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, it’s either in the spur of the moment, or it’s on the fly. I use Apple’s built-in (but still somewhat secret Print Screen 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 either laid out awkwardly or it’s almost completely unreadable. When that happens I usually move up to a higher level app…a paid ios app by Readdle Inc. called PDF Converter which I also describe in some detail in the aforementioned post.

The Best Way to Save Webpages to Apple Notes

If you’re wondering what I’m doing with all of these PDF’s, it’s how I store data within Apple Notes. My other primary notes app is Evernote which offers a handy Web Clipping utility that allows you to select and save virtually any information from almost any webpage that you may encounter. In comparison, Apple Notes is pretty archaic!

Archaic that is until you discover Apple’s little PDF creation trick in ios…Using the Print Command. While it doesn’t provide all of the flexibility of Evernote’s web clipper…it provides quite a bit more than is initially apparent. By far, using Apple’s PDF trick is the best way to save content from webpages directly into Apple Notes. It just so happens it’s the fastest method too! It’s not only fast but it’s a widely used method too. Therefore it functions well and has survived well through several iterations of iOS.

But, sometimes a webpage has a complex layout or it’s formatting is too convoluted graphically for even Readdle’s PDF Convertor app to work well. Today I discovered a great work around using Readdle’s app when that occurs.

PDF Convertor App by Readdle
PDF Converter App by Readdle $4.99

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

Below are 3 examples which show exactly what I’m referring too. The first one (#1) is a PDF I created using Apple’s built-in print utility for ios. The PDF is a map of Kruger National Park in South Africa, created from this page which I’ve linked to here: 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 after I realized that the first PDF was useless. But the second one also was useless.

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 I Discovered

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 for the final useful PDF I created using PDF Convertor’s Clipboard Feature

Screenshot of #1

PDF Created Using ios Built-in Method

Shown Above: #1 PDF Created Using the ios Built-in Print Utility of Kruger National Park in South Africa

Link to my actual PDF #1 of Kruger National Park | South African Safari & Lodging Guide Created Using ios Utility

Screenshot of #2

Shown Above: #2 PDF Created Using Readdle’s PDF Converter App of Kruger National Park in South Africa. This PDF was flagged as a damaged file by the GoodReader App (GoodReader is an app that I use to store documents and to upload them to my websites from) so the GoodReader App attempted to repair it…thus the auto-generated name.

Link to my actual PDF #2 Kruger National Park PDF from PDF Converter – repaired

Screenshot of #3

PDF Created Using PDF Convertor's Clipboard Method

Above: PDF #3 of  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…#3.

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.
This entry was posted in Apple apps, Apple Devices, Apple Notes, Tech Tips and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Please leave any comments or questions here and thanks for visiting!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.