New feature: PDF versions of stories

In response to popular demand, PDF versions of TOD stories are now available. There is now a "PDF version" link below the story teasers on the front page. Clicking on it will download the PDF file to your computer.

The PDF file is generated the first time it is requested. It takes a few seconds, so if you are the first person to request the file, please be patient.

Generating well-formed PDF from from poorly-formed HTML not easy, so you will notice many imperfections in the output. In some instances, it may not work at all. If you find a problem, please email me at support at theoildrum dot com, although there's a pretty good chance I won't be able to fix it.

Excellent development, thank you very much! For me it works fine.


Super you are super!
not until i started writing here did I realize how much you do behind the scenes. thanks for this -now my dad might read something.

I cannot see a use for this myself but its most awesome for people who wish to pop the pdf's on their laptops or whatever they so chose!

Keep up the good work :)

I guess this is fine for those that like it, but I have always wondered why PDF exists. It takes forever to download (atleast on dial-up)and is a real pain to read with the column format that never fits the screen, and the clunky page jumps. Just my $.02.

It is more portable than html (images etc are embedded, so only one file is required).

The document looks the same on every computer (not as relevant in this case).

Most folk left dial-up behind five years ago (at least in the UK).

PDF is a guarenteed-to-render-identically-everwhere format. Its input is the postscript file that is sent to the printer. No need to have client side fonts, office-suites, directory hierarchies, etc. Just pick up Adobe Acrobat Reader and you'll see it the exact same way everyone else does, the exact same way you printed it, just 1/100 the size.

Every browser has a different process to create the image you see on the screen from web pages - there's a lot of development taking place now in modifying even that html data stream as it comes in, with things like Greasemonkey, Noscript, Platypus, Adblock. The goggles that we see the internet through are definitely not perfectly clear, and often involve annoying hacks to try and get pages looking the same on all browsers.

By the way of feature creep, Adobe Acrobat has lost its way, and now sluggishly loads completely unnecessary features like audio and shockwave and kitchen sink that it can take minutes to open. Downloading the free Foxit PDF client is the immediate fix for 95% of files(hundred page docs browse faster than notepad), with the long-term solution being adaptation of some type of open XML-based standard like ODF (correct me if I'm misapplying this), which should take at least a decade. The public sector doesn't let go of bad formats quickly - CNN and BBC are STILL using realplayer, after most of us uninstalled it in the 90's for good.

I don't really think we NEED stories in PDF, but the webpage table-based formatting is getting challenging to read at higher resolutions (telling the browser to read text bigger and zoom in on pics messes up formatting on any browser other than Opera). I hack away at the screenside cruft with Platypus when I have a problem, personally.

I use PDF mainly to print out longer articles I want to study (images onscreen make that difficult).

On Linux/Unix xpdf is a fast and mostly capable alternative to "feature loaded apps". They may have versions for other platforms. Evince on Ubuntu Linux is even better.


Thanks Super G

Great work as usual.

Super G, many thanks for this extra facility. I've downloaded 2 pdf files this morning...and had 1 failure (Stuart's updated analysis of North Ghawar). It would be great to be able to pull the N Ghawar report as I want to send it to my local politician, maybe you can see why it doesn't appear to be working yet. Tks.

Great feature, Thanks!

For another option for offline viewing (on a palm or what not) give plucker a try.