Web pages and PDFs

The core of a web page is a file written in Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). Typically, the HTML file includes associations with other files that either appear on the web page or govern how it looks or works.

When you convert a web page to PDF, the HTML file and all associated files—such as JPEG images, Adobe FLA files, cascading style sheets, text files, image maps, and forms—are included in the conversion process.

The resulting PDF behaves much like the original web page. For example, the images, links, image maps, and most media files appear and function normally within the PDF. (Animated GIF files appear as still images, showing the last frame of the animation.)

Also, the PDF functions like any other PDF. For example, you can navigate through the file by scrolling or using bookmarks; users can add comments to it; you can add security, form fields, and other features that enhance it.

In preparing to convert web pages to PDF, consider the following factors, which affect how you approach the conversion process:

  • How much do you want to convert?

    If you want to convert only selected areas of the currently open web page, use PDFMaker from within Internet Explorer. If you want to convert several levels or all of a multipage website to PDF, work within Acrobat.

  • Do you want to create a new PDF from the web pages or to append the converted pages to an existing PDF?

    You can do both in either Acrobat or Internet Explorer, but you choose different buttons or commands to accomplish these things.

Note:

To convert Chinese, Japanese, and Korean (CJK) language web pages to PDF on a Roman (Western) system in Windows, you must have installed the CJK language support files while installing Acrobat. Also, it is preferable to select an appropriate encoding from the HTML conversion settings.

Convert web pages to PDF in Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Firefox (Windows)

Acrobat installs an Adobe PDF toolbar in Internet Explorer (version 8.0 or later), Google Chrome, and Firefox. Using the commands on this toolbar, you can convert the currently displayed web page to PDF in various ways. For example, you can convert the entire web page or selected areas of it. Or, you can create a PDF or append the converted web page to an existing PDF. The toolbar has additional commands that initiate further actions after conversion, such as attaching the new PDF to a new email message or printing it.

See the video Creating PDF Files from a Web Browser for additional information.

PDF toolbar
A menu on the PDF toolbar provides easy conversion and print capabilities.

Convert a web page to PDF

To convert a webpage to PDF, do the following:

  1. Go to the web page.
    • For Windows, use Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Chrome.

    • For Mac, use Firefox.

  2. Using the Convert menu on the Adobe PDF toolbar, do one of the following:
    • To create a PDF from the currently open web page, choose Convert Web Page To PDF. Then select a location, type a filename, and click Save.

    • To add a PDF of the currently open web page to another PDF, choose Add Web Page To Existing PDF. Then locate and select the existing PDF, and click Save.

    • (Internet Explorer and Firefox only) To create and print a PDF from the currently open web page, choose Print Web Page. When the conversion is complete and the Print dialog box opens, specify options and click OK.

    • (Internet Explorer and Firefox only) To create a PDF from the currently open web page and attach it to a blank email message, choose Convert Web Page And Email. Then specify a location and filename for the PDF, and click Save. Type the appropriate information in the email message that opens after the conversion is complete.

    • For any of these options, to open the output PDF after conversion, select View Adobe PDF Results.

Note:

The Adobe Create PDF icon gets added to the supported browsers when you install Acrobat. If you’re unable to see the Create PDF icon, do the following:

  • In Internet Explorer, choose View > Toolbars > Adobe Acrobat Create PDF Toolbar.

  • In Firefox, choose Tools > Add-ons > Extensions, and then enable the Adobe Acrobat - Create PDF extension. (For more information, see Enable Create PDF extension for Mozilla Firefox.)

  • In Google Chrome, choose Customize menu > Settings and then click Extensions from the left pane. Enable the Adobe Acrobat - Create PDF extension. (For more information, see Enable Create PDF extension for Google Chrome.)

Convert part of a web page to PDF (Internet Explorer and Firefox)

  1. Drag the pointer to select text and images on a web page.
  2. Right-click on the selected content and choose one of the following:
    • To create a new PDF, choose Convert To Adobe PDF or Convert Web Page To Adobe PDF (Internet Explorer) or Convert Selection to Adobe PDF (Firefox). Then select a name and location for the PDF.

