Friday, June 5, 2015

easy-peasy html 2 pdf

PDF can be an annoyance at times, but it's usually not terrible. It's convenient because it is widely viewable and can embed images and styles and what not. If you're distributing information via email, those factors can make it a win.

Pdfcrowd is an easy way to make a PDF from an html file - it seems to be pretty darn robust in the HTML it handles, from my 15-year-old HTML of my blog to a scheduling table that used a ton of absolute positioning for elements.

The site can be used as simply as entering a URL, but the page I wanted was password protected. So I "Save Page As"d in chrome, then made a new folder containing the html document and its supporting files, zip'd that, uploaded at pdfcrowd and got something like this:
(or rather, that's a screenshot of a PDF reader looking at a parallel process for my public site.)

The free version adds the watermark/site name at the bottom and doesn't have many formatting options, but for quick and dirty it can't be beat.

In the comments Jeremy pointed out that the standard OSX Print dialog has a "Save as PDF" option which is even more convenient, but makes a printer-friendly ink saving version, where colored backgrounds get replaced with outlines. Good to have both techniques in mind!

2 comments:

  1. I can beat it! OS X's native print dialog has a "save as pdf" option. If you print from Safari, the hyperlinks even stay clickable!

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  2. That's even quicker - but a bit dirtier. Meaning the version you get is optimized for saving ink on the printer, so in the case of the scheduling table, the shaded "cells" only had color on the outlines. (Looks like all colored backgrounds are replaced to be outline only)

    Still, can't beat the convenience.

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