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How can I retain hyperlinks while saving a webpage as PDF via Print?

  • 9 ردود
  • 6 have this problem
  • 5 views
  • آخر ردّ كتبه jscher2000

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How can I retain hyperlinks while saving a webpage as PDF via Print?

This is the title of an apple forum question, and it is a bug in both Safari 5.1.3 and under, and I find it to also occur in Firefox browser (at least 9.* 10.*, 11.0), running on Lion OS (10.7.2, 10.7.3). See: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3212301?start=0&tstart=0

Under the newer Mac OS mentioned, and Firefox 10.2, 11.0, 9.*, if I select: File -> Print -> PDF -> Open PDF in Preview" (and view / save the PDF in Preview, you will see none of the links in the original web page are active or using File -> Print -> PDF -> Save as PDF... same problem. Try this using any Wikipedia page, for example.

When this problem was posed in Apple forums, by a user of the Safari browser, it was found to be a bug (since Aug 2011) fixed in a Safari browser build 5.1.4 circa Jan 2012. I tried the newer Safari browser and sure enough the problem went away (except that links embedded in the PDF no longer appeared as blue text - ARGH - but "hover over" with the cursor showed the link and clicking the link in Preview viewer activated the link in a browser window).

So I post this to the Mozilla community, please fix this 'cause I don't want to have to switch over to Safari browser every time I want to archive a PDF with active links!!!!

P.S. I did a spot-check and with the newer add-on Enjoy Reading 1.0.1 and FF11.0. When the Enjoy reading formatted version appears in the browser window, all URLs/links are preserved and highlighted in blue, but when I print that browser window as PDF, the links are dead (don't work) even though they appear in blue in the PDF.

So, what's going on, can the Safari fix be researched and applied to FF?

Also, on some forums, people are responding, Well, try installing Acrobat reader. Well, I don't want to, Preview reader has worked fine for me for years.

Modified by rj_oregon

All Replies (9)

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Generally speaking, PDF converters that work by intercepting a print job do not have access to the URLs behind links in the page, they only have the visual representation of the link. So links in that kind of PDF usually are blue underlined static text.

I'm on Windows, so I am not familiar with the broken functionality on Mac. Hopefully some Mac users can chime in.


Recently I began experimenting with an add-on that does preserve links. Unfortunately, the fonts can be a bit funky on some pages, but depending on your requirements, it might be a reasonable trade-off.

Print pages to Pdf :: Add-ons for Firefox

If you try it, could you report on whether it works on MacOS X?

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Thanks jscher2000. RE: -- Generally speaking, PDF converters that work by intercepting a print job do not have access to the URLs behind links in the page. --

I cannot say I agree. I could email you a PDF clipping or two (generated from Safari on Mac OS, in its native capability with no add-ons) that shows you otherwise. When I used PC platforms I did have to install PDF converters (tried both free and expensive ones) that did what I describe.

I cannot try the add-on you mention, Print Pages to Pdf. in Firefox. It shows in my browser and Mac OS platform "Not available for your platform." So I am guessing it was written for the PC version of Firefox.

The Mac OS has had a native PDF-creation functionality for as many years as I have been using it; I used PC prior to that, Win3.1 through XP and NT. And on my PC, I bought (and at work, my employer bought $$$, I had to justify three levels up to management the ability to create PDFs on my work PC) some Adobe functionality to CREATE pdf's (readin's free and easy, makin' em's costly on the PC).

I've gone and dug through some of my (Mac) doc and clipping archives, and I find that stuff I created after about Dec 2008 or so seems to eliminate all link functionality. When viewed in the Apple native "Preview" application (sort of Apple's equivalent to Adobe Acrobat reader, ships with the OS): link tags are highlighted/tinted, clicking a link opens a (default) browser and takes you there; hover-over the tag text shows the actual link. (Of course, not all old links are still VALID or point to the desired source.)

I could, in Safari or FF browser window and with no add-ons or Adobe paid products whatsoever, use the native OS method to create PDF's from any application (word processor, spreadsheet, browser, etc) via the menu File -> Print -> Save as PDF menu and create a PDF that had active hyperlinks. In Apple OS Lion 10.7.3, I still can't when it uses this broken WebKit interface, links are "dead" as a doornail until a fix is distributed in WebKit for a future Lion release. It seems this functionality died at least as far back as Leopard OS 10.6.8, but don't quote me on that. Also, my version of Pages 2009 version 4.1(923) (sorta like Word) STILL creates a PDF document that preserves (1) text hyper-links within the document, and (2) web links (in the PDF) that open the browser. I just made a test document.

