Bending iWeb to your will

Reader Tom Spaulding is the first (though certainly not the last) to probe the depths of iWeb’s flexibility. He writes:

I’ve built web pages before, but as a friend of mine put it, “iWeb is so pretty I can’t resist its siren call.” However, I’m struggling for a tip on how exactly to display my writings on my page. I’m a journalist who saved his online stories as PDFs, and I want to import them onto iWeb — either paste them onto the page, or do a hotlink to them. Any ideas?

iWeb treats PDFs just like other graphics files so you’re welcome to create a new page, drop a PDF onto that page, and resize the image to your liking. Alternatively you could strip the text from the PDF document, paste it into an iWeb text box, and reformat it. For these kinds of things I use the blog template as it’s the most basic.

A couple of things to note, however.

First, if you’re treating the PDF as an image file you’ll likely want to get rid of the placeholder text on that page as it can bleed through PDF files that appear “transparent” to iWeb. You can do this by choosing View > Show Layout, selecting some of the text fields, and deleting them. Although you can’t delete the title, date, and main text fields, you can select the text in them and make it disappear by slapping the Delete key.

You may also wish to remove the page’s color background — a black background can mask text in the PDF. To do so, open the Inspector, click the Page tab, and from the Color Fill pop-up menu, choose None.

If you have a multipage PDF document you’ll discover that when you drag it into an iWeb page, only the first page appears. To display individual pages you’ll need to break up the PDF file into those individual pages. You can do this in Preview by selecting a page in the drawer, choosing File > Save As, and saving the page in a format other than PDF — pict, gif, or jpeg, for example. (If you save it as a PDF file, Preview will save the entire document rather than the single page.)

As for hotlinks, because graphics brought into iWeb are resizable, you could drag one of these files onto your page, resize it to a thumbnail, select it, click the Hyperlink tab in the Inspector, and link that thumbnail image to another page (or site) that contains the full-sized image. You could use this technique for placing links to images on Flickr, for example.

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