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Evernote Windows Hack: Clip Web Pages as PDFs

Evernote pdf clipping in Windows One of the big differences between Evernote on the Windows and Mac platforms is that Mac users have the ability to clip web pages from Safari, and send those pages into Evernote as PDF files.  Windows users can clip pages to Evernote, but those pages aren’t sent as PDF files.  As a result, the pages often lose important formatting in the transition.

Firefox users on Windows can get similar functionality to their Mac counterparts by installing the PDF Download add-on, and then, when downloading a page as a PDF, selecting Evernote as the default program to open the file.  Read on for more detailed instructions.

After installing the PDF Download plugin, right-click on the page you want to export to Evernote, and choose the “Save Page as PDF” option:

saveaspdf

You will then get a status window, and need to wait for a few seconds.

PDF download status window

A dialog window will pop up when the page has been formatted.  Select “Open with.”  If Evernote is not one of the default options, you will need to click on “Other . . . ” and select Evernote from the list, and possibly browse to the location of the Evernote .exe file in the installation directory.  Click “OK” twice, and your web page will be sent to Evernote.

PDF Download dialog window to select Evernote

One way to permanently add Evernote to the list of “Other . . .” programs, is to right-click on any PDF file on your desktop, select “Open With” and then select “Choose Default Program.”  Browse to and select the Evernote .exe file, making sure not to check the “Always use the selected program to open this kind of file.”

This process of clipping PDF files into Evernote isn’t too speedy, so I only plan to use it for important pages that I need to save without formatting issues.  As an alternative to clipping directly into Evernote, the PDF Download add-on also gives you the option to email the PDF.  If you configure the add-on to use your Evernote address, the PDF will be sent to your account.  I found there to be a bit of a delay before the file appeared in my account, though, and the email file had a header, complete with an advertisement.  The email option would be handy to use, though, on a machine that you use regularly but on which you won’t be installing Evernote.

I also tried a few other Firefox PDF add-ons, but they allowed only saving as a PDF, not opening as a PDF which is required for this process to work.  Of course, you could always use one of those add-ons, like PrintPDF, to save a page and then just drag the resulting PDF file into Evernote, or you could set up Evernote to monitor a folder of saved PDFs (and couple it with a “Send To” menu trick when right-clicking on PDFs).

If you have any suggestions for other easy ways to get PDFs of websites into Evernote, let us know in the comments.