How to Save a Web Page as a PDF

In our last post, we showed how a web page could be saved as a PDF file. However, the method outlined in that post was ONLY available to Apple iPhone or iPad users using iOS 13 or later, so it significantly limited its usefulness, especially for desktop PC users or users of other phones or devices like Android or Chrome.

Well, good news! We have just introduced a new feature on our web site called HTML to PDF. If you’re navigating from the main win2pdf.com home page, it is located under FEATURES as shown below with the blue arrow.

HTML to PDF is a free web service and it allows you to enter in the web site address (URL) of any public web site and click Submit. Once submitted, the web page will automatically be converted to a PDF file directly from your browser. You do not need to download or install any software on your computer to create the PDF file.

For example, suppose you want to save an article about how to carve a Thanksgiving turkey. Find the article you want to save online, copy the web page address, and then paste it into the HTML to PDF web page.

After you click Submit, the web page will be converted to a PDF file and returned to your web browser. If you have Adobe Reader installed as your default PDF viewer, it will open automatically and you’ll see the PDF file on your screen, where you can save it, edit it, or do anything you want with it.

For security reasons, this feature currently only works with web pages that are public and do NOT require a user login (like email, online banking, etc.) If you need to convert a secure page, you can download and install Win2PDF and print the web page to the Win2PDF printer.

This is part of a new set of capabilities that we are developing for Win2PDF. If you are a company or a software developer interested in an HTML to PDF API (where the PDF is generated as a cloud-based service as opposed to being installed as a local software component), let us know and we can provide more details.

In the meantime, give it a try and let us know if you have any questions. It may be a useful tool to share with friends or families this Thanksgiving… and it’s free.

Posted in API, General, web site | Leave a comment

How to Save a Full-Page Screenshot as a PDF in iOS 13

If you are an iPhone or iPad user, the latest iOS 13 software update adds an interesting new feature. With the Safari web browser, you can now take a screenshot of an entire web page (not just the visible portion on the screen) and save the web page to a PDF file. This article details the procedure for doing so.

I’ve found this quite useful on a few occasions where I want to save the contents of a web page that I come across on my iPhone, and then edit the PDF file later to extract specific pages or images that I want to use elsewhere.

Note, this feature is specific to iOS 13 devices and only works with the Safari web browser (not Chrome or Firefox, unfortunately).

Posted in iOS, web site, Win2PDF 10 | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Content-based File Naming with Win2PDF

*** NEW FEATURE ALERT ***

In our latest Win2PDF 10.0.58 update we added a new feature for content-based file naming. It allows a PDF file to be named based on a certain word or set of characters that reside inside of the document being printed.

Here is the customer situation that prompted the new feature:

A county sheriff’s department wanted to generate PDF files from a legacy AS/400 application. A secretary named the PDF files based on a document number that was listed in the original document, and because she did so manually it was time-consuming and error-prone.

An example transport order from the sheriff’s department looked like this:

sheriff1

With the content-based file naming feature in Win2PDF, however, this process is automated. It allows Win2PDF to search the text of a document being printed, find a target search word, and use the following word as the PDF file name. It requires that PDF files contain text with a common search word that exists in all PDF files. (*Note: The “word” can be numbers or any character string that has a space before and after the “word”).

In the sheriff’s example, the content search word is specified as “DOC #:” in the Win2PDF Admin Utility.

sheriff2

Then, in the Document section of the Win2PDF file save options, the “User Defined” field was enabled with “%PDFAutoNameContentSearch%.pdf” as the file name.

win2pdf-auto-name-content-based-naming

The result? When each file is printed, Win2PDF searches for the document number in the original file, and then automatically names the PDF file with this number. No possibility of manual errors or extra time involved.  In this case, the file was automatically named “118277.pdf” when the file was printed.

Again, this was a relatively simple modification that we were able to do for customer that had a particular need and had no ability to change the original AS/400 program printing the documents.

If you have a similar need, let us know and we may be able to help.

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How to Create an Image from a PDF File

Suppose you have a PDF file that contains a certain page, photo, or diagram that you want to save as an image (to use in another document, for example).  How can this be done with Win2PDF?

When you install Win2PDF on your computer, it creates two different printers.  The most commonly used, obviously, is the “Win2PDF” printer.  But there is also a “Win2Image” printer that can be used to create image files in a variety of formats.

Win2Image and Win2PDF in the printers folder

The general process to save an image from a PDF file is:

  •  Open the PDF file in Adobe Reader, or any other PDF viewer application
  •  Select ‘Print’ from Adobe Reader and choose the printer named ‘Win2Image’

Select Win2Image in the Printers drop down menu

  •  Select the page you want to extract or save as an image

Select page number to extract and save as an image file

  •  Select the output format you want the new file to be.  You can save color or black & white versions in a variety of formats like JPG, TIFF, GIF, PNG, and BMP.

Select File format for the new image file

  •  Save

And that’s it.  You can now edit this new image file (crop, resize, etc.) with an image editor and insert it (if desired) into any other application.

