URL links don't work in exported PDF (iOS)

Ken Papp's Avatar

Ken Papp

14 Mar, 2017 08:31 PM

In the iOS app, links are not preserved when exporting a note to PDF. Links in the PDF are shown underlined and in blue text, but you can't click on them. The work-around is to export your note to HTML in the iOS app, open the HTML file on your Mac, and print to PDF. Exporting/sharing an HTML version of your note to Readdle's PDF Converter app, for example, also produces inactive URL links.

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Danilo Bonardi on 15 Mar, 2017 10:04 AM

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    Hi Ken,

    does it happen with every note? I seem to be able to click on pdf links.


  2. 2 Posted by Ken Papp on 15 Mar, 2017 04:58 PM

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    It happens in every note. I've attached two PDFs exported from Bear notes on my iPhone. The Google one is a new note I just created and the second is an older, imported note. Please let me know if you can click on the links.

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by Danilo Bonardi on 16 Mar, 2017 03:29 PM

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    Hi Ken,

    thank you for reporting this problem, We'll try to solve it as soon as possible.


  4. 4 Posted by Joe Doyle on 05 Apr, 2017 02:06 PM

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    Same issue here, thanks for flagging Ken. PDF Export is practically useless without it.

  5. Support Staff 5 Posted by Danilo Bonardi on 06 Apr, 2017 09:18 AM

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    Hi Ken and Joe,

    one of you can send me one of your notes which give not working links in PDF as .txt?


  6. 6 Posted by Joe Doyle on 06 Apr, 2017 09:31 AM

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    Good morning Danilo

    Here is one of my PDF files.

    Joe Doyle

  7. Support Staff 7 Posted by Danilo Bonardi on 06 Apr, 2017 09:35 AM

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    Hi Joe,

    can you please send me the note exported as .txt instead of pdf?


  8. 8 Posted by Joe Doyle on 06 Apr, 2017 12:28 PM

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  9. Support Staff 9 Posted by Danilo Bonardi on 06 Apr, 2017 01:53 PM

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    Hi Joe,

    thanks! We have found the bug, we hope to fix it for the next bug-fix release 1.1.2.


  10. 10 Posted by Joe Doyle on 06 Apr, 2017 02:56 PM

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    Really good news Danilo. Thanks for the response.


  11. 11 Posted by Ken Papp on 06 Apr, 2017 07:29 PM

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    Thanks, Danilo and Joe.

    Just so you know, there's another bug, this time on Apple, regarding links in iOS generated PDFs. I've filed a formal bug report to Apple in their "RADAR" system (#28778486), but who knows if it will ever get fixed. It's currently marked as "Open." Here's the scoop:

    There is a possible, iOS system wide issue with URL link conversion when printed or saved to a PDF. Current functionality provided by Apple recognizes the text after "http://" as a link only until the end of the line on the resulting PDF page. Once the system inserts the new line symbol, the text is still shown underlined, but it's not part of the link anymore — this is where the break in link formatting happens.

    Steps to Reproduce:
    1. Open Notes app or any text editor.
    2. Print or save a note or text containing a long, multi-line URL to PDF.

    Expected Results:
    The full URL should apply to the entire length of linked text.

    Actual Results:
    The linked text is underlined, but the URL is incomplete, which often takes the user to a 404 page for that domain.

  12. Support Staff 12 Posted by Danilo Bonardi on 07 Apr, 2017 07:56 AM

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    Hi Ken,

    I'm very glad you opened a radar about that, I was tempted to doing it myself but require time I don't have.

    We fixed the problem using this workaround, which is far from the ideal scenario, but it works.



  13. 13 Posted by Gary on 04 Nov, 2017 12:34 AM

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    This issue was never fixed. iOS does not support hyperlinks in PDFs. We're running into this problem as we speak. Lame!


  14. 14 Posted by Ohwie on 25 Nov, 2017 05:56 PM

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    Hi guys,

    warming up this thread. I thought with Bear/DEVONthink I just found the perfect app-combination for my needs. And links in notes exported to PDF are generally working fine for me on iOS and macOS, with one exception: Only Bears (Pro) x-callback-urls ("bear://x-callback-url/open-note...") are obvious not detected as links on both systems, even though they are lookalike.

    But when I put a DEVONthink x-callback ("x-devonthink-item://ABCD1234...") in the same note, it works fine as a link in the generated PDF, Bear's don't, it's just dumb text! When I export to RTF, links are working...

    Any idea?


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