Archiving The Web Via PDFs and Dropbox

Hi, my name is Martha and I am a data hoarder. No really. I love to clip and save and organize the cool stuff I find on the web. Perhaps it comes from my professional background as a researcher – you never know when you are going to need that great bit of information in the future.

I also am a fan of PDFs and I love to work with them on my iPad. My favorite PDF app is iAnnotate, but there are other great ones, like the venerable GoodReader which has been around about as long as the iPad has. I also love Dropbox, the web storage / syncing / sharing application that is pretty much everywhere these days.

So, when MacStories published this great hack, I was all ears. Imagine using a web bookmarklet to save a webpage or URL as a PDF and store in your Dropbox so you can edit and sync across devices and access from anywhere? Federico Viticci has a great means of doing just that using the Instapaper Text Bookmarklet, available on the Instapaper web site (scroll down to the bottom of the page) and a command line Mac HTML converter called wkpdf.  Sure, its geeky. But it works great. Mac only, though, so sorry all you Windows users.

Hit the link above for the very explicit details. Viticci offers a couple of ways of getting the job done, but the end result is stored PDFs of sites with active links and images, with the crap stripped out for easy reading. I particularly like the option to use IFTTT by sending a Mail message with the URL, which then appends the body of the message to a text file. Takes a little bit of tweaking and a few apps to set the system up, but once it is up and going, you will be an automated URL / HTML to PDF machine! Thanks Federico!

2 comments on “Archiving The Web Via PDFs and Dropbox

  1. This is clever. You can accomplish almost the same result — without the PDFs — by just clipping to Evernote. Then the articles, web pages or whatever are synced, accessible and searchable across all your devices.

  2. I do that too. And I do think Evernote has the staying power so that you shouldn’t have to worry about losing the service. This hack works great for manipulating the content on an iPad PDF app, if that is your cup of tea.

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