How to Create Non-Paginated PDFs from Current Webpage of Firefox?
December 1, 2008 11:54 AM   Subscribe

Is there a Firefox extension, or Mac app that can work with what is currently on Firefox, which will export the current webpage as a PDF file that is not paginated and reproduces the screen appearance, such as what Saft's "Export PDF" feature offers for Safari?

The Saft plugin for the Macintosh version of Apple Safari offers a feature called "Export PDF" in which the page is exported as one long PDF file. The PDF file is not like the one you might get by picking "Save as PDF..." from the PDF menu on the Print dialog; it works off the screen version of the current webpage. This webpage more accurately describes, and gives you a visual example of, the feature.

This is perfect for my archiving purposes; it retains the text as text, so that I can then highlight it or annotate it using Skim, yet leaves the result near-identical to the original. The only problem? I don't use Safari any longer. I currently use a very klutzy process of passing the URL over to Safari using Safari View and then having a macro pick the contextual menu item, do the renaming, and so on. The problem is that if the timing is imperfect due to system lag, or if a new extension has rearranged the order of items in the contextual menu, the macro misbehaves. I'd much prefer to have a Firefox-native solution, or an Apple application that will work directly with Firefox.

Saving the URL as an image, such as is currently offered by some extensions and Mac applications (such as Paparazzi), is not a useful solution to me because it does not preserve the text as text within the document.

posted by WCityMike to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Pull down the File menu, select Print, and set up a custom paper size with height some page multiple of 11 inches. For example, if your document is three pages long, create a paper size of 33 inches. Then click "Save as PDF...". The PDF will not be paginated and will preserve the text.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:22 PM on December 1, 2008

Response by poster: I hadn't thought about mucking with the page size, and that's a really good backup. I have to admit, though, that part of the reason I like Saft's Export PDF functionality is because it's a near-perfect mirror of the screen layout: it's like it was when I was looking at the webpage on the screen. Print copies are usually somewhat problematic reproductions of what was on the screen, especially when some are improperly formatted so that they're cut off or what have you.
posted by WCityMike at 1:19 PM on December 1, 2008

Response by poster: odinsdream »» If you actually just want what you see on-screen, use the Grab application and take a screen shot of just the webpage portion of the Firefox window.

Odinsdream, given that the question specifically states that I'm looking for how to generate an PDF archival copy of a full webpage that has selectable text for markup, I'm not sure why you would suggest a screenshot. At the risk of sounding snappish, it seems even a cursory reading of my question would've indicated that a screenshot isn't anywhere near what I'm asking for.

Also, just as a friendly tip, launching Grab isn't even necessary — Command-Shift-4, hover over Firefox window, Space bar, mouse click.
posted by WCityMike at 11:53 AM on December 2, 2008

Best answer: Self-follow-up: It turns out that Paparazzi has the option of saving as a non-paginated PDF, which does result in the text being saved as well. Even better, it can be triggered by a bookmarklet, which I can assign to a keyword, which Keyconfig can then trigger with a keystroke, meaning that saving something to a non-paginated PDF can become a fairly easy affair.
posted by WCityMike at 9:07 AM on August 20, 2009

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