Using PDF Documents On Your Blog

using PDF documents on your blog

Yesterday while on Twitter, I saw that @SeekingSurnames who runs the Desperately Seeking Surnames blog needed advice on loading PDF documents to her blog which is hosted on the Blogger platform.

Why PDF?

After I dispensed some advice (the solution is spelled out below), I realized that this may be a common problem for many genealogy bloggers.  The PDF format is preferred by some genealogists when posting documents since it not only greatly reduces the file size but it also can be formatted so users cannot alter, copy or even print the document.

Here are ways to use PDF documents in both Blogger and WordPress:

PDF Documents on Blogger

You cannot store PDF documents directly on the Blogger server.  The solution is to store the PDF using a service such as Google Docs and then providing a link to the document on your blog post.

  1. Go to Google Docs and login.  If you do not have a Google account, go to and create an account.
  2. Click Upload.
    blogger pdf docs 01
  3. The Upload screen appears. Click Choose File to locate a file on your computer and then click Open.  Enter an alternate file name in the What do you want to call it? field.  Then click Upload File.
    blogger pdf docs 02
  4. The PDf document will appear on-screen.  In the upper-left corner click the Share drop-down menu and select Get the link to share.
    blogger pdf docs 03
  5. The Get the link to share dialog appears.  Mark the Allow anyone with the link to view checkbox.
    blogger pdf docs 04
  6. The link will appear in the Share this link via email or IM: field. Highlight the link and right-click with your mouse.  The shortcut menu appears.  Click Copy.
    blogger pdf docs 05
  7. Now paste the link in your Blogger post.
    blogger pdf docs 06

PDF Documents on WordPress

Fortunately, it is easier to store and link to PDF documents if your blog is either hosted at WordPress or you are using the WordPress software on your own hosted site.

  1. Create a new post.  On the editing toolbar click the Add Media icon.
    wordpress pdf docs 01
  2. The Add Media dialog appears.  Click Select Files.  Locate the file and click Open.
    wordpress pdf docs 02
  3. Once the file is uploaded, enter the title in the Title field.  Click Insert into Post.
    wordpress pdf docs 03
  4. The link will appear in the post.
    wordpress pdf docs 04

© 2009, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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About Thomas MacEntee

What happens when a “tech guy” with a love for history gets laid off during The Great Recession of 2008? You get Thomas MacEntee, a genealogy professional who’s also a blogger, educator, author, social media connector, online community builder and more. Thomas was laid off after a 25-year career in the information technology field, so he started his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. He also created an online community of over 3,000 family history bloggers known as GeneaBloggers. His most recent endeavor, Hack Genealogy, is an attempt to “re-purpose today’s technology for tomorrow’s genealogy.” Thomas describes himself as a lifelong learner with a background in a multitude of topics who has finally figured out what he does best: teach, inspire, instigate, and serve as a curator and go-to-guy for concept nurturing and inspiration. Thomas is a big believer in success, and that we all succeed when we help each other find success.

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