[Express] set up download for E-book

Need to set up an action to download a PDF file (ebook) but found nothing on Help menus. Have old Freeway 3 LE instruction book which says “use this pop-up to select the PDF file to be downloaded” but I’m using Fwy 4 Express, and can’t find any such pop-up anywhere on any menu. It also mentions the “sketch Action pop-up in the Tools palette” which is also non-existent. I don’t have any “tools palette” other than the tool bar at the top of the page. Where is it? I’m not totally lame, but never tried actions before.

How do you set up a clickable PDF file download action on FW 4 Express? Is there a current tutorial somewhere? or is this no longer available on Express? Seems like it shouldn’t be this hard. Can you help?

Victoria


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There is an action ‘Link to PDF’ that should be available under Insert>Action Item>Link to PDF. It comes with Pro and I am sure with Express as well.

There is also a ‘Graphic Link to PDF’ that can be applied to a graphic item. With your graphic selected go to Item>Actions>Graphic Link to PDF.

David


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sorry if i’m a bit hacking this topic… is there a way, one can make this a ‘one time’ download… ( on pro or express… i’m on pro… but still)
for a e-book i think it would be handy, iff a download could be just downloaded once, to exclude unwanted donwloads…


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  • It’s not the link I need, I plan to set my shopping cart checkout to “return” to a “ThankYou” page where the download is, after payment.

I just need the “download” action to go into my page so that it will be able to download. Freeway “Help” says to use “pop-up” windows that don’t pop up for me.

Also- same question as Eus. I never thought about people downloading more than once.

Is there a way to make that page inaccessible by any other means than “NEXT_URL” (the cart’s ThankYou page)??


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I just need the “download” action to go into my page

Just put the action on your thank you page then.

As to downloading more than once - I think you would have to use sessions or cookies to achieve this.

David


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The reply above:

"There is an action ‘Link to PDF’ that should be available under Insert>Action Item>Link to PDF. It comes with Pro and I am sure with Express as well.

There is also a ‘Graphic Link to PDF’ that can be applied to a graphic item. With your graphic selected go to Item>Actions>Graphic Link to PDF."

unfortunately both are not true. There’s no such option as “Link to PDF” in Express.

The Help Tech said this could be set up through Mal’s E-commerce. Does anybody know where or how?

At this point I’m just trying to set up a free download of my PDF E-book Disaster First Aid. This course could have saved hundreds of lives in the Haiti earthquake. I really wish I could get it up on the web for a free download.

I’ve been trying for about 5 days now and dozens of attempts to upload. I can’t tell whether the link works unless I can get the file to upload but Freeway won’t load it and for some reason Yahoo will not accept a connection with Transmit. Any ideas?

Victoria


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OK - here is an alternative method.

There is an action called Upload Extra Resources Upload Extra Resources - ActionsForge (available for Express)

This is an item action - apply it to any item on your page and then set the parameters to suit your pdf file. For your purposes probably best to set to ‘Upload with HTML files’

Before you select your PDF file for upload in the action palette make sure that it has a web friendly file name ie no spaces or odd characters in its name something like disaster_first_aid.pdf

Then on your page create a link to your file

http://www.yoursite.com/disaster_first_aid.pdf

If the page that your action is on is in a subfolder remember to include that as well.

http://www.yoursite.com/ebooks/disaster_first_aid.pdf

Select the text that you want to use as your link then Edit>Hyperlink

Select External then Protocol ‘other’ and paste your link in as above.

And that should be you.

David


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Thank you David. It’s all just so iffy. I found a bit of “fine print” somewhere that said you have to have the file already uploaded to the internet BEFORE you can link to it with Freeway. Fwy’s instructions made it seem like Freeway would upload it with your whole website upload. It would not.

So after learning that, and after so many failures with Freeway upload, I went to Transmit instead. I did finally get the pfd file UPloaded with Transmit. Took about 90 min. by WiFi. But then when I tried to access it, it would not DOWNload or open.( Just the black screen forever.) So I have not tried any more to link to it, till I can get it there and functioning.

Could this be because the pdf file is too big? Would it help to split it into 2 files, like part one and part two? The ebook is 52 pages. I’ve seen ebooks (like tutorials) on the web of 500 pages or more, so I don’t know… I have been doing great with Freeway because it is so dummy-friendly, but I know nothing about PDF, and the Acrobat manual does not address this. The URL of the file is:
http://www.disasterfirstaid.com/DFA-ebook.pdf” --Is this correct form?

