Web PDFs, please!

As far as I can see, DT doesn’t support creating and importing Web PDFs. That’s a pity. In my own use, Web PDFs have replaced web archives nearly completely – they are self-contained and easy to share (and I trust the future of the PDF format much more than that of web archives, but that’s just my personal opinion).

For those who don’t know them: Web PDFs retain the original formatting of the page on screen and don’t try to emulate the screen design on a sheet of paper, as print to PDF usually does.

As I said: in the last year I’ve gotten so accustomed to Web PDFs, that I can hardly imagine to do without them. Anyone else who’d like to see this implemented?

Sure, I’d like to be able to save to PDF without reformatting based on my printer settings.

What exactly is a "Web PDF’ and where are their some examples?

Good question! A Google search doesn’t result in an answer to this question.

Perhaps he is talking about this site:


Which shows up just a few slots down the google search result list.

Haven’t tried it out yet…


The site doesn’t seem to offer any information. Most other sites a Google search turns up discuss creating “ordinary” PDF files.

Web PDF seems to refer to a conversion process, not a specific PDF format, e.g.:

GoPrint2.com, a leading provider of Internet based file transfer solutions for the print and graphic arts industry, announced today that it has released their Web PDF Engine module, a PDF conversion engine that enables a printer’s customers to convert files into PDF format via the Web.
(bold emphasis added)

I think it’s a regular PDF, the main difference with regard to OS X’s built-in “Print to PDF” being that it retains the on-screen appearance of a web page, instead of “recreating” it on a sheet of paper.

The resulting PDF doesn’t show page breaks and page numbering (as it always does with Print to PDF, if the page is longer than the paper size, even with continuous view). And it always gives you the complete page, whereas Print to PDF sometimes prints only one (paper) page and cuts off the rest.

In short: when you open a Web PDF in Safari or in Preview (or in Together, for that matter), you seem to look at the original web page. I would have liked to attach an example, but the forum software keeps telling me that “the extension .pdf is not allowed”…:wink:

A happy new year to all of you!

I think the question is how exactly one generates such a “Web PDF”

Couldn’t be easier. Just by clicking on Together’s PDF bookmarklet in Safari…:wink:

This will bring forward Together’s Sorter (it’s called Shelf in Together), let you add all the metadata you wish, and import the page as Web PDF automatically in Together’s database. The very same way you can also import a web archive or simply a bookmark.

Btw, Michael Tsai (the developer of EagleFiler) has announced that he will add support for Web PDFs in EagleFiler in the very near future.

So a “Web PDF” is simply a non-paginated PDF?

For quite some time, DEVONagent has provided the option of capturing a Web page as either paginated or non-paginated.

Capturing a Web pages as a non-paginated PDF is already available in DEVONthink 2, as a contextual menu option in the browser.

So far, however, several complaints have been received about that, as most users apparently prefer paginated PDF captures.

If one wants to “freeze” and capture a Web page into a DEVONthink database, there are two options: WebArchive and PDF. Each has advantages and disadvantages, compared to each other.

WebArchive advantages: More comprehensive in retention of site content elements than PDF. Extraction of text doesn’t result in copy with hard line endings. Editing of content by deletion of page elements is much easier in a WebArchive than in a PDF. DEVONthink 2 provides a Service to capture a selected portion of a page as WebArchive; PDF allows only a whole-page capture.

WebArchive disadvantages: Not a “universal”, cross-platform standard, as is PDF. Early on, the WebArchive format was buggier than PDF, but has become stable. Tools for marking up and adding notes to WebArchive files are lacking in comparison to those for PDFs that are provided, e.g., in Skim, Preview and Acrobat.

Yes and no. It is a non-paginated PDF, but it’s not “simply” a non paginated PDF, in that

it retains the web page’s original formatting; in contrast, Print to PDF alters the “look” of the page – as does the unpaginated PDF rendering in DT – e.g. a horizontal line with links becomes a vertical list in the PDF, as on this page: http://jamesfallows.theatlantic.com – but you’ll find innumerable other examples

it retains all the elements of the original web page – from looking at it, you will note no difference to the original or to a web archive – again in striking contrast with Print to PDF and its non-paginated version in DT.

This is true only with regard to the results of a “normal” Print to PDF; see my remarks above.

True, but I don’t usually edit archived content – ymmv

True, but for capturing partial content of a page I prefer RTFD in most cases

One of two main reasons I prefer web PDFs to web archives.

The second reason I like web PDFs better than web archives.

There was a third gripe I had with web archives: they were not completely self contained, i.e. they had to reconnect to the original site in order to display correctly. Has that changed since?


Is there a published specification for this so-called “Web PDF” you’ve been describing and want Dtech to support? You’ve mentioned Together:

Its main product page says:

Web PDFs, which look identical to the original page with background images and clickable links

Is that it?

That’s it (and I use them extensively :wink:)

(To be accurate, only the first part of the above citation talks about web PDFs – the last part of the sentence is about web archives that, of course, are also supported by Together.)

I kind of liked web archives in the past. Nowadays, I find web PDFs much more appealing. That’s why I would like to be able to use them in DTPO as well…:slight_smile:

Is this thread a hoax? :smiley:

I am only asking because after numerous posts about “web pdf’s”, I still don’t know what they are nor have I seen an example. The Fallows links appear to me to be a simple Word Press blog.

I don’t ever recall so much discussion about a seemingly non-existent phenomena to I challenge the poster to provide a link containing a definitive example of a “Web PDF.”

Okay, so we’ve finally established you want Together-style Web PDF support in DEVONthink. You could have said that in the first place. :slight_smile:

Whoops, I didn’t trim enough but just edited it out now. Thanks for catching that.

I just downloaded Together and created a “Web PDF” which is in fact exactly the same thing as a non-paginated PDF.

End of mystery.

Getting closer, but not close enough…

Try to create a Web PDF from James Fallow’s Atlantic blog (the link in my previous post) with Together. Then create a non-paginated PDF of the same page inside DT.


Notice how different they look? And which comes closer to (is identical with) the original page?

No mystery there. Just a big difference…

That’s the difference between a God and a Newbie, you see…:wink:

(Maybe it also shows that English isn’t my native language. Next time I’ll try to explain things in Italian or in German; it will be much clearer then – and if still no one understands it, it will be their fault, not mine.)

Keine Sorgen…Wir konnen beide verstehen.

Anyway, as far as I can see both the DT and Together PDF were almost perfect with DT messing up the top link bar and Together omitting one of the ad elements. I suppose I would give Together a 98% and DT a 96%. I would have to do a bunch of comparisons to really tell but these small differences don’t matter to me but maybe to some people. More important to me is getting the URL printed on the PDF which so far I can only do by printing to DT from Safari.

Maybe somebody could convince me otherwise but I can’t see that changing the DT means for generating PDF’s is all that high a priority. I certainly wouldn’t call the difference between the two “big.”