Tips & Tricks

Using Web Capture Effectively

October 11, 2002

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Acrobat's Web Capture is a handy tool when you want to grab an archive of a Web page or site, or want to add comments to a Web page. If you're not familiar with the tool, Acrobat allows you to type in the URL of the Web page you want and to visit and Acrobat can then 'captures' (or converts) it to PDF. Acrobat gives you the choice of opening Web links with your Web browser, or through the Web Capture conversion tool.

There are several shortcut keys and methods you can use when dealing with Web pages linked to from within Acrobat. (Graphic below: 1. Open Web browser. 2. Append page to PDF. 3. Open as new PDF.)

Open Web page in Web browser

If when you hover your cursor over a Web link the cursor (shown below) does not appear, it may well mean that your default setting for handling Web links is for Web Capture to convert the Web page to a PDF. The default settings are altered by going to Edit > Preferences > Web Capture.

While the preference setting is useful -- if you like to handle links to Web pages the same way most of the time -- when you want to switch between them without going to the preferences, there's a shortcut key that lets you toggle between the two. Follow these steps:

  1. Hold the cursor over the Web link.
  2. Hold down the Shift key to toggle to change between the two settings.

Append Web page to PDF file being viewed

If you want to open a Web link in Acrobat you need to choose the 'Append to Document' Web Capture tool -- the Web page is converted to PDF and is added at the end of the PDF file you are viewing. If your preferences (see previous section for more info) are set to open you Web browser, then follow these steps:

  1. Hold the cursor over the Web link.
  2. Hold down the Shift key and click on the Web link to append the page.

Capture Web page as new PDF file

Acrobat includes another option that, instead of appending the Web page to the PDF file currently being viewed, lets you convert a Web page to a new PDF file. Follow these steps:

  1. Hold the cursor over the Web link.
  2. Hold down the Ctrl key (the Options key for Mac users) and click on the Web link to convert the page to PDF.

Access tools through menu

As well as the shortcut keys outlined above, you can get to them all by opening a menu with your mouse:

  1. Right-click on the link (or Control-click on Mac) to bring up the menu.
  2. Select the option you want.
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