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I do a lot of research using web sources found almost always in Google, which I then refer to in my writing.

When the link points to a web page I can click it and then copy the URL from Safari's nav bar.

But when the link is to a document like a PDF or Word, it downloads the file when you click.

The URL is shown in green, but is invariably "shorted" by adding /.../ somewhere in it.

If you Copy URL in Safari, you don't get the URL because Google munges it. For instance, here's what I got for a PDF:

https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&ved=0ahUKEwjZ5ZHlqJvYAhWJxIMKHS3ADgsQFggvMAI&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dnudd.co.uk%2Fapp%2Fdownload%2F1002149%2FWO%2B291-303%2BAORG%2BUnseen%2BHAA%2BFC.pdf&usg=AOvVaw0jjWgdxl622runkpZhDjoM

So does anyone know how to get the URL for one of these items?

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  1. If you don't already have the Develop menu enabled, enable it from Safari Preferences → Advanced.
  2. Press shift-cmd-C and click on the link to the site.
  3. Copy the href attribute of the link element.

Examining the href works for all types of links. As you already established, you can copy the link from the location for links to pages, but not for downloads. However, you can still copy the link for downloads: from the Downloads list (click the Downloads button in the Safari toolbar), you can right-click on a download and choose Copy Address.

  • How about for iOS? – DonielF Dec 21 '17 at 18:12
  • Nasty, but workable! – Maury Markowitz Dec 21 '17 at 21:15

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