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PDFs - printing from webpage?

Posted on 2003-03-06
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Last Modified: 2013-12-25
Hi
I am sure this is a simple question for you guys, but I am new to this and getting conflicting advice from various sources.  Can anyone give me some clarity please?

I want to put a 6-page brochure onto my website.  Website created with Frontpage (no extns, no frames).  I have scanned the pages into Acrobat and saved them as pdfs.  

I want people to be able to print off a decent copy and thought if I supplied a link to download Acrobat Reader on the page, they could either save or print the pages they wanted.  I originally wanted to create a 'printer friendly' page, but after looking into this, I want the brochure to print out as it appears on the website.

Other people more knowledgeable than me have said I should convert the page to html - can anyone tell me the benefits of this?

Would there be a considerable difference in quality of print out if students printed the pages from their browser, or downloaded Acrobat Reader to print it off (as a pdf)?

Can anyone offer any advice on the best way to put this brochure on a website, so it can be printed off by anyone.  The brochure is colour, mainly text, with a few photo images.

I would be grateful for any advice.
Thanks.
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Question by:CarolineX
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19 Comments
 
LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:daleoran
ID: 8078982
Hi Caroline,
I have never had any problems printing from PDFs that are available on the internet. They are formated properly on A4 pages and the print quality is fine. And to be honest I hate printing from HTML pages because they print over 2 or more pages, text is cut at the edges etc. Stick to PDFs

Michael
0
 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:dearsina
ID: 8079027
If you have already scanned in the brochure pages, why don't you just upload the images. Save them as JGPs and link them.
The thing with PDFs is that you need to make sure the file-size is right, and that you have saved the images for a reasonably high-quality, and not the standard "for web" option. If you have that, PDF is as good, but againg, if you only have a series of images in your PDFs, you are not really fully using the potential of PDF, and you would be easier off without it.
Don't worry about HTML, PDF is far better for printing as daleoran pointed out.

sina
london

0
 
LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:daleoran
ID: 8079088
Alternatively, have the brochure done in HTML so that the user can browse it a page at a time without having to wait for the whole document to download (as happens with PDF) and offer the option to download the brochure in PDF format

Michael
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LVL 1

Accepted Solution

by:
nasdaqphil earned 200 total points
ID: 8080190
I would not save the brochure as a jpg - that's out of the question...you would have to compress the image so much to make it load in reasonable time that it would look bad when printed.  

To convert your brochure to html, most people giving you advice are talking about literally taking the word doc or whatever you used to create the brochure and copy the text of the brochure into a web page.  

A text/html version will load very quickly and will give users the "skinny" version of what you're trying to say.  It will load quick, the info is there, it will be clean and neat.  However, I personally would upload a version in pdf as well.  Let your viewers choose - just briefly disclose the differences.  If its gonna be the type of brochure that people will hang on to and maybe pass to friends, you will definitley want to have a pdf version cause of the print quality.  

When I upload stuff like that for a web job, I will usually allow visitors to click a link to the pdf or visit the html version.  Personally, I would take the html version over the pdf version in most cases because I don't care about looks...I just want to read the info that I need, but if you have them both, use them both.
0
 

Author Comment

by:CarolineX
ID: 8086962
Thanks for all your comments.  It has given me a lot to think about.  I think I will choose to give both options (pdf & html); html to view and pdf to print off.  Although the PDFs look great as they are online, I take the point about slow download times.  I have broadband, but this could be a consideration to dial-up users.  I could also have each page as a separate pdf which would be quicker.....?
Thanks again! :)
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:daleoran
ID: 8087244
Hi Caroline,
Glad we could help. If u're happy we the replies could u accept the one most appropriate as the answer.

