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WordPress Plugins That Play With Paper and Documents

WordPress Plugins can help your WordPress blog break the virtual barrier between the user and the real world by adding aids to print your WordPress blog posts and convert them into documents.

Helping You Print Your WordPress Blog

You can manually style your WordPress blog for the printed page by using a print.css stylesheet, hiding the unprintable elements and cleaning up the page to look pretty when printed, or you can take advantage of a WordPress Plugin to help you print your WordPress blog posts.

WP-Print WordPress Plugin allows you to put a link to a “print version” of your WordPress blog post so it will print properly, without cutting off the edges or distorting the content.

ViewFinder Design has another version of WP-Print that is slightly improved, which you might want to try as an alternative to see which one will work best with your blog.

If you design or tweak your own WordPress Theme, it’s best to just add print styles to your stylesheet if you don’t want to clutter up your blog with “print this” links.

WordPress-to-PDF WordPress Plugins and Tools

There are several WordPress Plugins and scripts that will allow you to add a PDF conversion link or icon to your WordPress blog. Visitors click on the link to turn the page they are reading into a PDF file. They can then save it, print it, or take it with them as a reference, whatever you want them to do.

pdf24 offers several different types of WordPress-to-PDF converter WordPress Plugins you might try on your WordPress blog.

Other WordPress-to-PDF Plugin converters include:

Including Documents on WordPress Blogs

There are many different types of documents you may want to add to your WordPress blog and inside your WordPress posts.

ThinkFree Viewer Blog Plugins has a WordPress Plugin that allows you to add live ThinkFree or Microsoft Office documents to your WordPress blog by attaching them to the post like an email attachment. This includes presentations, charts, graphics, spreadsheets, and more.

AttachFiles WordPress Plugin also works like an email attachment to add data files to their WordPress posts.

To include static files and documents into your WordPress blog, you can use Safe Include Plugin. Static content can only be HTML or PHP files, though TXT might work. Just add a placeholder to the file name in double brackets and it includes the content in the post or Page.

Cleaning Up Your WordPress Documents and Post Pastes

As with any imports of documents or copy and pasting of web or word processing content, a lot of junk tends to come in with the pasted content. The cruft tends to be pretty quote marks and apostrophes, fonts, colors, styles, and other pretty characters and elements that you might not want in your WordPress post. The odds are that when you save this, all that junk will mess up your WordPress post anyway.

Here are some options to clean up your WordPress posts.

WP Unformatted WordPress Plugin by Alex King will remove the smart quotes or curly quotes (texturize) and auto XHMTL tags (autop) on a per-post basis, allowing you to use code on those pages without the curly quote conversion.

If you are deadly serious about controlling how your WordPress blog displays its content, by format, style, and encoding options, you can control how it displays the content on a per-post basis with Text Control WordPress Plugin. I’ve used this for years. It allows me to include HTML formatted content among non-formatted post content in my blog posts easily.

Other smart quote or curly quote killers which allow you to kill smart quotes on a per-post or global basis are:

Turning WordPress Into a Book or Documents

If you are thinking about turning your WordPress blog into a book, a large PDF file, or a series of documents, you can also export the content from your WordPress blog so it can be imported into word processors, static HTML pages, and other tools to create a book or document.

Without using a WordPress Plugin, you can use a website copier program like Httrack Website Copier to copy HTML web pages of your entire blog to your computer, which I reviewed not long ago.

WPexport will export your WordPress data to Movable Type, which is a format that can be easily converted to HTML with a text editor and search and replace.

Blurb, the self-publishing book company, now offers importing from WordPress and WordPress.com blogs to help you create a book from your blog. The technology is new, and tends to be a bit slow from initial reports, but it’s getting better all the time.

WordPress currently only offers an XML export format, which will work with programs which accept XML imports. Most of the HTML inside of the post content area remains.

Tips for Moving WordPress to Paper

Do you have any tips for moving your WordPress posts and blog to paper, print, or book form? Have you found a better HTML/XHMTL exporter for WordPress blogs?


