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Publish Site to PDF

This feature will allow you and (if you allow them) your end users to export your entire site as a PDF manual. This feature will export all the pages of your site and compile them into a single printable PDF document.


This function makes it easy to print your entire ProProfs site as a manual or distribute it as needed.


Making a PDF friendly site

Unfortunately not every page can be converted to a PDF. There are some instances where the PDF engine is not able to covert a page to PDF format. This section will outline some best practices to ensure your pages successfully convert to a PDF.

  • Avoid tables for layout. It is recommended that you do not use tables for layout. Tables will still work when converting to PDF. However there are some known issues with tables:
    • Tables may cause the PDF conversion to be very slow and potentially cause timeout (especially if every page on your site has tables).
    • If you have a large amount of text in a single table cell that spans across multiple pages it will not work. You will be required to break the content up into multiple table cells that only span 1 page per table cell.
  • Nested tables.  If you must use a table, make sure not to nest it in another table.
  • Fix widths. Do not define objects in absolute sizes. For example if you have a table or a DIV do not define it like <Table width="1200px"> or <div width="1000px"> as this will cause problems. It is best to use percentages <div width="95%"> to define the objects width.
    • Images. The system will automatically scale down images to fit onto a page, so you do not have to worry about the size or making your images pecentage width.
  • Avoid long pages. It is best to limit the size of a page. The reason being is that the single ProProfs page could be converted into 1 to 30+ pages in PDF format. This will cause the PDF generation to be very slow.
Many of the same strategies for making a site mobile friendly apply to making a site PDF friendly. So if you take the time to make your site PDF friendly you will also get the benefit of a mobile friendly site.

Exclude a Page from the PDF

A page appears in the PDF by default. However, you can hide a page from the PDF.

  • When editing a page, from the page details click the link More settings.
  • To include a page in the PDF export, check Show in PDF.
  • To hide a page from the PDF export, uncheck Show in PDF.
  • Click Save.

Now when generating the PDF, the page will either be included or excluded from the PDF.

PDF Page Break

A page break will tell the PDF to start a new page. Once inserted, the page break will be visible in the editor as two dotted lines with a page break symbol. When you use the PDF function, the page will be split on two separate pages.  Page breaks are invisible on the web version of the page. 

  • When adding or editing a page, click on  button from the toolbar to insert a page break.
  • To remove a page break, click on it and press the delete key on your keyboard.

PDF Settings

You can configure the PDF export options to include a table of contents, page numbers, logo, and several other details.

  • Log in to your account (as an administrator) and click Settings.
  • Click Save Site as PDF.
  • Select the site you want to export.


 

The settings:

  • PDF Name - This will be the file name of the PDF, such as widgetco-manual.pdf.
  • Cover page - Select this option to include a cover page.  A cover page is the first page of the manual. To edit the cover page click edit. The cover page can also use merge tags (see below).
  • Title Page - Select this option to a include a title page.  A title page is used for the authors name, verson, company name, copyright disclosure, date printed, etc,. To edit the title page click edit.  The title page can also use merge tags (see below).
  • Table of Contents - Check this option if you want to include a table of contents. In addition, this will also add bookmarks in the PDF (Bookmarks appear on the left side of a PDF document. To view bookmarks, choose Show Bookmark from the Window menu in Acrobat).
  • Header / Footer - Check this option to include a header and footer in the PDF. Headers and footers are identifiers that run across the top and bottom of the PDF, providing important information about it. They include such things as page numbers, dates, folder names, your logo, etc,.  To edit the header and footer click edit.  The header/footer can also use merge tags (see below).
  • Extra Spaces -  Many times a page with contain extraneous HTML code such as extra
    and

    tags. This can result in excessive spacing on in a PDF. Select this option to remove any extra spaces.

  • CSS - By default a PDF will use the sites CSS styles. Select this option to use a print-only CSS file. To edit the CSS click edit
  • File - Select this option to store the generated PDF on the server. This will greatly improve the loading time for your end users who download your PDF since they will download a copy of the stored PDF instead of waiting for it to generate. Only one PDF will be stored on the server at a time, so each time you generate a new PDF the previous version will be overwritten. This ensures the most recent PDF is available to your end users.
  • Toolbar options - By default the toolbar will include a link for your end users to export your site as a PDF. If you don't want your end users downloading your site as a PDF, you can hide the PDF options from the toolbar.
    • Show link in toolbar to save site as PDF - Uncheck this to hide the option from the toolbar. If the PDF is stored on the server it will download a copy. If the PDF is not stored on the server, the PDF will be generated (may take several minutes).  You can also change the text that appears in the toolbar.

      Note: This option will appear by default on all sites. However after 50 pages
    • Show link in toolbar to page as PDF - Uncheck this to hide the option from the toolbar. You can also change the text that appears in the toolbar. 
  • Pages. By default, the PDF generate will show all pages that are marked "Show in PDF" from the Add/edit page screen. However, you can select specific pages to be included/excluded in the PDF with this option.

To generate the PDF click Generate PDF.  To save your settings at anytime click Save.

 

Note: If you site contains a large number of pages processing time could take several minutes.

Change the PDF title page color

You can edit the PDF title / cover page and change the background color so that it matches your brand colors. 

 

Step 1. Go to PDF settings and then click on edit for the Cover Page, as shown below. 

Step 2. Go to Source and add the line of code mentioned below. 

 

Update existing code with new color code. Add your color code where #addcolorcode is mentioned. 

style="background-color:#addcolorcode; background-repeat: repeat-x; width: 100%;"

 


Controlling the Header and Footer

You can include merge tags in the header/footer, cover page, and title page of the PDF. These variables will automatically be merged over by the system.  For example, if you add the variable [long_date] it will be replaced with October 21, 2013.

 

To use a merge tag simply add the merge tag to a page and it will automatically be replaced.

Merge Tag What it does
[pdf_title] Merges the PDF name over such as "ABC Manual."
[site_name] Merges the sites name over such as "ABC Documentation Site."
[site_logo] Displays your site logo if uploaded.
[company_name] Displays your company name as defined in Settings > Manage Account.
[website_url] Displays your company website URL as defined in Settings > Manage Account.
[long_date] Displays today's date in long format (October 29, 2012).
[short_date] Displays today's date in short format (10/29/12).
[page_number] Displays the page number.
[folder_name] Displays the folder name the page is located in.
[page_title] Displays the page's title.
[page_toc] Displays the pages table of contents name.

 


Stored PDF

When generating a PDF you can choose to store a copy of the PDF on the server.  Then when your end users select "save site as PDF" from the toolbar, the PDF will instantly be available for download. This will greatly improve the processing time since generating a PDF may take several minutes.

Once the PDF is stored on the server, a box will appear on the PDF settings page. Here you can copy the PDF's download URL as well as delete the PDF.

Important: 

After a site containers 50+ pages "Save site as PDF" will no longer display in the Print toolbar by default due to performance issues. Rather you have to go into the Settings>PDF and select "Store a copy of the PDF on the server" and "Show link in toolbar to save page as PDF"

Once you do this, the option in the toolbar will appear. When the user clicks it, it will download the PDF that is stored on the server.