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Working Online: Print or Save?

This LibGuide answers many frequently asked questions about how to have the best experience when accessing and working with online materials.

Finding Resources

Printing or Saving: Which is the Better Practice?


The Library encourages you to think twice before you press the Print button.

  • You may find it easier to read a document, especially a lengthy one, in print rather than reading it on-screen. Many people do.

    HOWEVER ...

  • When you locate documents in online research services that are of interest to you, practice saving them as digital files first!

    HOW?

  • Most databases allow you to create a user account in which you can save useful articles in a folder. You can create and name your own folders--as you would with email folders in a personal email account--which helps you organize research. The articles you "park" in folders remain there for up to 18 months. Each time you log in, the clock is reset.
  • We encourage you to create and name a custom folder for each class in which you are conducting research. You may choose to create sub-folders for each course based on the topic(s) or paper(s) that you may be researching.
  • You may also save articles to your flash drive or hard drive or e-mail them to yourself. If you do this, you can review them one more time to be certain that you need to print them to read them at length.
  • The above strategies can save you time and money, allow you to utilize your research for other courses, and also help you conserve paper and, most important, our environment.

If you have any questions about saving and organizing your research, please contact us.

    Printing and Saving Online Documents


    To avoid problems when trying to print online documents ...

    • When you want to print citations or HTML documents, look carefully for any Print button that is within the browser window or is part of the Adobe Reader.  If the service you're working in provides a printing function, you should use it rather using the Print button that's part of your web browser.  Using the browser's Print button may produce unreliable or unusable results.
    • Make sure you have the latest version of the Adobe Reader to open PDFs.
    • When you're working with PDFs, you will find printing much more reliable by saving the document to your hard drive or your flash drive first and then printing it.
    • If you're working in a situation where you can't save to either the hard drive or your flash drive, remember that you can e-mail the article to yourself and then save it or print it at home.