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iOS 'convert to pdf' apps produce incomplete conversions

humanengr

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On Mac, the print dialog 'Save to pdf' features captures all types of images and image-like things.

On iPad, the tools I have tried run into problems, e.g.:
  1. On Random variable - Wikipedia, no MathML is included in the conversion or only that which appears on the first page or two.
  2. On 7 Animated GIFs That Will Make You Instantly Understand Trigonometry, the animated gifs are properly converted to single static images, but surrounding text is lost.
Do any tools work properly on these webpages?
 

twerppoet

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PDF conversion of webstites has always be unpredictable. More so on iOS than a computer, because many of the more advanced PDF features (like math support) are not supporte, or not completely supported.

I use PDF Convert, but it hasn't done a very good job lately; especially with secure sites.

If you are on iOS 10 or later, try this. Instead of using an app go to the share sheet in Safari and choose Print. When you see the print preview, expand the document with a two finger spreading gesture. Then use the share sheet to export/copy to an app or cloud service.

If nothing else, you'll be able to tell what the PDF is going to look like in the preview before wasting your time saving it.

Image.jpeg


Image.jpeg
 
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humanengr

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Thanks -- going through that for Random variable - Wikipedia, I do see that Apple's Print dialog displays only the first few pages properly. But exploring further, I found a route that does work for that page: copying the URL, accessing 'To PDF' by dar-soft.com from the home screen, using that app's 'Web' option, and making the PDF there. Perhaps other tools that have a built-in browser would function as well.

Apple's print dialog displays 7 Animated GIFs That Will Make You Instantly Understand Trigonometry properly. Per your instructions, share -> print -> expand -> share worked via two routes:
  1. From the Share menu's top row (app sharing), copy to dar-soft's 'To PDF' (labeled as 'Import with To PDF'), select the 'Clipboard' option and convert to PDF there.
  2. From the Share menu's bottom row (customize actions), select Readdle's 'PDF Converter' (labeled there as 'Convert to PDF').
(The route that works for the Wikipedia page runs into image and column width problems on the businessinsider.com page. And the routes that work for the latter don't work for the former.)
 
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twerppoet

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Thanks for this information.

Unless I'm mistaken the dar-soft option does a server side PDF convertion on the supplied website URL, then sends the results back to you. Basically it bypasses iOS's more limited PDF abilities.

I forgot those kinds of sites existed. They were more important when iOS was still in diapers. Now they are only needed for more demanding tasks, like yours.
 
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humanengr

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I see now on dar-soft's FB page as of 8/28/15
We are sorry to announce that the DAR Software account will be closed soon. All DAR Software apps will be deleted from the Apple App Store but remain working on your devices.​

From my brief search right now, I see some of the current online conversion services have the same MathML problem. So I'll explore further as needed when the time comes.
 

twerppoet

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Worst case, you can take screenshots and convert them to PDF. Tedious, but guaranteed to show the page accurately.
 
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humanengr

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Thanks for the persistence -- that site works better than most I've tried so far on the 1st link but misses some MathML (e.g., on the line below "Example 1", the symbol after "Let") and reduces the size of all MathML relative to the text.

I tried another route for Readdle's PDF Converter. [The following is updated after talking with developer:]

Prepend 'pdfhttp://' to the URL in Safari. That sends it to the app. Give it enough time to process all the elements -- which you can check by scrolling through the whole doc; then convert. It might crash (see below), but when reopened, the doc shows as processed properly -- all MathML is there and in proper size. Re the BI page, it takes some time (at first, it seems to process only the first part) but eventually processes completely without crashing.

Alternatively, one can drag to select part or all in Safari, copy, and paste to PDF Converter's clipboard. That worked on the WP page but crashed the first time I tried it on the BI page. The developer is investigating but suggested I restart to cure possible cache overload. That worked, no more crashes on either path (prepend or clipboard).
 
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Aerofly

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You could always save to Dropbox where it automatically gets converted to PDF.
 
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humanengr

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Thanks -- but iPad Share to Dropbox omits most of the MathML.
 

twerppoet

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Thanks for the persistence -- that site works better than most I've tried so far on the 1st link but misses some MathML (e.g., on the line below "Example 1", the symbol after "Let") and reduces the size of all MathML relative to the text.

I tried another route for Readdle's PDF Converter. [The following is updated after talking with developer:]

Prepend 'pdfhttp://' to the URL in Safari. That sends it to the app. Give it enough time to process all the elements -- which you can check by scrolling through the whole doc; then convert. It might crash (see below), but when reopened, the doc shows as processed properly -- all MathML is there and in proper size. Re the BI page, it takes some time (at first, it seems to process only the first part) but eventually processes completely without crashing.

Alternatively, one can drag to select part or all in Safari, copy, and paste to PDF Converter's clipboard. That worked on the WP page but crashed the first time I tried it on the BI page. The developer is investigating but suggested I restart to cure possible cache overload. That worked, no more crashes on either path (prepend or clipboard).

Thanks. I'll keep those things in mind the next time I try PDF Conveter with a website.
 
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humanengr

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So, given dar-soft's 'To PDF' presumed eventual demise, the best options I've tried so far seem to be Readdle's PDF Converter via
  1. Prepending 'pdfhttp://' to the URL or
  2. In Safari select part or all and copy to PDF Converter clipboard.
keeping in mind the note above re restarting (or maybe just force quitting the app) if it crashes.

(The other PDF Converter path -- via Share menu's bottom row -- runs into problems, probably from not allowing enough time to capture all the elements; I contacted the developer about that.)
 
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