When I get it working, I will use your method, above. That makes perfect sense. Thanks again.

Victoria


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OOPS! I mean:
http://www.disasterfirstaid.com/DFA-Ebook.pdf
There is a capital E.


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P.S. 10:00 pm

Explorer actually does download this, in a seemingly normal manner. But the file will not open - just gives the message" “File error. Couldn’t open file.” What am I doing wrong?


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Sometime around 14/1/10 (at 23:13 -0500) Victoria said:

Thank you David. It’s all just so iffy. I found a bit of “fine
print” somewhere that said you have to have the file already
uploaded to the internet BEFORE you can link to it with Freeway.
Fwy’s instructions made it seem like Freeway would upload it with
your whole website upload. It would not.

If you just LINK to a file, Freeway doesn’t try to do anything more.
That includes not uploading it. If you don’t hand-type the URL then
Freeway will try to link to what you select… wherever it is at that
moment. That’s quite reasonable, really!

If you use an action such as the one Dave described, that will
upload the file. Then you just have to type in the path to where the
file is as your hyperlink destination address. Job done.

The same goes if you upload the file in some other manner, as you have done.

Took about 90 min. by WiFi.

Wifi means nothing, that’s just a networking method - how fast is the
Internet connection?

Anyway, I’d say the file is much too big. How big is it on your Mac?

k


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Safari opened the file for me OK and I saved it to my Mac - but it is pretty big at 17.7Mb

May well be worth splitting it into more manageable chunks.

Where on your site is the link to the ebook?

David


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Sometime around 15/1/10 (at 04:11 -0500) DeltaDave said:

it is pretty big at 17.7Mb

[splutter]
For a download of this kind that’s an understatement.

I downloaded the PDF and optimised it in Acrobat Pro, and it reduced
down to 7.2MB. There’s still at least one image with masked content
that wasn’t eliminated by that semi-automatic optimising process, so
more could be achieved with the right PDF production options in the
originating application.

What app did you use to create this PDF?

k


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Dear Keith - Thank you for trying. Like I said, I don’t know anything about PDF. So- in answer to your questions:

I’m using Acrobat 7.1.0 Pro. It came with my PhotoShop CS2. I’ll have to check out this “optimize” thing What menu is it under?

As for PDF production options - I just took my book pages (originally set up in Appleworks) and saved them as PDF via the printer-dialog option. Then I used Acrobat to put all of the 1-page files into the toolbar’s “Create PDF > from multiple files” option and made one big file. Then the struggle to upload began.

One or more of those individual pdf files that went into the big file were “saved-as” in Photoshop instead of the printer function. Could that be the error that made the masked content?

I tried some more things last night and today- Used a tiny one-page one-paragraph pdf file and it uploaded easily through Transmit and downloaded and saved to desktop via Firefox, Explorer, Safari, and Opera. So either it’s the bigness problem, or a corrupted file page, or both, or some other mystery.

It is not linked from Freeway/the website yet because it is not able to be downloaded by people yet. But you can access the file (the big one that doesn’t open for me) at http://www.disasterfirstaid.com/DFA-Ebook.pdf
If the filename is a problem, that’s easy to change.

Thank you for your help. Sorry I am such a dummy, but as they say “this is how we learn” by trial and error. I’m not willing to give up yet.

Victoria


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But you can access the file (the big one that doesn’t open for me) at http://www.disasterfirstaid.com/DFA-Ebook.pdf If the filename is a problem, that’s easy to change.

I downloaded and opened this one no problem!

My comment was about the size and as Keith says this can be reduced in Acrobat Pro

Look under the File Menu for Reduce File Size

Because you only have Pro 7 you are more limited in options ie you cannot save it as more compatible with later versions which helps with size reduction. Remember that Acrobat is now on v9

But notwithstanding you will get down to just over 7Mb and if you split your file into 2 then even more manageable at 3.5Mb each!

But try the Upload Extra Resources action to get it/them to your site.

David


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Thank you both - You guys are wonderful. I am determined to make this work, and I’ve already written a blog entry to tell people about it, which I’ll put up tonight. When the download works, I’ll put a link to it right on the index page.

They buried 3,000 bodies in a common grave in Port Au Prince Haiti today. Disaster First Aid is too late for them, but maybe it will save a few hundred or a few million some other times. The blog is http://disasterfirstaid.blogspot.com . Of course you are welcome to print out the book pages too.