When all you can see in the PDF is the tag text, there is nothing to copy-paste to follow any link. Also, hypertext links are often used by authors to create links to other points in a document: now even *that* is broken in the PDF version of the documents I retrieve from the web and print from FireFox (Broken in Safari 5.1.3 and earlier but fixed in 5.1.4).

Try this on the PC, in your browser and print a news clipping as PDF, do the links in the PDF work? What products do this, and what don't? I would bet the machine with a full Adobe suite this will work flawlessly. (Why should a PC user have to pay hundreds of $ to create this functionality in what I thought was an open standard (PDF)? But that's talkin' religion, let's not start that.)

Some folks might say,

go online and find the original source doc in your browser. Or,

go and add those links manually using the Preview edit add-link capability (hunh? no thanks) , or

save each item worth saving as an HTML archive instead of a PDF (argh, creating a whole directory in the process, I might add, including ads). Or,

who needs PDFs, everything is online.

Or, buy some Adobe product.

I think they miss my point. This is a real strange dumbing-down of archival PDF documents, or at least a destruction of the ability to use PDF as an archive that retains its links and references. C.F. the guy who has archives of scientific papers, and the old material all cross-references nicely but after date X there are no working links.

Modified by rj_oregon

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I think your request is valid, and it would be great if it worked again. As previously noted, this functionality was unique to the Mac, so I have no idea how it worked or why it stopped working.

On Windows, you need a program add-on of some kind to create PDFs with live links (other than full URLs which PDF readers dynamically make clickable). For example, in Microsoft Word, if you "print" to the Adobe Distiller you don't get live URLs, but if you use the Adobe PDFMaker add-on, then you do. Firefox/Windows is no different; Adobe finally released a PDFMaker add-on for Firefox with Acrobat X (if one's budget permits; I haven't tried it myself).

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Thanks jscher200. Thee links say what broke:

https://bugs.webkit.org/show_bug.cgi?id=65076

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3212301?start=0&tstart=0

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3212301?start=15&tstart=0

It would seem Mozilla - FireFox has to await Apple's next OS release (or developer release) for a fix, as noted below, or get it by some other means.

"Mar 25, 2012 6:18 AM (in response to rj_oregon) Hi rj, The stand alone WebKit version within Safari got fixed with the latest [webKit] release [circa Jan 8 2012] , but not the system wide WebKit, which is open to developers using Mac OS X system calls. So apps like NetNewsWire, Vienna, RapidWeaver etc, which depend on the system WebKit, will keep this bug until a future Mac OS X update. The good news: it is fixed, the bad news: we have to wait until the fix makes it into a Mac OS X release... Cheers, Karsten

I think my request to Mozilla community would be, can you pick up this or locate it somehow prior to the next OS release, and (2) can you look into the correct formatting of links, which still seems to be, hmm, degraded under the new fix. Thanks!

Modified by rj_oregon

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I am on Firefox 12 and I migrated to OSX Lion last month. I'm now on OSX 10.7.4 and this problem still exists. I called Apple Support and they showed me how Preview retains the hyperlinks when launched from Safari. So because I save many webpages as PDFs, I am having to switch to Safari for the first time since migrating from PC to Mac 5 years ago. I own Adobe Acrobat and I suppose I could integrate that with Firefox, but Preview is so much easier to use.

I hope someone in Mozilla can fix this problem so that I can return to firefox.

Modified by mjleefox

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So because I save many webpages as PDFs, I am having to switch to Safari for the first time since migrating from PC to Mac 5 years ago.

If you prefer to continue using Firefox as your general browser, you could install this add-on to launch the current page in Safari as needed (I haven't tried it myself): Open With :: Add-ons for Firefox.

For sites that require you to be logged in, that probably won't work unless you have already logged in from Safari, or Safari automatically logs you in on the first access...

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Thanks for the suggestion. It sounds a bit unwieldly, but I installed it and will give it a shot for awhile.

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So, in reply to the proposed work-around: I received an email saying that Apple's release of 10.7.4 contains the fixed library. So, if FF 12.0 didn't incorporate the library change, we'll have to await a maintenance release of FF 12.x for a fix. Problem not yet solved. I don't really see the above work-around (add-on to launch currently viewed page in Safari) as a "fix."

Modified by rj_oregon

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I think we need someone with 10.7.4 to test. (I suspect that Firefox simply submits a request to the system library and doesn't actually incorporate it.)

I think Apple fixed the Webkit rendering engine, but I don't know whether Firefox has any way to take advantage of that. Maybe if someone gives me a Mac I can look into it further. 8-)

Modified by jscher2000