!
Like Safari Reader, iReader shrouds the background in semi-opaque blackness . Hover near the bottom of the page to display zoom and print controls, as well as e-mail/Twitter/Facebook sharing buttons. iReader is also highly configurable -- set Gmail as your 'send page' client, change the display font, activate smooth scrolling, set the "curtain" to be more or less transparent, and adjust the reading area and margins. You can also choose hotkey combination to activate iReader (rather than having to click on the Omnibar icon).
Apparently, the Google Chrome team has been circulating a list of awesome Chrome extensions around Google, and everyone there liked it so much that they published it on the Official Google Blog. You can see the whole list there, but here are a few picks I wholeheartedly agreed with:
Readability: Great for removing ads and extra cruft from articles, paring them down to highly-readable text.
Turn Off The Lights: Darkens video pages to highlight the video you're watching. Works on YouTube and many other video sites.
After The Deadline: The ultimate spelling and grammar checker, brought to you by Automattic, the company behind WordPress.
There are more where those came from, to pump up your browsing experience. I'll say this for Google: they have great taste in extensions for their own browser. It's nice to see them encouraging their developer community, too.