Saturday, March 26, 2011

How computers think, part four

By the way, here is a very typical story about how you can use computers better by learning how they "think" (or perhaps how programmers think?). 

After using the useful but clumsy software calibre to convert the HTML file (mentioned in the post below) to ePub, it occurred to me that many people might prefer a PDF file. Well, I have paid good money (several times) for Adobe Acrobat Pro, and it can import a web site and make it into a PDF file! That's really cool. 
So, one might expect it could open an HTML file from disk and not just from the web, n'est pas? Weeeeeell, I have learned the weird ways of the world, and yes, just as I suspected: Nooooooooo, it can't. Of course not. 

So I had to upload the HTML file to my web server, choose "make file from web site" in Acrobat Pro, type in the web URL for the file, and import it from there! 
A couple of minutes later I had a decently formatted document (sadly you can't do anything about text size when doing this), which I could then just save as PDF... Ding dong dut. 
But, see what I mean? That is just so typical that I *knew* it would be that way.
Update: a couple of people reminded me that in this case (a simple document without important links or such) Mac OS X's "print to PDF" feature would do the same job, and easier, just from the web browser. Thanks guys. There's even an advantage to this: one can change the size of the text in the PDF just by changing the visible text size in the browser before printing. (I kept to the text size I had though, because it's a good compromise between screen, printing (perhaps half pages), and the Kindle's 6-inch screen.
To those who didn't know this trick: in the print dialogue window in OS X, in the lower left corner, there is a "PDF" button, click that and select "save as PDF". One can also preview it first by selecting "view PDF in Preview". 

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why didn't you just use the "print" function and save as PDF? This is what I do when I want to create PDFs from webpages whether online or saved in disk (or any other documents) in Mac OS.
I'm curious what Acrobat Pro offered in this case that the basic PDF conversion offered by the system didn't have.

Anonymous said...

Did you try converting to PDF using Calibre? I do this often...

Dave Nielsen said...

Listen to General Hammond. He is wise.

M. Pipolo said...

Yes, like anon said. I use Print to PDF all the time and it seems like it would work here, no?

eolake said...

You guys are right, in this case (a very simple document, no important links or such), Mac OS X's Print To PDF is perfectly workable, and simpler. I had forgotten about that option, thank you.

eolake said...

...There's even an advantage to this: one can change the size of the text in the PDF just by changing the visible text size in the browser before printing. (I kept to the text size I had though, because it's a good compromise between screen, printing (perhaps half pages), and the Kindle's 6-inch screen.

ttl said...

[...] no important links or such

Actually, in the copy you provided, the links (in the Table of Contents) do not work. They might work if you generated the file using the print-to-PDF method.

Also, there's a DOMAI URL on the footer of every page. Stamping every page of a pirated ebook with the name of your business may not be an entirely winning strategy. :-))) Just sayin'.