Categories: Docs : Troubleshoot an issue :

pdf export creates external instead of internal links

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pdf export creates external instead of internal links Matthias H 1/31/13 6:59 AM
Hi,

i tested this on chromium 23.* on Ubuntu 12.10 and Firefox 18.0.1 and with the android app. If you have internal refernences in you document, created via the bookmark function, the exported pdf contains only external links to the document on google drive. On 29th January i had exported a version which works correctly with internal document links. The export to .odt still works fine.
Any ideas or is this an bug in docs?

Thanks!
Matthias
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Nick Capito 2/1/13 7:46 AM
This is a bug... we are experiencing it as well.
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Matthias H 2/5/13 9:04 AM
There are more problems with the pdf export, as discussed there: https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!msg/docs/oLWGzVOGhuk/erjlcb91jW4J

But nobody from google say something to this problems! -.-
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Bas Braams 2/5/13 12:51 PM
Something changed with external hyperlinks as well when a Google Docs text document is exported to pdf. They are again all redirected through www.google.com in a manner that is difficult to see and that could be found suspicious and offensive. I believe that this constitutes a reversion to a bad situation that was in place between roughly May 2010 and July 2011. In July and August of 2011 the situation was in flux, and between Aug/Sep 2011 and (probably) Jan 2013 the situation was stable and also wrong: upon export to pdf (or any other format except plain text) some hyperlinks would go direct to their target and others (those for which the link text had been edited) would go through www.google.com. The situation with behavior of external hyperlinks is described and monitored here [1].

For the present corruption of internal hyperlinks I note also the conversation [2].

[1] (2011-09-14) External hyperlinks may again be redirected through www.google.com

[2] (2013-02-01) Table of Contents
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Bas Braams 2/5/13 1:04 PM
I observe that when a Google Docs text document is exported to word (docx), odt, rtf or html then internal hyperlinks remain internal hyperlinks. When the text document is "published to the web" using the Google Docs mechanism by that name then the internal hyperlinks look odd, not like straightforward internal links, but that situation is anomalous because the published document isn't mobile. It is only when the text document is exported to pdf that the internal hyperlinks get corrupted into links to the original Google Docs document.
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links L vP 2/11/13 12:50 AM
same problem here : When exporting a document to PDF, the table of content in the PDF should not link to chapters in the original Google Docs document.
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Ted J 2/21/13 12:43 PM
Hi all,
  Thanks to everyone for reporting this issue.  To summarize, when Google Docs with the Table of Contents feature are downloaded as PDFs, the new PDF links to the original Google Doc.  The expected behavior would be that the links would link to the new PDF that was created.  Google is aware of the issue so hang in there!

Please use this thread for updated information on this issue.

Cheers,
Ted J
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links TogTnc 2/21/13 8:43 PM
I am experiencing the same when I try to export as PDF, though I just used the File, Email Attachment option from within my Doc to email myself a pdf file, and in that pdf file, the links works fine. 

Murali
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links retetet 2/25/13 10:56 AM
It looks like the ZIP utility still uses the old method of creating PDFs from gdocs, so you can workaround this (for now) by selecting multiple documents for export from the Drive file listing, exporting as PDF, and extracting them from the ZIP.

FWIW, the size of the new PDFs generated in Google Docs is about three or four times what they used to be... a 300 KB PDF generated with the ZIP method above is about 1.1 MB when generated as a PDF from within the doc.
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Andreas Weber 3/3/13 3:00 PM
But then (with zip) the embedded image quality is very poor.
Download as ODT and the PDF it in OpenOffice produces best results for me. 

BTW, Drive Offline seems broken too nowadays, keeps freezing and syncing forever :-/
(unknown) 3/3/13 3:02 PM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Bas Braams 3/16/13 3:41 AM
It is still the case that (as reported here on 2013-01-31) internal links in a Google Docs text document are wrongly converted to external hyperlinks when the document is downloaded (exported) to pdf. It is also still the case (see also [1]) that all external hyperlinks in a Google Docs text documented get redirected through google.com when the document is exported to pdf.
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Ted J 3/17/13 10:57 AM
Hi everyone,
   Just an update on this issue.  While I understand that this is not ideal, this is currently the original intended behavior.  This has been filed as a future feature request but I cannot promise an immediate fix.