Michael

0
 

Author Comment

by:CarolineX
ID: 8087410
Chose Nasdaqphil as he gave more info, but thanks to everyone.
0
 
LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:nasdaqphil
ID: 8087884
Thanks for the points.  Glad to help.  I would keep the pdf as 1 longer file.  The last thing you would want to do is make visitors pull up multiple pdf's - unless there are distinct "points" or "sections" of your brochure which could be labelled as such in the separate pdf's...otherwise viewers will be confused and frustrated and will not find the info they're looking for quick enough.  Most net surfers know the difference by now in load time and if they click your pdf link, they are probably already prepared to wait for it to pull up.  Those looking for the pdf version are looking to just click the print button and have the entire brochure print out otherwise, if they wanted to pick and choose their information, they would just use the html version to scan the content for what they're looking for.  FYI, you could also upload the Word version and make a link directly to that as well if you wanted.  When a visitor clicked your mybrochure.doc link, it would automatically open word and allow them to view the brochure - assuming they have word on their computer.  Remember to keep the font simple however or surfers will not be able to see your fancy fonts stored on your personal computer.  Keep the font to Arial, Verdana or Helvetica is most common and everyone has those on their computer so you will not experience formatting problems when viewers go to pull up your doc page.

Thanks again,
Phil
0
 

Author Comment

by:CarolineX
ID: 8087976
Hi Phil
Thanks again for that.  I should clarify that it was a glossy printed version brochure that was scanned straight into Acrobat and saved as pdf.  Not Word or other document.  I have saved each page separately and also one version of whole document.  I also have 2 other smaller brochures in a separate category, and therefore will have a separate navigation button & link.  I was intending to have the whole main document as one pdf with 'next page' buttons to goto next page.  Most people viewing the website & brochure will be students on institution or library PCs which should have Acrobat Reader already installed to view/print off what they want, but it may print ok directly from the browser.  I will need to send it to various printers to see the quality. I take your point about being prepared for download - they should be used to this!  i understand a little better about html and I don't think there is a need to have links in the brochure itself or any other reason for it.  There are enough hyperlinks on the rest of the website!
After your comments, I am thinking now that I might be better off re-doing the brochure myself in say Word or PageMaker - what do you think?  I don't really want to unless it will make things easier......?
You're a star, cheers.
Regards
Caroline
0
 
LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:nasdaqphil
ID: 8088199
It really depends.  I have a program called TextBridge Pro that will pull all the words from an image and save it to a word or text file for me to convert to html.  

http://www.scansoft.com/textbridge/

This has saved me countless hours converting "e-books" etc.  The program is not flawless however and you still need to go over the text to make sure its all correct, but it does save you from a lot of typing - particularly with large books and stuff...If you just have a few brochures, it might be quicker to type it out...its up to you.  Do you type fast?  :)

The benefit is that once its in text, its much more versatile for future use...you can update it, change dates, etc.  Totally your call however...
0
 

Author Comment

by:CarolineX
ID: 8093454
Wow, thanks Phil - I think I have found my long-term answer.  Luckily I am a fast typist and if I can get hold of the original jpgs.....mmm, it's bound to want updating in the future, so I think this is the way to go.  Does Textbridge preserve the original fonts?  
This is turning into our own newsgroup! :) but I am so grateful for your help.  
Best wishes
Caroline
0
 
LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:nasdaqphil
ID: 8093770
No, in fact, TextBridge gets funky with funky fonts.  If your image is a scan of a typical magazine page, let's say...the text is usually simple, like Arial or Times...then TextBridge will do a good job.  If the image is created in some weird font, you will have many misspellings and corrections to go over after TextBridge does its thing.  TextBridge might even be able to scan pdf's...you would have to look into that - Im not sure.  I really only bought the program for 1 job in particular when I had to convert a bunch of 60-minute religious sermons that were types out in booklets...there were about 15 booklets with 20 pages each and I wasnt about to type them out so I scanned them and popped them into TextBridge for it to do its thing.  After TB was done, I was left with a Word doc with many errors that needed correcting....however, the type of material I was reading was religious in nature and had many unusual and biblical terms that were not stored in TextBridge's dictionary so it could not make out a lot of the text, which I had to manually type in after it made mistakes.

