How to Create a PDF File From a Web Page

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PDF file format is a well understood format these days. Virtually any computer user will recognize this if you mention that acronym. Do you know what it stands for?


Portable Document Format … PDF

It is an excellent format for sharing information because of its ubiquitous nature. Whether a person is on a Windows PC, Mac, Linux, iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet, Windows Phone it will in all cases be readable. All the text and graphics that make up a document are contained within the file. If the author chose a non-standard font, the recipient can still see it properly because the font is embedded inside the PDF file. When you place a paper document on a scanner, you are undoubtedly going to get a PDF file of the scan.

However, in this post let’s look at the case of how to CREATE a PDF from a web page (in another post, I will show you how create a PDF file from a Microsoft Office Document or Spreadsheet.)

Because PDF is such a fundamental file format these days, you will find more and more that you can create these files right in the app you are working in. The software creators are now building the feature into their product and you don’t have to buy any special PDF making software to do it anymore.

Let’s take the case of a web page that you would like to make into a PDF file. Perhaps you want to save the information for a later date (paperless save) or you want to share the information with someone. In the Google Chrome browser, there is  now a built-in way to make a PDF file. To make a PDF, use theprint command and choose the PDF output option. When you do, you will be prompted for a folder and filename to save the PDF file as. It’s that simple. (Note: the shortcut key for Print is Ctrl+P in windows and Command-P in Mac)



Let me highlight a few additional things to help you produce better PDF files.

First, you may want to select just the text that you want to print. In the case of a blog post, this may be from the title down through all the main text but stopping before the long list of comments. When you have preselected the text in this way, notice the option on the print dialog to choose “selection only”. You can confirm the look of your output in the print preview box. (tip: another way to do this is to select the text you want to print and then right click on the selection. Choose “Print…” on the menu popup. If you launch the print command this way, the “Selection only” choice will be automatically set for you.)

Another tip that you may want to consider in printing is the option to print “background colors and images”. Look at the preview as you check this box on and off and notice the difference. If you are only interested in the textual information, then you may want to leave it off. It also will save toner if you ever actually make a printout of the PDF. However, the background colors sometimes help to make the page much more presentable and you can in that case check the box ON.

The checkbox for headers and footers will print the title and the URL of the page as well as the date and the page count for helping keep the pages in order.

Finally, the margins option usually works well in “Default” setting. However, you can do custom margins if you want to utilize just a little more of the paper area. Sometimes this can help you prevent going over into two pages when you can fit it onto one if you make a slightly narrower margin.

If you would like to see an example of creating a PDF file from a blog post, you can check out the link below to one of my posts that I created using the above procedure
Sample PDF – Create a Bookmarks Bar for Your Browser

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Ginny Gorman
RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate - North Kingstown, RI
Homes for Sale in Southern RI and beyond

Great pdf post Craig,,, I do need to do this more often and now I can figure it out!

Sep 05, 2014 06:01 AM #1
Women of Westchester Working Together
Women of Westchester Working Together - West Harrison, NY
Women helping Women get ahead

Thanks so much, Craig.  As usual, some more helpful info.  I've been saving more & more from the web. - Debbie

Sep 05, 2014 07:01 AM #2
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I bought a program named pdf pro that I love.  It lets me combine different pdf files into one which is super helpful for adding things to a contract... plats, amendments ect... without ever having to print and scan anything.  But I often creat the original pdf file the exact way you described here.

Sep 05, 2014 07:41 AM #3
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Craig - Thanks for the tutorial. This may be the reason I need to switch from Firefox to Chrome, as I can't see any way to do this, short of a PDF printer, on Firefox at this time.

Sep 05, 2014 08:27 AM #4
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Fabulous explanation Craig.  I got a lot out of it, which means you did well because you know of my obtuse computer abilities!

Sep 05, 2014 08:47 AM #5
Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

Craig, I'm still trying to figure this out using my iPad.  I'm using Safari, maybe I should witch to Chrome?

Sep 05, 2014 11:26 AM #6
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Craig, though I have never been a fan of pdf files and the monopoly that adobe has on this useless format, I do use it for those occasions when something needs to be printed in just the form that it is on the screen, like a receipt.


Sep 05, 2014 12:11 PM #7
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Craig, you finally posted a tip that I actually knew about.  Now, I'm feeling pretty smart.  Though, the feeling won't last for long.

Sep 05, 2014 10:25 PM #8
DeeDee Riley
Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA - El Dorado Hills, CA
Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas

Thanks Craig!  This will definitely come in handy!!!!

Sep 08, 2014 01:49 AM #9
Ernest Villafranca
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate - Oakland, CA
3923 Grand Ave. Oakland CA, 510-418-9443

Great. Thanks a lot.

Jul 18, 2015 02:07 PM #10
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Craig Daniels

Technology Instructor/Project Consultant
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