Turn a Blog tutorial into a PDF

I mentioned this before, but I though I would step thru it for you in case you are interested. PLEASE keep in mind that I use a very specific set of tools and some of them may be Mac-specific things so you may need to translate what *I* do into something YOU can do. But even if this doesn’t work exactly for you it might get you thinking about how you can do something similar.

What I am using:

  • Safari as a browser.  Normally I use one called Camino, a Mac-only browser built, I think on the Mozilla/Firefox bones.  I love it but to be honest I don’t know, in real life, a single other person who uses it.  DH hates it.  I love it.  There you go.
  • Snow Leopard – yes, it’s old, I know.  YMMV with more up-to-date versions of Mac OS
  • Readability – this is not unlike the Google Reader.  It converts a web page into something that looks a bit more like a magazine, without all the distractions.  It works well on Blog posts, getting rid of the headers, the sidebars, etc.

OK so you are surfing’ the web, and you see a blog post that is just loaded with info – lovely photos, step by step instructions, and you really want to save it so you can give it a go later.  You bookmark it, then go back in 3 months  and the bookmark doesn’t work.  DOH!  You wish you had taken screen shots or saved at least an image but it was never going to be easy so you settled for a bookmark.  And it came back to bite you, didn’t it?  Ah well….

But wait – check this out!

1. When on the web page, with the Read It button installed in your browser (and you can see how to do that on the Readability site) you click READ IT

This is what you normally see on my sample blog post:



Lots of info on there, but not all of it what you need to see. When you click READ IT THIS is what you see!


And click that to see THIS:


How tidy is that?  All stripped down and clear of clutter.  See the red circle?  That is a printer icon.  If you click it, it brings up a print window.

2. Click PRINT


I usually opt to Open PDF in PREVIEW, so I can check it to make sure all the pages are included.  I admit it IS a little flaky.  Sometimes you won’t get all the pages, but if you repeat the steps it usually works – or does for me.

3. Once you can see it looks like you want it to, click Save as PDF. Save it.


Now, the title for the PDF will be quite long – Preview of “Blog article title from Blog Name – Readability view”.pdf or something like that.  This is my blog post, so I’ve edited it down a lt.  But I wouldn’t do that if it was someone else’s blog post.  I would want to make sure I knew where it came from.  and obviously you should NEVER share a PDF like this by posting it for download.  Not cool – not your work, not your right to do it.  This is JUST for YOU.

And here is the resulting PDF.  Looks like this:


On the last page it has the link, which is handy if you ignore my suggestion not to edit the PDF title LOL!

Original URL:

There you go.  You now have a PDF of a long blog post, with all the images and the text, so you can save the project for later.  MUCH easier than laboriously grabbing screen shots or copy/pasting text and images to compile your own.

And because it bears repeating, DO NOT SHARE THE PDF without permission of the original blogger!

Now, I know there are other Reader-type things out there.  Readability is just the one I use.  and they might work slightly differently.  All I can suggest is to have a play and see if you can do something similar, if you like the results.