    • To append the selected content to another PDF, choose Append To Existing PDF (Internet Explorer) or Append Selection to Existing PDF (Firefox). Then locate and select the PDF to which the selection will be added.

Convert selected areas in a web page to PDF (Internet Explorer only)

You can use the Select option to select specific areas on a web page to convert. You can use this option to convert meaningful content on a web page and omit unwanted content, such as advertisements.

  1. On the Adobe PDF toolbar, click Select (next to Convert).

  2. As you move the pointer around the web page, a red dotted line indicates areas of the web page that you can select. Click the areas to convert. Selected areas appear in blue boxes. To deselect an area, click it again.
  3. Proceed with conversion as usual.
  4. To deselect all areas and exit the select mode, click Select again.

Convert a linked web page to PDF

  • In the open web page, right-click the linked text and choose one of the following:
    • To add the linked web page to an existing PDF, choose Append Link Target To Existing PDF. Then locate and select the existing PDF, and click Save.

    • To convert the linked web page to a new PDF, choose Convert Link Target To Adobe PDF.

Note:

The right-click menu also includes the options Append To Existing PDF and Convert To Adobe PDF. If you select either of these options, the currently open web page, not the selected link, is converted.

Convert web pages to PDF in Acrobat

Although you can convert an open web page to PDF from Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Firefox, you get additional options when you run the conversion from Acrobat. For example, you can include an entire website in the PDF or just some levels of a website.

Convert a web page to PDF

  1. Choose File > Create > PDF from Web Page.  Alternatively, choose Tools > Create PDF > Web Page.

  2. Enter the complete path to the web page, or click Browse and locate an HTML file.

  3. To change the number of levels in the website to convert, click Capture Multiple Levels. Enter the number of levels to include, or select Get Entire Site to include all levels from the website.

    Note:

    Some websites have hundreds or even thousands of pages. Converting a large website can make your system slow and unresponsive, and can even use up available hard drive space and memory, causing a system crash. It’s a good idea to begin by downloading one level of pages and then go through them to find particular links to download.

  4. If Get Only N Level(s) is selected, select one or both of the following options:

    Stay On Same Path

    Downloads only web pages subordinate to the specified URL.

    Stay On Same Server

    Downloads only web pages stored on the same server.

  5. Click Settings/Advanced Settings , change the selected options in the Web Page Conversion Settings dialog box as needed, and click OK.

  6. Click Create.

    Note:

    You can view PDF pages while they are downloading; however, you cannot modify a page until the download process is complete.

You do not need to wait for the conversion to complete before adding more requests. While a conversion is in progress, you can convert another page to PDF and that gets added to the queue. The number of requests in the queue are indicated by the Pending Conversions field in the Download Status dialog box.

Add an unlinked web page to an existing PDF

Use this procedure to append pages to a writable PDF. If the original PDF is read-only, the result will be a new PDF rather than new pages in the existing PDF.

  1. Open the existing PDF in Acrobat (the PDF to which you want to append a web page).
  2. Choose Tools > Organize Pages > Insert > Insert from Web Page.

  3. Enter the URL to the web page you want to append and select options, as described for converting web pages to PDF, and then click Add.

  4. Once the web page is converted to PDF, you see the Insert Page dialog box. Choose exactly where you want to add this page in the existing PDF, and then click OK.

Add a linked web page to an existing PDF

  1. Open the previously converted PDF in Acrobat. If necessary, scroll to the page containing links to the pages you want to add.
  2. Right-click the web link, and choose Append To Document.

    Note:

    After pages have been converted, links to these pages change to internal links, and clicking a link takes you to the PDF page, rather than to the original HTML page on the web.

Convert a linked web page to a new PDF

  1. Open the previously converted PDF in Acrobat. If necessary, scroll to the page containing a web link you want to convert.
  2. Right-click the web link, and choose Open Weblink As New Document.

