How to link to a specific postion in a pdf'd webpage

In DEVONthink I have fully switched to storing weblinks as PDFs . (I have tried webarchives before, but i think, PDFs are more future proof.)

Most of the time this works reasonably well. But sometimes I have links with an internal anchor. Here an example:

(I think #M52105 is here the anchor) How can I tell DEVONthink on viewing the pdf’d webpage to jump to the anchor?

I think that you can’t.

The link fragment refers to an HTML id. In order to have the link to it work in the PDF, one would have to

  • “remember” all HTML IDs and the HTML elements they refer to
  • generate the PDF
  • somehow locate the position of the HTML elements remembered before in the PDF
  • update the links with these positions

A tremendous amount of work, and perhaps not even possible – PDF is a completely unstructured format, very different from HTML. Also, DT might use Apple’s createPDF method so that PDF creation is not under its control at all.

If that kind of behavior is important to you, you might be better off with a structured format like formatted note.


@chrillek is correct on this. You have created a document, not a web page. There are no anchors in the PDF like you’re referring to. And the URL will point to the external web page.

You could highlight the first line of the paragraph in the PDF, then copy the selection link. This could be put into the URL field or a custom metadata attribute.

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When I use Clip to DEVONthink to save that link to a PDF, I get a PDF of just the post in question. If what you’re seeking to do is to save the entire thread with a link to the post, the solution would probably be to remove the anchor from the end of the link before saving, and then use a DT item link (which supports deep linking from version 3.9) to the text in the PDF to which the anchor is attached. (This is another way of saying what @bluefrog has just beaten me to saying!)

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@chrillek Thanks for the details! Makes total sense.

Amazing how much detail fellow DEVONthink users have - and go through the effort of providing it!

@BLUEFROG Great suggestion. I have tried that. It works in the sense that when I click on the URL field of the webpage document, it scrolls nicely to the right position. Thanks heaps.

Any way to do this automatically on selecting the webpage PDF in the document list?

@NickLowe For me, when I use Clip to DEVONthink I get a PDF with the whole thread whether I want it or not.

  • Are you loggged in to the Dropbox community?
  • Did you use “one-page PDF” or “paginated PDF”?

That’s interesting! I went with paginated, and didn’t log in; I simply pasted the link above direct into Safari, which took me to the post in the context of the larger thread, and then saved it via the Safari DT plug-in, which gave me a single-page PDF of just that post. But this was on an old Catalina Mac, so it’s conceivable more recent versions of Safari behave differently.

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Well, who knows why these differences appear… @BLUEFROG’s tip isn’t too bad in any case.