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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network

Member of the 9Rules Blogging Network

8 Comments

  1. Posted February 10, 2007 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    thanks for the link =)

  2. Posted February 10, 2007 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    I use PhP Markdown Extra Plugin (http://www.michelf.com/projects/php-markdown/) so that I can use the Markdown syntax instead of the visual editor, and I’ve created quite a few quick tags for myself (thanks to something read here that told me how to do that, Lorelle) that take care of special formatting that I need. So, my question is: what would the Text Control Plugin gain someone like me who doesn’t need to display code snippets or anything like that?

  3. Posted February 10, 2007 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Totally different animals. Markdown, to my understanding, let’s you write along and then “fixes” what needs to be fixed automatically, instead of you adding HTML tags for links and such. Right?

    The Rich Text Editor is WYSIWYG, automatically (or with buttons) adding the styling you want to make the page “look” the way you want.

    The HTML non-Rich Text Editor also works with buttons, but you can manually add any HTML tags you want to your blog post, including blockquotes, bold, boxes, tables, and specific styles.

    Text Control allows you to choose how a page is displayed, overwriting the various WordPress formats. When I’ve written a post totally formatted with HTML, I don’t want WordPress to add its own formatting, so I set it to not format. However, if I don’t add every paragraph tag to a post, just write naturally with double spacings between paragraphs, I need to set the settings to apply WordPress’ default formatting so the post isn’t one long paragraph and WordPress will automatically put in the paragraph tags and make other textual formatting “fixes”.

    I describe how this plugin works better in WordPress Tips and Tricks – WordPress Plugins. I don’t understand why you are using Markdown if you aren’t writing code, but maybe the explanation in that article will help both of us understand this. ;-)

  4. Posted February 12, 2007 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    The reason I use Markdown is that I didn’t like the Rich Text Editor, and I wanted a way to format the text a little more quickly than adding in all the HTML tags myself. I picked up on the Markdown methods pretty quickly (2 spaces to end a paragraph, *text* for italics, and so forth), and it allows me to write in a pretty natural way without having to stop and think about opening and closing HTML tags. When I realized that I needed some specialized formatting pretty consistently (for example, my block quotes are in a different font and so forth), I added those as quicktags.

    It may be that I don’t need Text Control, but I figure if you recommend it, I should check it out! :) But once I installed it, I wasn’t quite sure how it would work with what I’m already doing.

    My only frustration (and it’s minor) in using Markdown syntax is that when I use a quicktag to insert HTML formatting for a blockquote, for instance, I can’t use Markdown syntax inside the opening and closing HTML tags. If I want italics inside a block quote, I’ve got to use instead of the asterisks–not a huge problem, but it slows me down a little. I had wondered if Text Control might be able to sort that out and know how to handle Markdown with HTML so I don’t have to think about it.

  5. Posted February 12, 2007 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Text Control will not convert HTML tags. It will only allow you to choose different filters to convert your post content to something recognizable as HTML, or not, if you are manually using HTML tags. I had over 1000 articles I was importing from static web pages and they came in with their HTML code. I needed to have their HTML tags work without interference from WordPress wpautop filters. Now, I rarely blog with HTML unless it is for the blockquote, bold, and such tiny elements. I hand write those or use the quicktag buttons. Brainless for me.

    But I don’t think Text Control will work for your needs.

  6. jean yves
    Posted March 22, 2008 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    BlogBooker takes XML export files and turn them into Textbooks. It includes images and comments.

  7. Posted December 2, 2009 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Hi

    Is there a way to have a PDF that you have uploaded to your wordpress site to automatically open, ie so you do not have to have a link to it that you click?

    Thanks

    • Posted December 3, 2009 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      I’m not sure what you are asking. Do you want to display a PDF instead of content or have it in addition to content? I’d take a screenshot of the critical area of the PDF file and then wrap it in a link so it would open in a PDF.

      PDF doesn’t read like a web page. It requires an add-on to your browser to read Adobe PDF files, or Adobe PDF Reader installed on your computer. Therefore, it isn’t treated like content or a graphic. There might be something, but nothing as clean as what you are proposing.


10 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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