2 Great Tools for Converting HTML to PDF

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If you've ever tried to print a web page that doesn't have a print style sheet attached to it, you know that it can be difficult to get them to look correct. The CSS styles that display pages effectively across different screen sizes and devices do not always translate well to the printed page. Background images, for instance, will not be printed.That alone will destroy the look and the flow of a page and its content when it is printed out.

PDF files have the advantage of looking the same no matter where you are viewing them. In fact, the name means "portable document format" and the ubiquitous nature of these files is really what makes them so powerful. So instead of trying to print a webpage to paper, it makes sense to create a PDF of a page. That PDF document can then be shared via email or it can indeed be printed. Because CSS does not dictate styles or background images in a PDF the way that it does in a browser-delivered HTML webpage, you will find the result of printing that document very different! In a nutshell, what you see on the screen for that PDF will be what comes off of that printer.

So, how you do you go from HTML to PDF? Unless you have Adobe Acrobat or another PDF creation program it can be hard to convert HTML to PDF. These two tools give you options for converting HTML files into PDF files.

If you're looking for tools to reverse this scenario and to instead convert your PDF files to HTML, check out these 5 great tools for converting PDF to HTML.

Edited by Jeremy Girard.

PDFonFly

What We Like

  • Free.

  • Straightforward and easy to use.

What We Don't Like

  • Pages not always separated appropriately and run into margins.

  • Obtrusive footer.

A free online converter that will take any URL of a web page that is live on the web (without a password in front of it - this will not work with password protected / secure pages) and convert it to a PDF file. You can also enter text into their WYSIWYG text field and it will turn that into a PDF file as well. A two-line footer is generated at the bottom of every page of the PDF (in my test case it over-wrote some of the page contents). If this tool overwrites some of your page, that alone could be the deal breaker that forces you to consider a different solution.

PDFCrowd

What We Like

  • Converts from web page, file, and code.

  • Also converts to .jpg, .png, .gif, and other formats from same interface.

What We Don't Like

  • Free version puts ads on PDFs.

  • Ad-free version requires subscription.

This is a free online converter that will take a URL, an HTML file, or direct HTML input and convert it to a PDF file that is downloaded to your computer. It adds a footer to each page with a logo and advertisement. This tool can be customized if you sign up for the premium license at around $15 per year. So basically, if you want the free version, you have to accept the advertising. If you want to remove the ads, you have to pay for a small licensing cost.