Can there be difference between display and print in PDFs?
January 23, 2004 7:44 AM   Subscribe

PDF question: Is it possible to have text and/or graphics in a pdf that can be seen onscreen, but are suppressed when printed? [more]

the problem is, my client believes that users do not see and/or do not know how to use the bookmark pane. So they would like some navigation built into the page itself. Crrrazy, but OK. The question then is, will the navigation be confusing to users who only see the PDF in printed form? Of course it will. So can it be hidden upon printing? I'm open to using plug-ins, but the creation platform has to be Acrobat.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
stupidsexyflanders - what do the text and graphics have to do with the navigation? Is hotlinking instead of bookmarking an option? You can hotlink text in the image and set it to link to another part of the file and have the linked text either viewable or not I believe...
posted by vito90 at 9:02 AM on January 23, 2004

In Acrobat 4 or higher you can create form fields that display but don't print.

This guide (pdf) should be helpful. Other resources are available.
posted by monkey.pie.baker at 9:48 AM on January 23, 2004

Fire your client. He is too stupid to have you work for him. I'm serious.

Nobody has a problem using the bookmarks, and nobody has a problem finding them if the document is configured to show them when it's opened.
posted by kindall at 10:26 AM on January 23, 2004

On the other side of kindall, I might just suck it up and come up with an innovative way to accomplish this. Off the top of my head, I can think of a couple of ways this might be accomplished.

1. Internal text links. Espeically if there are only a few of them (and they'd mostly need to come at the beginning of the document), I might try to include them in the copy a la html links.

2. Put them in a gutter / margin. Put the four or five section title links in the gutter or margin (in a nice font / spacing / arrangement). You would probably want to include text like "This document contains" above them, if you think readers are so stupid that they might be confused by words in the gutter of the first page that are unlabeled.

3. Put them in a (tastefully designed) bar below the title / logo / letterhead shit at the top. These would appear to be a button bar when viewed onscreen, but would just be the "steps-in-the-process" or somesuch when viewed on paper.

[I believe that your client is crazy as well -- I mean: confuse print users by using web conventions on paper, or confuse web and PDF users by *not* using the bookmarks? Sheesh. How stupid. I'd certainly put the navigation in the bookmarks where it belongs as well, even if I did create on-page navigation elements.]
posted by zpousman at 6:48 PM on January 23, 2004

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