Note:

In Windows, you can also convert a linked page from a web page displayed in Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Firefox, using a similar right-click command.

Use this procedure to copy the path for a web link to the clipboard, to use it for other purposes.

  1. Open the previously converted PDF in Acrobat. If necessary, scroll to the page containing links to the pages you want to copy.
  2. Right-click the web link and choose Copy Link Location.

Change web page conversion options

The settings for converting web pages to PDF apply to the conversion process. The settings changes do not affect existing PDFs.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • From Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Firefox, in the Adobe PDF toolbar, choose Convert > Preferences.
    • From Acrobat, choose File > Create > PDF from Web Page, and then click Settings.
    • From Acrobat, choose Tools > Create PDF > Web Page, and then click Advanced Settings.
  2. On the General tab, select options under Conversion Settings and PDF Settings, as needed. Click the Settings button to see additional options for the selected File Type.

  3. On the Page Layout tab, select options for page size, orientation, and scaling, as needed.

Web page conversion options

The Web Page Conversion Settings dialog box is available from within Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox, and Acrobat.

General tab

Conversion Settings

Specifies the conversion settings for HTML and Text. Choose a file type and click Settings to select the font properties and other characteristics.

Create Bookmarks

Creates a tagged bookmark for each converted web page using the page title (HTML Title element) as the bookmark name. If the page has no title, the URL is used as the bookmark name.

Create PDF Tags

Stores a structure in the PDF that corresponds to the HTML structure of the web pages. This structure lets you create tagged bookmarks for paragraphs, list elements, and other items that use HTML elements.

Place Headers And Footers On New Page

Places a header and footer on every page. Headers show the web page title, or if no title is available, the web page URL or file path. Footers show the web page URL or file path, and the date and time of the download.

Page Layout tab

The Page Layout options specify a selection of page sizes and options for width, height, margin measurements, and page orientation.

The Scaling options are as follows:

Scale Wide Contents To Fit Page

Rescales the contents of a page, if necessary, to fit the width of the page. If this option is not selected, the paper size adjusts to fit the contents of the page, if necessary.

Switch To Landscape If Scaled Smaller Than

Changes the page orientation to landscape if the new version of a page is less than the specified percentage of the original size. Available only if you selected portrait orientation.

HTML Conversion Settings

This dialog box opens when you select HTML on the General tab of the Web Page Conversion Settings dialog box and then click the Settings button.

Default Encoding

Lets you specify the following options:

Default Encoding

Sets the input encoding of the file text from a menu of operating systems and alphabets.

Always

Ignores any encoding that is specified in the HTML source file and uses the selection shown in the Default Encoding option.

When Page Doesn’t Specify Encoding

Uses the selection shown in the Default Encoding option only if the HTML source file does not specify a type of encoding.

Language Specific Font Settings

Use these settings to change the language script, body text typeface, and base typeface size.

Default Colors

Sets the default colors for text, page backgrounds, and web links. Click the color button to open a palette and select the color. To use these colors in the PDF, select Force These Settings For All Pages. When this option is unselected, the default colors are applied only for pages that don't have a specified color scheme.

Multimedia Content

Determines whether to disable multimedia capture, embed multimedia files when possible, or link to multimedia (such as SWF files) by URL.

Retain Page Background

Specifies whether to display colors and tiled images in page backgrounds and colors in table cells. If options are deselected, converted web pages sometimes look different than they do in a web browser, but are easier to read when printed.

Convert Images

Includes images in the conversion to PDF.

Underline Links

Underlines textual web links on the pages.

Expand Scrollable Blocks

Expands scrollable blocks to include complete information on the converted PDF.

Text Settings

Input Encoding

Sets the input encoding of the text for a file.

Language Specific Font Settings

Use these settings to change the language script, body text typeface, and base typeface size.

Default Colors

Sets the default colors for text and page backgrounds. Click the color button to open a palette, and select the color.

Wrap Lines At Margin

Inserts a soft return when the text reaches the edge of the text area on the page.

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