Cheers,
Ted J
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Gill 3/17/13 12:04 PM
Thanks Ted - is there an easy workaround?
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Ted J 3/17/13 12:09 PM
Hi Gill,
  Unfortunately, I do not know of an easy workaround.  I believe the bookmarks would need to be recreated.

Cheers,
Ted J
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links retetet 3/17/13 1:12 PM
Hi Ted,

This is a serious functionality breaker for us.  We use GDocs to collaborate on documentation inside our organization and then generate the PDFs for delivery outside the organization.  We liked this approach because our previous method required about three different programs.  With this issue, we either need to workaround with the ZIP method and deal with lower quality images in the PDF, or we have to open the PDF and regenerate the TOC in something like Acrobat.

It's not just "not ideal."  It breaks the "portable" nature of the Portable Document Format.
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Bas Braams 3/17/13 1:20 PM
<<this is currently the original intended behavior>> Can you clarify, please? Is it the original intended behavior (according to your information) that *internal* links in a Google Docs text document (for instance the links in a table of contents) become dysfunctional external links upon export to pdf? This would be strange, because it doesn't seem to make much sense to create dysfunctional links and also because the links remain proper functioning internal links upon export to Word, ODT, RTF or HTML. Is it the original intended behavior that *external* links in a Google Docs text document turn into links through google.com upon export to pdf always, although they are only redirected through google.com in an erratic way [1] when the export is to Word, ODT, RTF or HTML? That would also be strange.
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Manu Erwin 3/21/13 7:20 PM
Agree - it seems strange that this is a "future feature request" when the requested functionality actually works if documents are downloaded via zip method.
Sounds like a regression to me.
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Josh Vanderberg 3/22/13 4:55 AM
It's not really believable that this is intended behavior.  Perhaps it's intended behavior for some small subset of Google clients who have some odd requirements, but for general usage it's entirely broken.

For us it results in a non-functional table of contents, and is different than the behavior when exporting to a word document.

It's a bug, pure and simple, and it really needs to be fixed.
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Ted J 3/24/13 7:39 PM
Hi all,
  I don't really agree with how it works but that is how it was intended. The team has been reminded that it isn't ideal.

Cheers,
Ted
(unknown) 3/25/13 12:42 AM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Bas Braams 3/25/13 12:44 AM
<<that is how it was intended>> On an earlier occasion, in connection with a different and actually more serious issue I commented as follows [1]: "As to the expected or intended behavior I think now that nobody, not even the coders themselves, know what is the intended or expected behavior; it is all undocumented. It might be derived after the fact from the actual behavior, and it appears to me that that is the way in which the GDocs team operates." Far more serious still was the issue in April-June 2011 when for a period of 10 weeks it was possible for people without bad intent to delete files that they did not own and could not see. It was a massive error that lasted 10 weeks due, in part, to an inclination by the Docs team and their management to view the erroneous behavior as "working as intended". I described it as follows [2]: ""Working as intended" would reflect deriving the intent from the behavior, I think, which is not good."

As you see, the present conversation brings back fond memories. Thank you all.

[1] (2011-10-11) Re: Serious confidentiality issue

[2] (2011-06-09) Re: Possibility to delete files that one does not own
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Josh Vanderberg 3/25/13 4:24 AM
Hi Ted, could you perhaps describe the workflow in which the "intended" behavior is useful or desired?  I personally cannot imagine it, but I am open minded and willing to be convinced otherwise.
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Ted J 3/25/13 7:49 AM
Hi Josh,
  I cannot explain how it is useful or desired.  I agree with everyone on this thread that this is not useful or desired.  However, the answer I received from the product team was that this feature is behaving as designed.  I've re-escalated but I cannot guarantee that this issue will be prioritized.

Cheers,
Ted J
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Josh Vanderberg 3/25/13 7:55 AM
I've found a workaround, but it requires a relatively recent version of MS Office.  Save to .docx, then using MS Word, export to PDF.
 
