Is this a PDF for ANTS?
December 17, 2018 6:17 PM   Subscribe

I regularly have to create very large email productions in the form of portfolio pdfs. For the most part, the Acrobat Pro plugin does exactly what I need, with one exception. If the email contains a long url, it will refuse to wrap it, even if it was wrapped in the email version. This results the Adobe shrinking the text of the email to fit the width of the page, waaaaay past the point where its reasonable to expect people to be able to read.

I have spent a day searching for answers on this one, in help forums, google, adobe, you name it, all I have to show for it is a splitting headache. I have tried changing the accessibility preferences, the default fonts under content, the scaling, the reflow, etc etc. This shouldn't be this difficult. What am I missing?

I cannot use a solution that requires me to edit the PDF after it is created, there are simply too many emails involved. It needs to be one that allows me to change/set the preferences in advance.
posted by instead of three wishes to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have any answers but it might be helpful to know more. Can you describe how you're generating the PDFs? It sounds like this is a browser plugin, and you're generating the PDF from gmail or another browser-based email. Is that right? The more info you can provide the better!
posted by wemayfreeze at 7:59 PM on December 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

Can you make clickable text that points to the URL like this, or does it have to be the full URL?
posted by Autumnheart at 8:02 PM on December 17, 2018

Maybe setting the CSS overflow-wrap property and/or word-break property in the HTML of the email would translate into the correct behavior in the PDF?
posted by XMLicious at 9:34 PM on December 17, 2018

Would TinyURL (or of course any of its competitors) solve your problem?
posted by aqsakal at 11:28 PM on December 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

wemayfreeze: Adobe Acrobat Pro offers a plugin named PDF maker for Outlook. I am using this plug-in.

Autumnheart: I do not care if the links actually work or not, I just need the text to wrap to the next line, so that font doesn't shrink. Readability is what matters here. It must be the full link, since I am not the person creating the link originally - I am simply converting email created by someone else into a PDF format.

XMLicious: I am not the one creating the links, and I am working out of Outlook -- is this a setting that can be applied to Outlook?

aqsakal: No, but thank you. I cannot change the text, it needs to be exactly what it was when written. Think in terms of a legal production - changing what someone else wrote would not be acceptable (even if it was a ginormous link). It would also be just too time consuming. We are talking thousands of emails created by folks other than myself.
posted by instead of three wishes at 2:57 AM on December 18, 2018

It's been more than a decade since I've last had access to a copy of Outlook, so I unfortunately can't give specifics... but your question prompts a further idea: have you tried saving an email in any other format and opening it in the relevant application—saving it as an .html file and opening it in a web browser, for example—and then converting to PDF from the target application, to see if the same wrapping problem exists?

(Or for that matter, if readability is the predominantly important thing, couldn't you just cut and paste the email into any application which is able to save as PDF? Even just the plain text of the email? And just keep trying until you find one where the output wraps as desired. If that works there are ways of automating it.)
posted by XMLicious at 9:29 AM on December 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

The Microsoft Print to PDF virtual printer creates PDFs from any print job and doesn't shrink the text. Or at least didn't when I just tried it: it wraps the text, keeping it the same size as the body text in Outlook.
posted by scruss at 11:20 AM on December 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

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