How to PDF a topic from this forum?

There’s a couple of long topics I want to save to PDF to view later, when I’m offline. I’ve tried getting them to PDF in both Chrome and Safari, but they end up with blank pages. Anyone know how to do this? Thanks.

I don’t know about Chrome, but in Safari 9.1 both File > Export as PDf and File > Print > PDF > Save as PDF… produce the same result. The Discourse topic needs to be open, of course, since we’re basically screen printing.

Using Chrome Print, and then select "PDF" as destination works for me:

Using Chrome 50.0.2661.102 (2661.102) on OSX 10.11.4.

Did you try a long thread? It works for about 4 pages, then I get blank pages after that.

That’s the problem, due to the way that the Discourse forum software works. It does not display all posts at first, but adds to the display as you scroll down.

I have not tried this, but maybe if you first scroll to the bottom, then print it might work.

Yeah, tried that. Sigh. It’s cool software, for sure.

Dan, if you are really determined to made a PDF, then you might try the following:

  • Google search “discourse topic pdf” (or similar)
  • Search and Post a question on the main Discourse forum:
    meta.discourse.org

Thanks. I found some things there. One is a Ruby script which purports to download an entire thread, but I know nothing about Ruby. However, one suggestion was to turn off Jacascript, and that works, sort-of. It breaks the thread up into chunks, but at least you can PDF each one.

Hey Dan,

This is the one absolutely ginormous flaw in Discourse.

It needs to be possible to save a thread as a PDF or Webarchvie.

Please take the time to complain on the meta.discourse.org.

The devs don’t seem to get it.

-Chris

See this thread on meta.discourse.org:

Done. And this was their reply:

Why does it need to be convenient? The request comes up so rarely. Printing is not not even a 1% of the time task these days.

Thanks for throwing me to the wolves.

Yeah, I did. Here’s one hopeful solution, if anyone knows Ruby: https://meta.discourse.org/t/export-content-for-offline-usage/37877/4

Dan, which topic are you trying to save as PDF?
I thought I’d give Evernote a try.

Two of them:

Thanks for giving it a shot. Since I can (apparently) do this manually by turning off JS and saving to PDF (every 20 posts), don’t spend too much time on it. But thanks!!

Here’s how I got PDFs of a couple of long topics. I believe I got everything, but until I actually sit down and read them, I won’t know for sure. But assume they worked correctly unless I post more.

First, I used Safari. It has a Developer menu item for turning Javascript off and on, so that was easy. The same might apply to Chrome, I don’t know (or care, right now).

  1. I went to the Topic I wanted to save, to the top of the topic.

  2. Turned Javascript off, and refreshed the page.

  3. By clicking and dragging, I selected all the text I cared about, and copied it to the clipboard.

  4. I pasted it into TextEdit. Amazingly, it comes in pretty well, with no apparent truncation of anything. I had tried Word first, and it didn’t work nearly as well. Shouldn’t be surprised…

  5. Went to the next page, copied and pasted to the end of the TextEdit document, and continued until I had the entire topic.

  6. I set the TextEdit page size to tabloid, landscape.

  7. Exported as PDF.

As I said, everything looks fairly good right now. Smileys are too big, but that’s OK.

However, the default “silhouette” icon displays really big. People should change this. I’m talking to you, @ccstone. Oh, I see you’ve changed it now. Well, good on ya. :stuck_out_tongue:

Close, but no cigar! The Evernote Chrome Clipper captured all but the last 5 posts of the first topic.

Have you tried the Ruby approach? I don’t know anything either about Ruby, but can you just run the Ruby script, or does it take customization?

Someone said it requires some customization, and it doesn’t look obvious, at least at first glance.

I’m amazed how much I don’t want to learn new programming languages. When I was younger, I wanted to learn everything. Now I say “let someone else do it”. :stuck_out_tongue: I bought an IBM PC when it first came out, bought the books with the BIOS assembly language listings, everything. Nowadays, all I do is say “when I was your age, we had to program in ones and zeroes, and we didn’t even have zeroes - we had to use the letter ‘O’”. Harrumph. :unamused:

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Oh, yeah - thanks for trying! LOL.

I took a quick look at the Ruby script. It has NO documentation of any kind, no readme, no internal comments. Even if one did know Ruby, it would be a challenge to use/modify.

So that’s not a solution for me either.

Comments? We don’t need to stinking comments!

Thanks for looking, anyway. As I said, it really wasn’t that hard to do manually. But nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

Besides, we could probably build a KM macro to do it if we really needed it.

Hey Dan,

[Profanity elided…]

It only comes up rarely, because of answers like that one.

I wonder how many Discourse forums there are for technical topics where it is of value to archive.

These guys don’t care, because they can run their own copy of Discourse and keep a local archive if they want one.

But I want searchable reference materials…

Meh!

-Chris