Again, thanks, Victoria


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Sometime around 15/1/10 (at 15:40 -0500) Victoria said:

I just took my book pages (originally set up in Appleworks) and
saved them as PDF via the printer-dialog option. Then I used Acrobat

You really should aim to make the pages as compact as you can.
Anything else will be a hindrance to people interested in downloading
it. You seem to have Acrobat Pro, so use the tools it offers for
optimising the PDF.

Ideally, you’d lay this out in a professional DTP app rather than
AppleWorks and then use the detailed PDF export options it provides
to create a highly-optimised PDF in the first place.

either it’s the bigness problem, or a corrupted file page, or both,
or some other mystery.

Heh. So you’ve narrowed the list of possible reasons down to anything
at all? :wink:

Trust me, the problem you’ve had with publishing this is down to the
file size. As it stands, at 17MB+, it is simply too big for many
people. Even if they’re on broadband they’ll have to wait for an
appreciable length of time. Instead, almost everyone will assume it
isn’t working and give up.

Two questions:

Have you tried optimising the PDF in Acrobat Pro?

Do you have access to professional DTP apps?

k


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Yes, after you told me about that option, now the file is 7.15 MB and I guess that is still big, but I uploaded it easily (tho it took a while) and set up a link on my website.

The file at this size does download on the 4 browsers I have, Safari, Firefox, Opera (new to me but I think I like it) and an older version of Explorer (the newest one for Mac.)

Once downloaded, surprise: On Safari and Firefox, the file will not open. On Opera and Explored, no problem, opens just fine. Why is this? Would it make a difference if I split the file into 2 parts? (I don;t mind doing this but I thought I’d try the full file first.)

As for “professional DTP apps” I’m sorry I don’t know what that is.

This is a real journey and certainly a learning experience. But I believe this is going to work eventually. And none of this actually has anything to do with the Freeway Acrobat Action I started out with. Not using it.

Do you know why the file opens on some browsers but not others?

V.


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Sometime around 17/1/10 (at 23:39 -0500) Victoria said:

Once downloaded, surprise: On Safari and Firefox, the file will not open.

In Safari it downloads (rather than showing in the browser - hmm) and
opens in Preview. No problems.

Don’t split into multiple files; that won’t fix the problem you
describe. Do try to reduce the size however you can.

On Opera and Explored, no problem, opens just fine. Why is this?
Would it make a difference if I split the file into 2 parts? (I
don;t mind doing this but I thought I’d try the full file first.)

As for “professional DTP apps” I’m sorry I don’t know what that is.

The two main ones are Adobe InDesign and QuarkXPress.

I used to be an advocate of AppleWorks years ago as it offered a lot
in a compact package. But I no longer recommend it; that app is way
out of date now! Use Apple’s Pages instead - that’s part of the
budget-friendly iWork suite, and it has a PDF export option that can
be a little more efficient than the generic Print to PDF trick.
However, you’ll probably still need to optimise in Acrobat Pro.

My advice on using a different app is very important for this
particular project because of the way that AppleWorks happens to
print. What you have from your AppleWorks output is a PDF that is a
collection of large bitmap images of pages. The text isn’t real text

  • zoom into your PDF and notice the fuzziness. Your optimising
    process has knocked the resolution down, and the clarity suffers as a
    result. You really need to create this in a different app! If you
    can do that you’ll find that the file size reduces dramatically.

none of this actually has anything to do with the Freeway Acrobat
Action I started out with. Not using it.

Correct. That simply gets Freeway to handle the uploading process and
adds a link to the PDF into your page. There’s no magic there, just
convenience.

k


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Here’s an idea: make a new Freeway document, and make the master page
792 pixels tall by 612 pixels wide. That’s US Letter in pixels at
72ppi. Set up margins and guides on the master, and then…

Make your page layouts there, using each page in a print-oriented
desktop publishing manner. DON’T make pages longer, break them up
across multiple [ages instead. Use HTML text wherever possible.

Preview a page in your browser, then print it… using the Print to
PDF option instead of actually printing out paper. Go back to
Freeway, step to the next page, and repeat.

Your images will all be 72ppi, whatever resolution the originals
might be. This pre-optimises them and will make each page pretty
compact. Your HTML text will remain as real text; it will be crisp on
screen and in print, and it won’t make your pages get fat.

Use Acrobat to make one PDF from all the different pages - and you’re done.

Freeway is NOT really meant to be used as a non-web DTP tool, but it
can actually be rather handy if you know how to exploit it. Images
will always be low resolution, but that’s precisely what you need.
:slight_smile:

k


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