Bottom line - if you have a scan with simple fonts on it, TextBridge is the answer...if not, its probably easier and cheaper to type it out.
0
 

Author Comment

by:CarolineX
ID: 8095225
Cheers Phil, I will type it out!
0
 

Author Comment

by:CarolineX
ID: 8098200
Phil, wondered if you could help out again please......?  Still on this brochure thing.....
I found that Adobe.com have an online pdf to html conversion service!  Thought I would try it out. You just need to type in the URL of the pdf you want converted.  So, I did just that, but it says it can't find the page.  I tried to view the pdfs from my website, to check the path, but it can't find them.  They are not linked to the website as yet, but they are definitely uploaded, and gifs in the same folder (same path) that are also not part of the website anymore, ARE showing!!  I am not so worried about the conversion now, just want to know why I cannot view the pdfs from the web server.  Any ideas, or should I post this as a separate question?
Thanks.
0
 
LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:nasdaqphil
ID: 8098241
What is the direct link?  I'll check it out and see whats wrong.  Also, Adobe usually allows you to pull images through your local C drive as well...might be an option for you...it will do the uploading for you directly through your c drive.  I know it allows this for pdf conversions, but Im not familiar with pdf to html conversion service.

To access your pdf, you need to upload it usually via ftp (check out WS_ftp on download.com - its a free eval) and you need to make your link like this:

Click here to view the pdf version:

The "click here" hyperlinks to http://www.mywebsite.com/advertising/MyBrochure.pdf

then your pdf will automatically load up.  It sounds like your host might have messed around inside your space - maybe by accident or maybe just a temporary glitch, but if that's not the case, then you probably did not upload your pdf's correctly or are not linking to them correctly.

Here's an example I threw up from an old site we did years ago...this is both a pdf and a word conversion - notice the exact link:

www.hateshopping.com/animate/OnePageFlyer.pdf

www.hateshopping.com/animate/OnePageFlyer.doc


You need the FULL URL that goes directly to the pdf in order to pull up the pdf.
0
 

Author Comment

by:CarolineX
ID: 8098260
Phil, wondered if you could help out again please......?  Still on this brochure thing.....
I found that Adobe.com have an online pdf to html conversion service!  Thought I would try it out. You just need to type in the URL of the pdf you want converted.  So, I did just that, but it says it can't find the page.  I tried to view the pdfs from my website, to check the path, but it can't find them.  They are not linked to the website as yet, but they are definitely uploaded, and gifs in the same folder (same path) that are also not part of the website anymore, ARE showing!!  I am not so worried about the conversion now, just want to know why I cannot view the pdfs from the web server.  Any ideas, or should I post this as a separate question?
Thanks.
0
 

Author Comment

by:CarolineX
ID: 8098318
Wow, that was quick!  Well, Phil, its a weird one.  I use FTP Explorer to upload to my website.  The pdfs are not linked to the website yet, just there until I am ready with the html versions and can do it all at the same time.  I can view them in FrontPage (Acrobat Reader opens).  I definitely uploaded them, they are showing in FTPExp.  
Only slight glitch was that they are not in the same folder as they are in the FrontPage version.  This is because I know that the live website is working OK, so I always just upload each amended page once I am sure it is working properly and never the whole website (just to be safe).  May sound strange, but its because the website was originally created by someone else and I have taken it on as a favour and to learn.  It's rather complicated but I enjoy being thrown in at the deep end (usually!).  I am not sure how to create new folders in FTP Explorer yet.  But, I don't think being in a different folder would make a difference though, as long as I am giving the correct path, right?  Which I am.
The Adobe service doesn't seem to offer the option to take the doc from the C:\drive, only URL.  I have been to the website to check the correct URL where the pdfs are.  I thought it was because they weren't actually linked yet, but, as I said, some old gifs in the same dir can be viewed if I type in the path.
URL is: http:\\www.languageproject.co.uk/lflp2.pdf - This is the actual website.  I have also tried the URL via the server, but this doesn't work either.
Let me know if you need further info.  Sorry I am not technically fluent.  Hope this makes sense to you.
:)
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:dearsina
ID: 8098335
Dear CarolineX and nasdaqphil. Please note that because this question is answered, email notification cannot be turned off.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:nasdaqphil
ID: 8099820
point taken.  Caroline - just email me: nasdaqphil@aol.com - we should talk about this on our own at this point.
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