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Free tools for saving websites as PDFs

If you want to save a website as a PDF, there are many different free-of-charge solutions at your disposal. In addition to different programs and web browser add-ons, there are also many web apps on offer that can turn individual web pages into a PDF. Most of the time, however, the results stemming from these apps are inadequate for many users: for example, perhaps some of the websites’ components weren’t able to be properly saved, or the formatting or quality of the images included in the document were noticeably poor. And it’s precisely this reason that we’ve researched some of the best applications for converting websites into Portable Document Format (PDF).

What’s the point of saving a website as a PDF?

There are some situations where converting from HTML to PDF may be useful: for example, if you’d like to save an article, route description, or other content in order to be able to access it later without an internet connection. Portable Document Formats (PDFs) are among the most commonly used file formats out there and can be used across different platforms. As a result, PDFs can be called up on virtually any computer and operating system — the document can be easily and quickly transferred via a removable storage device (USB stick, memory card, etc.), online storage spaces, or an e-mail on another computer. This is particularly useful in cases where users wish to print a document but don’t have a printer attached to the computer they’re currently working on.

What’s more, saving websites as PDFs is useful when archiving online content. But what advantages do special programs offer when it comes to converting a website’s content into a PDF? After all, pushing [Ctrl] + [S] or right clicking your mouse and selecting ‘save page’ also has a similar effect.; screenshots are also often enough to get the job done.

But there are indeed good reasons to take advantage of some of the software options out there: unlike the browser’s simple ‘save page’ function, these tools are able to better display the details of a given page’s layout. A further advantage can also be observed when taking a look at the ‘save page’ function: this browser command saves an HTML file of the called up page as well as many other separate files of the corresponding page elements. PDF converter programs on the other hand provide their users with just one single PDF file. And unlike screenshots, the document always contains the complete website.

How to convert HTML into PDF

Even this program, which displays websites in separate sections, doesn’t always produce a one-to-one presentation of the website you aim to copy. The quality of the conversion depends first and foremost on the respective webpage’s content. More complex internet sites and dynamic content sometimes lack certain components; in other cases, a site’s formatting isn’t correctly taken on. Even the applications introduced in this text are not able to guarantee that web content will be fully transferred into a PDF file true to the original content’s form. Despite these shortcomings, these are the best available free-of-charge tools for converting HTML to PDF.

Saving a website as a PDF with locally installed conversion software

  • Nitro PDF Reader: in addition to opening and editing PDFs, Nitro PDF Reader enables users to convert numerous file formats into a PDF file. When it comes to converting a website, the following steps are generally taken: after installing the program, open the print menu in your browser in order to print the displayed page (either via the browser menu or via the key command [Ctrl] + [P]). After selecting the Nitro PDF reader and clicking ‘Print’, the program transfers all of the page’s web content into a PDF.

  • PDFCreator: the PDFCreator functions in a very similar way to that of the Nitro PDF Reader: this tool also saves content via the browser’s print function. In addition to PDFs, other additional file formats are also supported (PNG, JPG, etc.).

  • 7-PDF Website Converter: in order to save a website with the 7-PDF Converter, just add the URL into the program’s text field. Before the conversion is started, users are able to make changes to the settings: for example the format and the orientation (portrait or landscape) can be determined; users can also opt to keep the links from the website in the PDF file.

Saving a website as a PDF with your browser

  • Save as PDF: this add-on is available for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome and enables website-to-PDF conversion through both browsers. Just search in Chrome’s or Firefox’s add-on menu for the option ‘Save as PDF’: after installing the add-on, users are able to save the called up website as a PDF in just one easy click.

  • Awesome Screenshot: this tool runs on many browsers (Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Opera, Mozilla Firefox) and in addition to HTML-to-PDF conversion, also offers some additional features: this allows users to add comments or other labels in the created document.

  • Firefox for Android: this allows users to create PDF files of the displayed site via smartphones or tablets (‘Menu’à ‘Page’ ‘Save as PDF’).

  • Safari iOS: this allows users to create a PDF file or an internet site via the browser menu (‘Share’ à ‘Save PDF in iBooks’).

Saving a website as a PDF via a web app

  • Free HTML to PDF converter by Winnovative Software: the online-PDF converter by Winnovative software is easy to use and also delivers great results. With this app, you just need to enter the website’s URL and answer the CAPTCHA request.

  • Online2pdf.com: the website online2pdf.com is somewhat more complicated to use. Through your browser, your website first needs to be saved in the (O)XPS format (this is all explained here on the provider’s website and then uploaded to the web app and converted there.

  • Htm2pdf.co.uk: with this web app, websites can be saved quickly and easily as PDFs. You’ll receive a download link shortly after adding the URL and clicking on ‘Convert!’. However, the document does indicate that it was created with htm2pdf.co.uk.

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