Last month I wrote about an easy way to view those pesky PDF documents in many mobile browsers. That method used a bookmarklet that rewrites links to PDFs so that they open in the online PDF to Image converter at view.samurajdata.se. WapReview reader Serola just sent me another bookmarklet that uses a different online PDF conversion service, pdfdownload.org, which converts the documents into HTML instead images. With the documents I tried the HTML representation (image, top) was not as faithful in appearance to the original as the image version (below) but text was larger and easier to read. The biggest advantage of the HTML format is that you can copy text snippets from it if your browser supports copying page text as the iPhone, Opera Mini 5 and Opera Mobile 10 do.
I’ve added Serola’s bookmarlet to the Opera Mini Bookmarlets page at o.yeswap.com as “View PDFs as HTML“. I also renamed the original bookmarklet as “View PDFs as Images“.
If your mobile browser supports bookmarkets and you aren’t using them you should really give it a try. It’s an easy way to automate and speed up all sorts of common browsing tasks like translating the text of a page, sharing links on services like Delicious.com or Twitter, subscribing to RSS feeds and much more. There are concise instructions for adding bookmarkets to Opera Mini and Mobile at o.yeswap.com. For more about mobile bookmarklets see the “Related Posts” below. Bookmarklets are known to work with Mobile Internet Explorer, Palm Blazer, Opera Mini and Mobile, the iPhone and the Symbian S60 5th edition browser. Browsers that do not currently support bookmarklets include Openawave, UCWEB, Bolt, Nokia’s S40 and S60 3rd edition browsers and the Android browser. Please share your experiences with othe browsers in the comments.