Saving articles with 8.5×110-inch size PDFs (yes, 110 inches long)

Do you ever save online articles? If so, how? Do you print them out? Save as a PDF? Maybe you use a service like Evernote that captures webpages. I’ve used Evernote for 14 years. But I don’t like how everything is captured in their proprietary format. This doesn’t seem very endurable for the long run.

Now when I’m saving an online article, I save it as a PDF. That has better archiving life. It’s definitely not the best format for copying the text later, because of all the line breaks it creates. But at least the original design remains intact. It feels more like I’m capturing a frozen moment in time with the PDF.

I used to save the PDFs as 8.5×11 pages, because that allows me to print the article later on. This can work for an article that is mostly text-based, but when the article has lots of design elements and images, the breaks can be really awkward.

Here’s an example of me saving an article from the great site Tedium by Ernie Smith. He always writes long, super-detailed articles with lots of designed call-out sections. You’ll notice in this example, the page breaks the red box onto two pages.

Now I often save articles with a page size of 8.5 inches × 110 inches. Yes. One hundred and ten inches. One mega-long page. No page breaks. Just one looooooong stream, much like a real webpage.

When I have this long PDF, I can just simply scroll to read it like any other webpage.

I wonder if years from now I’ll be upset that I saved stuff with such a ridiculously long format. Something tells me that saving a 110-inch long PDF is going to make things weird in the long run. I suppose if I ever shared one of these 110-inch articles with someone, that might be weird for them. Or maybe someone would appreciate being able to read a PDF by just scrolling with no interruptions.

If you have a way of saving articles, let me know. I’d be curious about your technique. Even if it’s as simple as printing articles on paper.

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