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Win2PDF for the Enterprise: Integration

In our last post, we talked about how Win2PDF can be customized for the enterprise.  In this post, we’ll continue the theme of enterprise users but focus on how Win2PDF can be integrated with other applications or business processes.

img_488306First, all of the Win2PDF products make use of the standard Windows API for printers. This means other applications can print to Win2PDF automatically, without any user interaction.  It does require some level of technical proficiency in programming, but there are a variety of programming environments we have documentation for, including Visual Basic (VB), Visual C for Crystal Reports, .NET, and Microsoft Access.  For a broader perspective all all features, just visit the Developer Information section of the Win2PDF user guide.

This in and of itself is a powerful tool that allows enterprises to create PDF files with specific naming conventions, file locations, and output options automatically.

Other useful features for incorporating Win2PDF with enterprise processes are:

  • Post-action setting:  This is a registry setting that can be set to allow the PDF created by Win2PDF to be passed to another program.  This can be useful for doing a secondary step with the PDF file, like processing it into a document management, email, printing, or reporting application.
  • Command-Line interface:  This was something we recently added and dedicated a blog post to it earlier this year.  It supports simple command line access to Win2PDF for merging, compressing, extracting pages, encrypting, and a variety of other PDF functions.
  • Win2PDF Mail Helper:  This free utility provides a SMTP mail client that can be used to send PDF files via email without user interaction.

Basically, if you have the ability to modify the application you are using to generate PDF files, using the integration options described here will give you the most powerful and flexible options to link PDF files into your workflow processes.  If you do not have the ability to modify the application, then the customization options for the enterprise would be the best option.

Let us know if you have questions about these or any other integration issues.  Again, if you can think of a situation where your PDF files can be incorporated into an enterprise process, there’s a good chance we’ve already figured out a way to make it happen.

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Win2PDF for the Enterprise: Customization

Generally, Win2PDF has two main types of users.  The first is the individual user who simply wants to use Win2PDF as a desktop printer to interactively convert a variety of documents to PDF files.  The second type of user is an enterprise user in a company or larger organization.  Often, these users need Win2PDF for a specific application, process, or to generate PDF files in a consistent way across their team or department.

gear-icon-svg-2 (2)Based on the support requests we receive, many of these enterprise users don’t realize the extent to which Win2PDF can be customized for their specific organization’s needs. “I didn’t know Win2PDF could do that?” is something we hear all too frequently.

Just consider a few examples that an administrator or manager of a larger group of users may wish to use:

  • Create a dedicated copy of the Win2PDF printer that prints and names PDF files automatically when used from a specific application, and save them in a specific network folder.
  • Have all PDF files automatically sent as e-mail attachments after they have been created.
  • For all PDF files generated, preset a Master Password that only the system administrator knows. [requires Win2PDF Pro]
  • Force certain default settings and disable certain interface fields that you don’t want users changing (i.e., “always save the file as a PDF/A file, in a specific location, and don’t allow the user to email or print that to a paper printer when it is being created”)

Many of these things can be enabled directly by the user or administrator with our free Admin Utility or free Mail Helper utility, or by using the Auto-name feature.  Other things may require some level of customization in the Win2PDF setup program (particularly for large deployments).

If you are a manager of a enterprise group of users, let us know if there are particular things you want to do.  In most cases, we’ve probably already had a similar request and can direct you to what options are available.

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Win2PDF & Google Cloud Print

Another new feature in our latest Win2PDF 10.0.56 release is the ability to print to a Google Cloud Printer when you save a PDF file. If you’re not familiar with Google’s Cloud Printer, you can visit the Cloud Print product page for more information.

If you check the “Print file” option on the main Win2PDF file save window (shown below), and if you have Goggle Chrome installed, you’ll be notified that Google Cloud Print can be used.

cloudprint1

If you select “Yes” to “Use Google Cloud Print”, Win2PDF launches Chrome after the PDF (or other format) is created.

cloudprint_printersThe user can select a cloud printer, and the print job will be submitted to the cloud print queue. The Chrome printer selection also contains a “Save to Google Drive” option. This can be used to save the PDF directly to the cloud even if Google Drive is not installed on the PC.

If you select “No” to “Use Google Cloud Print”, Win2PDF will present you with list of local printers you can choose from, just as it has with earlier versions of Win2PDF.

While Google has a free “Google Cloud Printer” windows printer driver, it doesn’t allow saving to PDF or combining with other workflow options. Also, the “Google Cloud Printer” doesn’t support Windows Terminal Services, so Win2PDF Terminal Server Edition (TSE) may be the only option to print from an Windows native app to a Google Cloud Printer from a Citrix or Microsoft terminal server.

If you use Google Cloud Printers in your organization or home, this new feature gives you a great way to save a PDF and print in a single step.

Win2PDF 10.0.56 is available as a free update to registered Win2PDF 10 users.

Posted in Auto-name, Cloud printing, Win2PDF 10, Win2PDF Updates | Leave a comment