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Tuesday
Feb242015

Workflow (iOS): Archive Web Page to PDF

Continuing with my little spate of sharing workflows for the iOS app known as Workflow, I've decided to share another simple action extension workflow that allows you to save web pages as a simplified style PDF Whilst I personally use Evernote as my snap shot repository and page cleaner of choice, sometimes I want to be able to send other people a snap shot of a page and Workflow provides a relatively easy way to do this.

Running the Workflow

The workflow I created is set-up as an action extension that accepts URLs. So this means that it is accessible in any browser or URL export capable app with a share extension. I simply navigate to the page I need to mail a link to, tap on the share button and select Run Workflow.

After tapping on this I get presented with a list of workflows and I can simply select my "Mail URL to Work" workflow to activate the workflow.

What It Does

The workflow begins by by checking if the input contains "://". If it does then it is assumed to be a URL (HTTP/HTTPS). If it is found to be empty, the workflow then checks for the same characters on the clipboard. This means you could actually use this if you were copying an pasting a URL from somewhere else ... but personally I always take a look in the browser first to make sure it is what I want to process.

If there is no URL input and no URL on the clipboard then the workflow will prompt the user to enter a URL and defaults the response to begin with "http://".

Next the workflow appends the URL to another URL that will pass the page to the Readability service to display the page in "Readability format". This is done via a Text action which is then explicitly converted into a URL using the URL action.

The contents of the Readability generated page are then converted into a PDF and the Quick Look is used to display it. I particularly favour the Quick Look action over the Share action as you not only get to sense check the PDF, but when you share from the Quick Look action you also get the option to Air Drop.

Wrap-up & Download

A simple little utility workflow this one, but one that I occasionally find useful.

If you are on an iOS device with the Workflow app installed, you can tap here to install the Archive Page workflow.

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