The Cydia store has a handful of tweaks that let users cache Safari content for offline viewing. You can even find one or two that convert webpages into PDF files, which can be read and exported in a variety of ways. The new PDF Printer for Safari, however, is at the pinnacle of this genre of tweaks. Don’t be confused by the name, as it doesn’t have much to do with printing. The biggest edge PDF Printer enjoys over its competitors is its ability to refrain from rasterizing text on the page, so that you can copy and edit it with ease from the generated PDF document. Another great thing about the tweak is its support for various apps. In fact just about every app installed on your iPhone that can handle PDFs is listed in PDF Printer’s ‘Open With’ menu.
The tweak is named PDF Printer because it adds a button of its own to the the ‘Print’ menu in Safari. The PDF button is placed in this relatively obscure location to avoid changing the interface of Safari. In order to convert a webpage into a PDF file, hit the small button located in the top-right corner of the ‘Printer Options’ screen. Tap in the middle of the screen after you have done that to bring up the ‘Open in’ and ‘Open in iBooks’ options. Since iBooks is iOS’ primary app for handling PDFs, it has a button of its own. The webpage can be exported to other apps quite easily too.
As can be expected, PDF Printer for Safari won’t let you save a page until you have waited for it to fully load, since that is a prerequisite of accessing the Print menu. To keep the PDF saved for offline viewing, you have to export it to some other app as Safari can’t retain the file once the app is killed. Another shortcoming of PDF Printer for Safari is its inability to keep link data saved after converting a file. The text remains selectable, and the links are highlighted separately as well, but these apparent links are no longer associated with any URLs.
PDF Printer for Safari is a free tweak, and has the bonus of making the stock iOS web browser better without taking away any of its existing functionalities. Even the print feature remains unaffected, as the PDF button is added to a previously empty area of the screen. Give PDF Printer a try if Safari’s lack of an offline mode has always bugged you, or if you simply need to easily convert web pages into PDF documents. while keeping the formatting intact.