Microsoft, wisely decided that when creating a Portable Document, they'd also be nice and create portable links in the document.
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Ted J 3/27/13 8:37 AM
Hi all,
   I wanted to provide a quick update concerning this issue.  While I cannot give a date for when this will be fixed, Google does see this as an important bug that needs to be addressed.  Thanks to everyone for communicating the importance of this issue and hang in there for a fix we should hopefully see soon.  I'll try to update this thread once a fix goes live.

Cheers,
Ted J
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Bas Braams 4/3/13 12:54 PM
<<hang in there>> I'm at the end of my rope and both errors are still there. Internal links get converted to external links (error) and external links get redirected through google.com (error).
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Christopher Lepkowski 4/10/13 2:01 PM
We just moved more people onto Google Docs and I was touting the internal pdf linking for table of contents and bookmarks when I also ran into this issue. Big surprise at the regression, and an important value now missed.
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Bas Braams 4/17/13 2:52 PM
Just so we all know, also on 2013-04-17 it is the case that on export (download) of a Docs text document to pdf format internal links get converted to external links (error) and external links get redirected through google.com (error).
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Gina Barker 4/17/13 4:50 PM
So I can't export a Google text doc to a pdf file?  
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Ted J 4/17/13 10:12 PM
Hi Bas,
   I'll try to get an update.

Cheers,
Ted J
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Ted J 4/17/13 10:14 PM
Hi Gina,
   This issue should not affect the conversion of a Google Doc to a PDF file.  If you have a Table of Contents on your Google Doc then the links created will not link within your new PDF but the old Google Doc.  Otherwise, everything should be fine.

Cheers,
Ted J
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links JhonPereda 4/22/13 6:36 PM
Thanks for all your help Ted.
'
Any updates on this?
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Joel Handler 4/27/13 10:47 AM
Any update to this.  It is a real problem for us as well...

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Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links CRC Tim 5/10/13 9:45 AM
The external link issue (being redirected through google.com/...) is a real problem for us. 

I don't think it's been noted yet that when downloading to Word format, the behavior is inconsistent. Within a single document, some links go directly to the external site (correct) while other links are redirected through a google.com URL (incorrect). When downloading to a PDF, all become redirect links (incorrect). Very odd, and I hope it's fixed soon.
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links singh.gurjeet 5/22/13 2:18 PM
I also faced the same problem with Google Doc exported to PDF format. I am on Linux, so I exported to OpenDocument Format (.odt), and used LibreOffice to export the ODT document to PDF. Worked like a charm, and no WIndows tax either :)
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links retetet 5/23/13 6:44 AM
Hey Ted,

It's been over a month.  Any updates on this?  If this isn't going to be fixed, I need to find a new way of distributing documentation to our users.
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Alexandre Bairos 5/23/13 7:35 AM
Hi, Ted! This "feature" is so bug-like! it's like an "ego bug" in the Product Owner's mind.

:)
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Bas Braams 5/27/13 11:59 AM
On 2013-05-27 it is still the case that on export (download) of a Docs text document to pdf format internal links get converted to external links (error) and external links get redirected through google.com (error). I believe that the situation with mishandling of internal links was introduced on 2013-01-30 while variations of the mishandling of external links go back to about May 2010. For me it all hangs together in a manner that is suggested in the heading of [1] and is elaborated in the body of that post.

[1] (2013-04-14) Prediction: Docs text editor and spreadsheets to be frozen and abandoned in favor of Quickoffice and other products
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Ben Speirs 6/3/13 1:45 PM
This is a bug.  Please fix it.
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Betsy Healey 6/9/13 8:28 PM
This is a big problem for my site.  Any word on a fix?
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links whirlwin 6/14/13 5:52 AM
Current workaround: download as .odt, open in e.g. LibreOffice, and then convert to PDF.
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Christopher Means 6/26/13 9:40 AM
That workaround works.

What I'm hearing is that it's "acting as intended" because the Table of Contents function and Bookmarking function are cobbled together from a simple linking scheme. It's linking so its working, classic programmer point-of-view. The problem is they would have to create a completely different utility for linking internal document bookmarks that doesn't use the current linking scheme, which would be a pain in the ass.

How about columns? When are we getting those?

