Web page to PDF in one simple step

A few weeks ago I had a request from our college to provide a PDF version of my vitae, which I have posted online as a web page. I’m always telling people . . . we don’t need to do things the old way, especially when it involves technology. I’m constantly preaching to my students to explore NEW WAYS of doing things, so I should also model what I preach, right?

So, initially, I was thinking, GEE I’ll have to copy the webpage content and paste it in Word, then reformat what doesn’t look good and then save it as a PDF file. I’m glad I procrastinated, um, I mean waited a couple of weeks before complying with my college’s request. You see, I can convert a webpage to a PDF file in a matter of seconds, with only one step (well, two if you count emailing it to the recipient.)

If you are an Apple user, you have the handy-dandy feature already included in your software, which saves a webpage as a PDF file. Okay, you CANNOT control where the page breaks happen, but it DOES do a nice job of doing this. Here’s all you need to do:

From the webpage, simply hit Command (Apple Control) P for print and the print dialog box appears. Then, select the drop-down arrow to the right of the PDF button at the bottom left and select “Save as PDF.” You can, of course, also preview this PDF file if you want. Then you can decide where you want to save it and VOILA!, you have a PDF file of the webpage.

But what if you don’t have an Apple computer? Well, go get one! Just kidding, you DO have another option, of course. There is a cool add-on for Firefox (remember, Firefox is a browser, and if you are NOT using it, you should. Go to http://getfirefox.com and download this.) called PDF Download, which saves web pages as PDF files. Here’s what you can do with PDF Download:

Use PDF Download to do whatever you like with PDF files on the Web. Regain control of them and eliminate browser problems, view PDFs directly in Firefox as HTML, and use the all-new Web-to-PDF toolbar to save and share Web pages as high-quality PDF files.

So again, I find even myself not thinking about how to do things in new and more efficient ways. I’ll try to be better at this. Take care and as always, let me know what new and interesting stuff you are finding out there to save your day.


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