Tips & Tricks

Drag and Drop Web Capture

June 04, 2004

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By far my favorite feature of Acrobat is its ability to convert Web pages into PDF format.

Normally I'll either convert the Web page through the new PDF Capture button on the Toolbar of Internet Explorer or I'll copy the address from the Address Bar and paste it into the 'Create PDF From Web Page' dialog box.

Another method which I use occasionally is to create PDF's from Web pages by dragging the Internet Address directly into Acrobat. By utilising this neat little trick we don't have to know the exact address or risk spelling it wrong.

Start Acrobat and close all open files, then open Internet Explorer and navigate to the web site you want to capture.

Here's the step by step:

  1. Select the Icon in the Address Bar (usually a miniature of the IE icon),

  2. Start dragging the icon onto the Windows Task Bar (the cursor will have a shortcut icon underneath it)
  3. Drag it over the Adobe Acrobat item until it pushes down (becomes selected)

  4. Continue to Hold the mouse down until the Acrobat comes to the foreground (keep holding down),
  5. Once you can see Acrobat's dark gray workspace Drag the Icon into the middle of that area and let go of the mouse (the cursor will show a plus sign underneath it).

When you let go of the mouse button, Acrobat will automatically convert the web page the internet shortcut point to into a PDF document.

Basically what we are doing is dropping a .URL file into Acrobat, these Uniform Resource Locator files are the format that Microsoft uses to store information about it Favorites or Web Pages.

It's just so simple. There's a couple of things to note, firstly, only the first page is captured and secondly, the defaults are taken from the Web Capture settings, so you'll need to set it up before you use this method.

If we take this concept one step further we can quickly create PDF's of all our favorites with one foul swoop of the mouse.

Open up the folder that has your Internet Explorer favorites (Win2k/WinXP keep them in C:\Documents and Settings\username\Favorites and Win95/98 in C:\Windows\Favorites).

Now select a few favorites (Hold down the Control Key to select more than one at a time), and repeat the same drag and drop procedure as before (drag onto the TaskBar, Wait till Acrobat comes to the foreground, Drag into the middle of Acrobat's workspace, wait for the Cursor to change to a plus sign and let go).

This time each of the favorites you dragged into Acrobat will converted to separate PDF files, one for each Favorite.

Copyright Dave Wraight & Planet PDF. No unauthorised reproduction, distribution or publication permitted.

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