Google Docs is making a web page, not a document, so, as much as I want to love it, it's still not a word processor. 
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Ted J 7/20/13 3:35 PM
Hi all,
  Just an update on this bug.  I reached out again to the team and was informed that eng is still working on a fix.  I will update this thread if I hear anything further.

Cheers,
Ted J
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links jt654 7/30/13 12:37 PM
Has anyone heard a solution to this (making the TOC links be correct when you export to a PDF instead of linking back to the Google Doc - which means users have to have permissions to that job)?


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Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links retetet 7/30/13 12:47 PM
Aside from downloading it yourself and generating the TOC in the editor of your choice, this is the workaround I've used:

Select more than one file, save them all as PDF, unzip the prepared download when you receive it.  The TOC links should be internal to the document unless they've updated the batch PDF generator.

I've stopped using Google Docs for this purpose because of this bug.  Google Docs helps us collaborate but we can't rely on it for final deliverables to our customers.
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Blackkburied 8/11/13 6:49 PM
I've been maintaining this doc for years in Google Docs, always manually putting the page numbers in the TOC (hoping they'd fix that someday)... now they pull this.  Unbelievable.  I am a programmer, but have enough years behind me to know that you don't let the programmers dictate the requirements.  But, this is what I always fear from Google: it's free, and they will change its behavior out from underneath you and really not care how much trouble they've caused in doing so.  This isn't the first time, and I'm sure it won't be the last.
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Blackkburied 8/12/13 8:01 AM
I'd like to add a reminder to the folks at Google.  Your motto is "Don't be evil".  Historically, this was intended to be an anti-MS slogan, pertaining to their methods of forcing their users to use software that increasingly leveraged the company's lock-in on the user base (and anybody interacting with their user base) into MS's other software products.  I don't see a difference in this move by Google: you are trying to force your users (and their customers) to work in your cloud, irrespective of your users business procedures that they've developed (where some, but not all, is done in your cloud).  How Balmer-esque of you.  For the rest of us, it's sad, as this is where we turned to escape Balmer.
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Bas Braams 8/24/13 11:22 AM
According to a posting here from 2013-07-21, "eng is still working on a fix". I'd say then that mgt has a problem or else mgt *is* the problem. Maybe both are true. In any case, also on 2013-08-24 on export (download) of a Docs text document to pdf format internal links get converted to external links (error) and external links get redirected through google.com (error).
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Michael Brandl 9/3/13 12:36 AM
Still stumbled about this today (2013-09-03). Quite an annoying "feature". I do not understand how this ever has been "intended behavior" since the other exporters (e.g. to .docx, .odt) do not work this way. Sounds like a bad excuse to me.
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links platkat 9/3/13 10:58 AM
If you have MS Office on a Windows machine, you can export to MS Word and then Print as PDF. One of my coworkers tested this and the links worked. As a reluctant Mac user, I sympathize with everyone's complaints.
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links platkat 9/3/13 11:01 AM
Workaround for users with MS Office for Windows only: Export to Word, Print to PDF, enjoy bookmarks. Does not work on Macs.
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Greg Larmond 9/10/13 2:50 PM
Thank you for your post!
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Neil Senkowski 10/9/13 8:00 AM
I just wanted to ask for this to be fixed. Why force users to link back into Google Docs from a PDF?
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Blackkburied 10/9/13 8:25 AM
>Why force users to link back into Google Docs from a PDF?

It's like when Microsoft makes it so that Outlook can only render HTML email generated by Outlook: it leverages the product so the people you communicate with have to use it too.

Like my brother-in-law said: the "Don't do evil" motto ended the day they became a publicly traded company.
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Gill 10/9/13 2:49 PM
This issue has been escalated to the Google team.
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Ted J 10/11/13 8:23 AM
Hi all,
  I'm surprised that this had not been addressed yet.  I've asked for more information as this was filed a while ago.  I'll update once I get more info.

Cheers,
Ted J
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Kedar1234 10/17/13 11:58 AM
I definitely think this is quite a disgrace. Exported document's links being redirected from Google is really disappointing. I was really sad that Google resorted to doing this.

