Another way to convert a Web page to PDF

In my last blog post I explained how to use Apple macOS and “Safari” to convert a Web page to PDF (Portable Document Format).

In this post I will explain how to use Apple iOS and “Safari” to do the same thing. Well, almost. More about that later.

I use an Apple iPad mini 6 running iOS version 15.5 to convert Web pages to PDFs. Before you begin, go to Settings / Safari / Reader …

Turn on Reader for “All Websites.”

Launch Apple “Safari” and open a Web page such as Hunting spiketail dragonflies in Virginia. The page should open in the “Reader” view; if not, then tap the “Refresh” button.

Take a screenshot of the Web page by pressing the “Power” button and one of the “Volume” buttons simultaneously. (Press “Power” and “Home” simultaneously on older models.)

A thumbnail of the screenshot will appear in the lower-left corner of the screen. If you do nothing, then the thumbnail will disappear and the screenshot will be saved to “Photos.” Don’t do that!

Instead, tap the thumbnail and the following screen will appear …

Notice there are two buttons located near the upper-center of the screen: “Screen” (default); and “Full Page.” Tap the “Full Page” button. Also notice the scroll bar located on the right side of the screen. Use the scroll bar to check to see that the entire Web page was captured.

Tap the <Done> button located in the upper-left corner of the screen and select “Save PDF to Files.”

(See complete PDF version of “Hunting spiketail dragonflies in Virginia.”)

The preceding screenshot shows what the output looks like. Using Apple “Preview” to open the complete PDF version, select “View / Actual Size” and resize the window as necessary.

Pros and cons

The PDFs created using this method are relatively large files. For example, the PDF version of “Hunting spiketail dragonflies in Virginia” is 4.6 MB. [Editor’s Note: Limited testing suggests 25 MB is the maximum size that can be created.]

The PDF files are ad-free but they aren’t interactive, meaning the embedded hyperlinks don’t work. The output looks nice but larger file size and no interactivity is lose-lose, in my opinion.

In contrast, the PDF version of the same Web page, created using Apple macOS and “Safari,” is only 238 KB, ad-free, and is interactive (with Internet access).

What are the take-aways?

The method you choose to convert a Web page to PDF might depend upon the type of hardware that you own. Given a choice of either Apple macOS or Apple iOS, I think the former works better than the latter. But hey, if an Apple iPad is all you have then you can still get the job done.

Related Resources

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.


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