17

I print a lot of web pages to pdf, using CutePDF. URLs are maintained as active links in the pdf document, but hyperlinks do not generate an active link.

Is there any, preferably free, pdf printer that maintains active hyperlinks, when printing webpages?

(And please, do not advice any tool that does not specifically do this)

I use Firefox, but don't think the browser should matter.

3
  • Not sure what exactly you mean by masked hyperlinks. According to known definition of masked hyperlink it should not matter for a pdf printer. In fact PDF printer has no way of knowing where does the hyperlink lead to, so it does not distinguish between masked and non-masked links. Sep 10, 2014 at 8:03
  • smc; I simply mean normal text which has a hyperlink, such as; superuser If masked is incorrect, what is the term for this?
    – bretddog
    Sep 10, 2014 at 8:16
  • The term is hyperlink. Has nothing to do with masking. Plain text is called URL. Hyperlink is clickable object that takes you to URL. Please read wiki:Hyperlink and wiki:URL. Also don't forget to update yor question (including title) Sep 10, 2014 at 8:29

5 Answers 5

7

First I have to assure you that it matters what browser you are using. Unless you are using the standard OS print dialog, the browser will use its own library to create the PDF. Results will vary between different browsers.

Just as experiment I have printed this page using Firefox and Chromium. Firefox did not save any clickable links. Chromium saved about 50% and the selection seemed to be pretty random.

I believe the best solution for you would be to install a browser add-on / extension that will do the job.

I made a quick search and for Firefox I have found this one: the unimaginatively named Print pages to Pdf. Direct link to the latest version: 0.5.0.6.

Creates one Pdf from any amount of open Browsertabs,Bookmarks/-folder, Scrapbook(Plus) pages. This document can be archived, sended [sic] by e-mail or printed out with any standard Pdf Viewer.

if you go through the list of features you will find what you are looking for:

  • Retains links in the pdf from the content of webpages
  • Supports local links for navigating in the webpage/pdf

I have tested it briefly and it printed the page correctly with all clickable links.

5
  • Well this looks quite awesome! :) So far good results and some nice options. Thanks!
    – bretddog
    Sep 10, 2014 at 21:44
  • 1
    These links are dead.
    – AllInOne
    Apr 11, 2017 at 14:14
  • 1
    @AllInOne, updated Apr 11, 2017 at 18:54
  • @ArtGertner Links to any version of this are dead. (I loved the plugin before..)
    – Malachi
    Apr 11, 2018 at 14:32
  • Update 2022 for Firefox as main browser this Save as Pdf addon works. That is not full-featured free though, so, we can open the page in Chrome from Firefox and use its 'print to pdf' integrated tool which keeps links, as said in another answer. To do that with ease, we can use 'Open with' addon or one of the many 'open with Chrome' addons.
    – cipricus
    Feb 25 at 11:14
8

Using Chrome's "save as PDF" integrated virtual printer is another option. It worked for me where the "print pages to PDF" Firefox extension messed the page badly (but indeed preserved the hyperlinks)

2
  • W3C documents such as w3.org/TR/xmlschema11-1/#composition-schemaImport don't seem to work with that approach: The linked document is NOT searchable and the links DO NOT work.
    – koppor
    Oct 7, 2015 at 3:57
  • 2
    Just tested that page, with the latest version of Chrome. The document IS searchable and external links DO work. Internal links (to an anchor in the page), DO NOT work (which is quite a problem for this type of document). Using "Print pages to PDF" seems to give a better result with that page: searchable, and with external AND internal links working, and it seems to preserve the layout properly.
    – hetchel
    Oct 9, 2015 at 15:39
3

wkhtmltopdf

Based on Print pages to Pdf, I suggest the stand alone tool wkhtmltopdf.

"c:\Program Files\wkhtmltopdf\bin\wkhtmltopdf" "http://www.example.com" test.pdf

Pandoc

wkhtmltopdf didn't work in my case, therefore I recommend Pandoc. It is a bit more complicated to get it running. With small documents, you should be able to run

pandoc http://www.example.org/ -o test.pdf

When you have UTF-8 documents with Chinese characters, you have to do it like follows:

pandoc http://blog.fefe.de/ -o test.tex
lualatex test.tex
lualatex test.tex

work-in-progress

However, in my concrete setting pandoc http://www.w3.org/TR/DOM-Parsing/ -o test.pdf, it lead to a LaTeX error.

! LaTeX Error: Too deeply nested.

Therefore, I did create the latex file manually:

pandoc http://www.w3.org/TR/DOM-Parsing/ --standalone -o test.tex

Then, I had to disable line 78, because an \includegraphics was within \href.

With a hack suggested at stackoverflow (inserted at line 74, right before \begin{document}), I also could not got it running (pdflatex test).

I opened issue #2438 at Pandoc.

2

The plugin Print pages to Pdf is no longer available on Firefox. I tried the alternative listed in this and other threads but had no luck.

What does work:

  • Use the Adobe PDF toolbar for Internet Explorer.
  • Use the "Convert Web Page to PDF" function in the toolbar.
3
1

There's a FireFox Addon "save-as-pdf", that does save the hyperlinks in the PDF document: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/save-as-pdf/

(it is free, but developed by a commercial company http://pdfcrowd.com )

1
  • It is worth mentioning that this conversion is done online. The addon sends the URL to pdfcrowd's online service which converts it and gives back the PDF. I won't use that addon due to privacy concerns - I don't want to know pdfcrowd which sites I am interested in. Furthermore, be prepared for all sorts of leaks of sensitive data when using that service (confidential contents of the page in question, session ids coded into the URL and so on), and for the addon not working if login data / session id is given to the website in question via post requests.
    – Binarus
    Jun 4, 2017 at 20:04

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.