It's important for Google to realize that many people are aware of the links and implications of clicking on them. These people won't click the links if they are not from familiar locations. With all the jazz that goes in the URL that is exported, I am not sure I'd want to create a bad impression.
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Christopher Lepkowski 10/18/13 1:32 PM
It's over six months since I last posted and nine months since the issue was raised-- so I was going to suggest to the rest of the group that, if this is an issue for you as it is for me, perhaps this discussion area simply isn't effective. 

If you're active on Twitter or other social platforms, perhaps begin raising the issue there with links back to this discussion-- seems like nowadays large companies respond more quickly when issues are elevated to public attention-- this discussion area unfortunately seems to be an ignored backwater.
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Manu Erwin 10/19/13 2:07 PM
Agree and done
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links alaamurad 11/2/13 12:39 PM
We are facing this bug too, when export something to pdf you assume it completilty dependency free. How anyone would think a link in a page should take you to a website while this info in the same document !!!
(unknown) 11/4/13 3:03 AM <This message has been deleted.>
(unknown) 11/8/13 9:57 AM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Craig P Johnson 11/12/13 3:18 AM
Any news on this bug Google?

Details: Not being able to export Google Drive Documents to PDF without breaking the table of contents. When exported to PDF, Google Drive Document links in the table of contents link back to Google Drive not to bookmarks or headers within the PDF itself.

Also, there used to be page numbers in the "Google Docs" documents table of contents. This table of contents looked good and exported to PDF fine. It seems that when Google moved from Google Docs to Google Drive, they completely broke the documents' table of contents. It has gone backwards in functionality!

Important documents I created in Google Docs are now broken in Google Drive, and I can not send them to clients as PDF as I was able to do in 2012!
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Phil Dodd 11/19/13 12:32 PM
Over nine months and no fix for this issue? Export to PDF is clearly broken, it would be really good to get this fixed.
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Bas Braams 11/26/13 11:33 PM
The behavior of Google Docs "export to pdf" with respect to internal links seems to have changed on 2013-11-26. We recall the report here from Matthias H on 2013-01-31: "If you have internal references in you document, created via the bookmark function, the exported pdf contains only external links to the document on google drive." Today, however, I find that these internal links just become plain text without hyperlink function, although the formatting (e.g. blue color, underline) is retained so that they look like links still.

I wonder what the Docs+Drive team might be the thinking. Upon export to Word (docx) format the internal links are, throughout the past year and also today, converted to proper functioning internal links in the Word document. Conversion of a Word document (or an ODT document for that matter) to pdf using standard tools will give proper functioning external and internal links in the pdf document. Somehow the Docs+Drive team is happy to deal with internal links on export to Word or ODT, but they insist to remove those links on export to pdf.

The behavior of "export to pdf" with respect to external links appears to be unaffected; they still get exported as links through www.google.com. The history of that error or malfeasance is covered in [1] and there is also a relevant discussion under [2].

[1] (2011-09-14) External hyperlinks may again be redirected through www.google.com

[2] (2013-10-23) GDocs is harmful! - Stop being evil by ignorance & silence.
(unknown) 11/28/13 1:22 PM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: pdf export creates external instead of internal links Bas Braams 11/28/13 1:35 PM
<<The behavior of Google Docs "export to pdf" with respect to internal links seems to have changed on 2013-11-26.>> Something else is up as well with export to pdf of a Google Docs text document since 2013-11-26. It seems that horribly complicated or otherwise unusual pdf code is generated, at least according to my experience viewing an exported file in the Firefox browser using its standard apparatus for viewing pdf files.

I have a Google Docs text document of about 45 pages, plain text. I export it direct to pdf using the Google Docs "download as pdf" function, and I also export the file to Word (docx) format and then use the LibreOffice reader to view it and save it as pdf. (My system runs Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, everything standard.) The pdf file created using the second (round-about) way is 4 times smaller than the one created using direct download to pdf from Google Docs. Moreover, the shorter pdf file created via export to Word (docx) and then LibreOffice conversion to pdf is opened within a few seconds in my Firefox browser, whereas in another window that same Firefox browser has been struggling for 15 minutes and it is still only about 2/3 of the way into the file. The document is plain text, no tables, no equations. However, it does contain many external URL (https) links.

I wonder if other people can confirm or deny this experience.
(unknown) 11/28/13 1:59 PM <This message has been deleted.>
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