Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Adding a PDF to Your Blog - Ask Candy

This weeks question comes from Lindy of Crafted by Lindy.

Hello! Please help. I've wanted to do this for a long time. You know those blog posts where the person posting offers up a pdf for their readers to download and use, like tags, labels, etc. How do they do that? I mean I know how to make a pdf but how do they link it in their blog post so that readers can click and the pdf comes up and then they can print out the tags? Here's a link to exactly what I want to know how to do! How About Orange Printable Jar Labels

Hi Lindy! I know exactly how frustrating it is when you see something on someone else's blog/website that you'd like to do and you don't know how - my biggest problem is not knowing what the thing is called in the first place! Now, the example you sent me from How About Orange (a fabulous, fun site) the PDF isn't actually hosted on her blogger blog: if you look in the address bar of the PDF itself you'll see that it is located on her website. That's because you can't upload PDFs to blogger blogs! But have no fear, I've figured out a workaround for you, and I thought I'd try to make this post useful for lots of people, so I'm going to give instructions for Wordpress & Typepad Folks too! (Please note! I'm just providing info the way I see it - I'm sure there are other ways to do things!)

Inserting PDF's in Blogger Posts

Whenever you post something on your blog, you're uploading information that other folks are going to be accessing to a network of computers - they "host" your data. With Blogger blogs the hosting is controlled by Google, and because blogger is free, anyone using it has to accept that. So there are some limitations to what you can upload! Blogger only allows you to upload and store pictures and text. So what you need to do is find another place to host your PDF document.

There are many sites that let you do this (Scribd, Keep and Share are just 2, there are tons), but most often with these sites the user has to log on and create a profile, and sometimes that's a hurdle folks don't want to go through. So dear old Google comes through for us by letting us share PDF's using Google Docs!
  1. Make your pdf and save it on your hard drive.
  2. Head on over to Google Docs.
  3. Upload the PDF (see the button circled in green):
  4. Once the upload is complete, you'll see the name of your file as a link - click on the link. In the upper left hand corner is a button that says "Share" click on that and change the sharing settings to "public on the web".
  5. Here's the counter intuitive step: go back to your Google docs page, you should see your document. Click on it, and this time when it comes up in your browser you'll see 2 helpful windows in the right hand side (circled in green):
  6. Those are links you can use. The top "email" link will give you this result if you link to it, the bottom link will allow you to embed it in a page like this.
Please note, that the pictures look grainy and the text may look a bit wonky if you use a special font while being viewed on Google docs/your web page - but once the file is downloaded and opened on the computer everything looks hunky dory. (Test this before going live, I personally would have changed my fonts if I this had happened to me).

I sent these instructions to Lindy ahead of time and tested them out - and she was able to post a PDF to her blog, how exciting! Go check out what she did!

Inserting PDFs into Wordpress & Typepad blogs

Well, we Wordpress & Typepad folks have it easier! (I checked this out with Jan of Daisy Janie, who has a Typepad blog).
  1. In the Wordpress create post window is a little button you press that says "add media" when you mouse over it, very close to the "add picture" button, I've circled it in green here:
  2. When you do, you'll get the add media window - navigate to your file on your computer and select it, then add a title (the top circle) and press the button that says "file URL", this will give you a link to the file for the words you typed in the title box above.
  3. Press "insert in post" and Bob's your Uncle, a link to a PDF! Easy Peasy!
And although the pix from Wordpress won't match up to you Typepad folk,s it ought to be something similiar. What I find fascinating is our inability to see something right in front of our face...I had been blogging way over a year before I wanted to attach a PDF and it took a bit of Googling before I realized that little button had been there all along!

And, I know that this answers Lindy's question - because she already tried this all out! Let's go see what PDF she posted!

Don't forget to send in your questions! Next week - now hold your excitement - sewing machine feet!

[Candy lives in California with her husband, 2 boys, and dog. Aside from being wife, mom, teacher, crafter, web guru and all around doer extraordinaire she manages her own business, Candied Fabrics. You can read her blog here.]

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