Downloading .pdf documents (again)

I know that this issue has been discussed before, but I am still looking for an option to download .pdf documents without displaying them on the screen or compressing in .zip format. (I can download my account statements directly as .pdf from my credit card site).

But, to make it more complicated, I would like small .pdf documents (1-2 pages) to be read on the screen.

Am I demanding too much?
I wonder if the option is handled directly on the host.


You could have a look at paperless from @willwood.

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Thank you for your kind response Doug.
In fact, paperless is a great stack for small documents. But some of my documents are manuals or small books, so putting them in resources is not a good option because of their size.

@peppermint You do not need to store the paperless folder of materials in RW Resources. You can set up to be a folder on your server using a relative path. In this case (path on server) the size should not matter much for preview.

On the other hand … you can create 2 folders on your server (e.g. big and small). Then use 2 Paperless stacks: one allows you to preview and download, the other allows you to download only. Very possible to have 2 Paperless stacks on one page.


@Mathew Thank you very much for your clarification. I had the misconception that it was essential to use RW Resources. Now it is clear to me. Great solution.

Take a look at InStacks Repository inStacks Software | Repository Stack - Perfect for Warehousing File Manager, Media Browser, FTP Application, Online Text Editor It’ll enable you to upload files to your server from a dedicated admin page on your site, you can then use Paperless to display them.

This page uses multiple Paperless’s to display multiple pdf’s stored in multiple folders, all files were uploaded to the server using Repository.

Here’s a screenshot of the Repository page showing the IO1 folder on the server

Files can me uploded/deleted/renamed/moved etc all from the published website; no need to use RW once its publised.


Yes, as @PaulRussam notes: Repository is a GREAT stack. I use it all the time for course websites. It works very nicely with Paperless.

If you are already familiar with FTP software and use it a lot then Repository may not hold lots of benefits. But the less you are familiar with FTP software, or you have other folks contributing to the PDFs to be used, the more Repository is a great solution.


If you’re using RW8, then I’m not sure this “notion” that size somehow matters when it comes to resources.

I have the options set correctly (the default) dragging something like PDFs images or even videos into the RapidWeaver resources makes a copy of the item.

Yes, it makes the project “file” larger, but a RapidWeaver project file is a special kind of folder called a package. You can right-click on the project file in finder and select to view the contents of the package, and it looks like any other folder.

Inside RapidWeaver resources, you can also right-click on any resource, and there’s an option to show in finder. You can see the resource is nothing more than another file on your Mac.

Now I’d be the first to admit in older versions of RapidWeaver like RW6 and RW7 Resources had many issues and developed a bad reputation. I used to “stay away” from using the built-in resource folder like many users, but RapidWeaver 8 reworked the entire way resources work.

There are some reasons why you might not want to use resources, like file management and publishing, but I wouldn’t worry much about file size.

@teefers, @Mathew, @PaulRussam
I would like to give my sincere thanks for taking your time to offer your valuable help. You showed me clever ways to solve my doubt. I appreciate it.


To embed PDFs into a webpage, I have PDF Embed.

If you just want a download link you can do that easy enough with a link. Here is a snippet that is compatible to Foundation. It will make a button. Or just a text link inside any other theme.

<a class="button" href="" download>Download</a>

You can see it in action here…

It will download whatever you throw into it. This will be a native feature of button in Foundation 2.

Sorry Joe…if you do that with a uncompressed pdf…it opens in place…has to be zipped.

I used your code.

Nope. It works here though…

Domains need to match for this to work. is different than

The link you posted was to, yet the link in your button was to

Browsers are very strict nowadays. You must choose a domain and stick with it. Redirect all other combinations to your one true domain name.

I agree…hehhehe…my bad!!!
That is my domain.
Thanks for the details on that.

How can I add that code to Sweet Button?
If you would rather do that in another forum…just let me know.

I use Dropbox for this kind of usecases.

If you link a file with ?dl=0 at the end – it is shown in the Dropbox-reader (even if the device/browser of the client is not configured to view PDFs) – best to open in a ne window of course.
If you use ?dl=1 it is allways a direct download – and most of the times the client did not even notice that the file is hosted on dropbox.

In the EU it is a good idea to reflect that in your privacy police – but I never have any issues with this way of delivering PDFs … and I use it on a dozen of webpages for my clients.

I did a test site showing what @joeworkman showed me:

Hi Joe, would you mind to share a demo file?


Sure…do you have foundation?

Sure Joe.

It uses stacks:
Sweet Button

And Wallpaper…

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