New Trick for PDF Creation of Complex Webpages & Layouts on ios


Creating PDF’s for Difficult to Manage Webpages Can Be Challenging

Most of the time when I need to create a PDF on the spur of the moment, I use Apple’s built-in but somewhat secret PDF creation utility which I describe in detail in this post. But sometimes that simple method doesn’t work out well and the resulting PDF is laid out awkwardly or the PDF is unreadable. When that happens I usually move to a paid app by Readdle Inc. called PDF Converter which I also describe in some detail in the aforementioned post.

Saving Webpages in Apple Notes

If you’re wondering what I’m doing with all of these PDF’s, it’s how I keep data stored within Apple Notes. Unlike Evernote, which offers a Web Clipping utility that allows you to select and save virtually any information from almost any webpage that you may want, Apple Notes is pretty archaic. That is until you learn Apple’s little ios PDF creation trick using the Print Command. While it doesn’t provide all of the flexibility of Evernote’s web clipper…it provides more than is initially apparent…and it offers by far, the best way to save content from webpages into Apple Notes…as well as the fastest method too!

But, sometimes the webpage’s data is too convoluted graphically for even that paid app to work well. Today I discovered a great work around Using Readdle’s app for when that occurs.

PDF Convertor App by Readdle

PDF Converter App by Readdle $4.99

Example|  Trying to Create a PDF from a Difficult or Uniquely Formatted Webpage

Below are 3 examples of exactly what I’m referring too. The first is a PDF I created using Apple’s built-in utility for ios of Kruger National Park in South Africa, created from the page I’ve linked to. Kruger National Park | South African Safari & Lodging Guide Created Using ios Utility

This is compared to a similar PDF that I created using Readdle’s app when I realized that the first PDF was useless. But so was the second one. In both cases, the way the webpage is laid out prevents the creation of a useful PDF because most of the content goes off the right edge of the page and is unreadable. While I was within Readdle’s app trying to figure out how to salvage a useable PDF from the site I noticed something I’d never seen before. A menu item listed simply as ‘Clipboard.’

The Clipboard menu item

The Clipboard menu item

Upon further exploration, I discovered that I could use this feature to copy the whole page onto the ‘invisible’ clipboard and then have the app convert that data into a PDF. When I tried it I was pleasantly surprised to see that I was finally able to get the webpage for Kruger National Park cast onto a nicely formatted PDF! See example 3 below.

Screenshot of #1

PDF Created Using ios Built-in Method

1. Kruger National Park in South Africa PDF Created Using the ios Built-in Utility

Kruger National Park | South African Safari & Lodging Guide Created Using ios Utility

Screenshot of #2

2. Kruger National Park in South Africa PDF Created Using Readdle’s PDF Converter App. It was id’ed as a damaged file by the GoodReader App (that I use to store documents and upload them to my websites from) so the GoodReader App attempted to repair it…thus the auto-generated name.

Kruger National Park PDF from PDF Converter – repaired

Screenshot of #3

PDF Created Using PDF Convertor's Clipboard Method

3. Kruger National Park Clipboard Method PDF Converter

Best Kruger National Park Clipboard Method PDF Converter

As you can quickly see in the accompanying illustrations, the only PDF that’s legible of the 3 is the last one.

How to Use PDF Converter & the Clipboard Option to Create a PDF

Go to the troublesome website and attempt to copy the entire webpage onto the  ios clipboard. If ios offers a Reader View, copying this will probably be easier.  An available Reader View is indicated by five lines in the address bar as shown in the screenshot below.

Regular View and Reader View of a Wikipedia webpage

Once the webpage is copied onto the clipboard just open PDF Converter and tap on the ‘Clipboard  Content ‘ menu item on the left.

If all goes well the app will create a much better looking PDF. One that includes all of it’s text in a readable format like that shown in Screenshot #3 above!


You can leave Reader’s comments down towards the bottom of this webpage.

About vsajewel

Hi...I'm the author of 2 main blogs on WordPress...vsatips...where I write tech tips for mobile devices...primarily ios...2nd is vsatrends...where I write less about tech things and more about everything else. I also host a YouTube channel which I use to better illustrate some of the 'how to's' in my posts. I love everything about technology. Currently, my main interests/platforms are ios, Windows and Amazon Echo. Recently I decided we were spending way too much money with our local cable provider. So I decided to cut the cord. There is a definite learning curve, especially the antennae part, but we successfully did that and are now saving a boatload of money, so I write some about that. I also am extremely conscientious about security because of an event my family endured , so I write a lot about that too. Two sub-categories of security I tend to focus on are the password manager Dashlane and Hardware Firewalls. Last, I take a lot of notes and have been a beta tester for Evernote for many years. I love Evernote! In recent years Apple has beefed up Apple Notes a it’s become a fairly serious note long as its OK if you lose or mess up all your Apple note data. I write about those 2 note platforms primarily.
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