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I'm trying to create a PDF document from an HTML document.

Of course it's easy to do this using the built-in PDF Printer, however, this does not retain hyperlinks.

I've tried wkhtmltopdf which looked very promising, but it crashes on every attempt.

Is anyone aware of any other options for generating a PDF document from an HTML document while retaining URL links?

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  • I can't confirm if this works, but something you might consider is converting from HTML to LaTeX. Then convert from LaTeX to PDF since LaTeX is a common way to create hyperlinks in a PDF.
    – styfle
    May 31, 2011 at 1:32

7 Answers 7

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The built-in Safari browser seems to do this when you do File -> Print -> PDF -> Save as PDF, it works for me as of Version 6 of Mac Safari.

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  • True, and this has worked in the same nice way in older versions too. OmniWeb did so too, but I have not used that for years, so things might have changed.
    – Arjan
    Aug 4, 2012 at 10:54
  • Does it retain the hyperlinks for you?
    – Ian
    Aug 6, 2012 at 21:34
  • Is there a way to automate this, like what wkpdf used to offer?
    – cnst
    Mar 24, 2015 at 0:52
  • @Ian For me this retains "external" hyperlinks, but not links to within-page named anchors.
    – Cai
    Aug 9, 2016 at 13:26
  • The built-in Safari browser preserves link formatting (e.g., blue underlined display text), but not clickable links (although Preview and Acrobat will automatically interpret URLs as clickable, even if they are not actually hyperlinked in the source document).
    – Lexible
    Sep 19, 2018 at 17:29
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Found an answer over on SuperUser.com: wkpdf

Free, works perfectly. All hyperlinks retained.

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  • Also good is wkhtmltopdf. Both of these tools are available via Homebrew on Mac OS.
    – Ian
    Mar 6, 2013 at 18:42
  • no longer installs; author seems to have purposefully disabled installation in anticipation of future incompatibility; WTF?
    – cnst
    Mar 24, 2015 at 0:52
  • There is an incompatibility with Yosemite from what I gather.
    – Ian
    Mar 24, 2015 at 1:31
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You can do this using Adobe Acrobat.

In Acrobat, go to File-> Create PDF-> From File. Select your HTML doc, let it do a bit of work, and then use File-> Save As to save it.

All hyperlinks will be intact.

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  • 2
    Thanks for your answer. Is there a non-$200 option?
    – Ian
    May 31, 2011 at 14:53
  • @Ian I'm sure there is, but I haven't seen it yet. May 31, 2011 at 18:56
  • After looking for two days, I've yet to find one, for Mac or Windows, that retains hyperlinks that have anchor text. Very strange.
    – Ian
    May 31, 2011 at 19:11
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Old question, but just found out if you open the .html in Microsoft Word and then save as pdf for online distribution, then the link works.

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I have tried dompdf in the past and has worked very well for me. dompdf PHP

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Check out the "Save as PDF" browser plugins:

Chrome plugin: https://chrome.google.com/extensions/detail/kpdjmbiefanbdgnkcikhllpmjnnllbbc

Firefox plugin: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/save-as-pdf/

Both are free, but developed by a commercial company http://pdfcrowd.com. I tried the FF plugin, and except for some minor layout overlapping in the converted PDF document, all hyperlinks were clickable and working.

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http://pdfcrowd.com only works, if the link is public - so no printing of pages, where you are logged in.

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  • Yeap. I concur. If you print, say, a Gmail message or a SaaS wordpress site (in my case) where I'm logged in, it only prints the login page even though I'm NOT in the login page. Jun 7, 2020 at 21:21

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