Want to read an article later and not use your data plan? Going somewhere and want to look at a website page without worrying about an internet connection? Can’t seem to find the time to read an article in the near future but worry the article might be gone when you get around to reading it? If you are using Ubuntu, you’re already set up for an ultra simple solution to grab ‘n’ go websites.
In my case, I just wanted to take a bunch of articles and read them on my tablet or netbook up at my parents cabin where the internet is either spotty or notty. At first I started downloading Firefox add-ons and this and that but it turns out the most simple and effective solution was sitting there ready to go: the ‘print to file’ option when you print *anything* in Ubuntu. Ubuntu, because it’s just plain awesome out of the box, comes with the ability to print anything to PDF. So, the solution is this simple:
1. Go to the website you want to have as a PDF
2. Choose to print the page (I use the control + P buttons because it’s rocket fast)
3. Choose ‘print to file’ option
4. KEY STEP!! Rename the file now. It defaults to some ‘mozilla’ file name and will remember your last file name so every time you save a new article/page you have to remember to change the name or they will all end up in your last folder with the same name. Makes for an annoying time. NOTE: When you rename the file, do *not* erase the final .pdf tag or the file might have issues.
5. Change the directory where you want it to go. Customize this exactly by using the ‘other’ option in the dropdown list as in the following image:
That’s it. Your file will be waiting for you in that directory and then all you have to do is get the file to your other device. In my case I just email it to my tablet, or use a usb stick and transfer it around from devices. In the case of most reasonable devices (Apple products are not reasonable, FYI) you can just plug it right into your computer (ie phone, tablet) and transfer the PDF like that.
One other enhancement I did was add a firefox add-on called ‘image block 2.1’ which can be turned on and off from a simple button at the top right side of firefox. What this does is block all images from loading on the page which makes, in my opinion, a much better PDF to read later. Here is a screenshot of the benefit. The one on the left is without using the image blocker and the one on the right is using it.
Hope that helps and keep on stopping the suffering by sharing Ubuntu!