PDF export parginated: text is not not copy & paste capable

Simon's Avatar


22 Oct, 2019 10:36 AM

Hi everybody,

if I export longer documents as "PDF parginated", then the text in the PDF is no longer usable properly via copy & paste.
The problem occurs:
1. independent of the preview style (e.g. with the default style "Github")
2. for documents longer than 1.5 pages (not always the same)
3. only for "PDF parginated" (not for "PDF continuous").
What is the reason? Is there a solution?
4. the PDFs are not only broken on the Mac

Is there a solution?
Thank you very much.

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Brett on 22 Oct, 2019 01:44 PM

    Brett's Avatar

    What do you mean by "no longer usable properly?" I'm able to copy and
    paste from any paginated PDF I've tested so far this morning, so I need
    a definition of what usable means.


  2. 2 Posted by Simon on 22 Oct, 2019 02:32 PM

    Simon's Avatar

    "the text in the PDF is no longer usable properly via copy & paste." Means: the text in exported PDFs is displayed correctly and can also be printed. But: if I select the text => copy => and want to paste it into another document, a faulty text arrives there.

    This should be clearly visible on the attached screenshot. The attached PDF was created with marked 2. Additionally I uploaded my Markdown Document.

  3. 3 Posted by Simon on 22 Oct, 2019 02:39 PM

    Simon's Avatar

    so I need a definition of what usable means.

    Usabble means: Copy & Past should also be possible with the marked 2 exported PDF as in any other PDF: mark, copy and paste. And the text should not change during the process.

  4. Support Staff 4 Posted by Brett on 22 Oct, 2019 03:52 PM

    Brett's Avatar

    The way Marked creates a paginated PDF is using the macOS Print system.
    So, it's essentially the same as if you rendered out the HTML, applied
    print styling, and then printed it with Safari. It's not doing anything
    special, and I'm guessing your PDF would have the same results in Safari
    as you're getting in Marked (though I'll need to test that). My question
    would be why you're not just copying as HTML or Rich Text from Marked
    instead of from PDFs? Is there a reason?


  5. 5 Posted by Simon Busse · l... on 22 Oct, 2019 04:02 PM

    Simon Busse · laborb designbüro's Avatar

    Hi Brett,

    > > My question would be why you're not just copying as HTML or Rich Text from Marked instead of from PDFs? Is there a reason?

    The reason is, that I send PDFs e.g. by email and others are used to copy texts from a PDF.
    In one specific case, the recipient wanted to take text from the PDF to suggest changes.

    If the layout is to be preserved, PDF is an ideal exchange form. I therefore think that many people have the problem (but don't notice it directly).


    Am 22.10.2019 um 17:52 schrieb Brett <[email blocked]>:

  6. Support Staff 6 Posted by Brett on 22 Oct, 2019 04:38 PM

    Brett's Avatar

    That's reasonable. I'll have to compare the output to what Safari is
    creating. If there's no difference then there's nothing I can do to fix
    it in Marked. If there is, I'll try to track down what the issue might

    As far as suggesting changes on a PDF, Preview (or Acrobat) annotation
    tools seem like a logical choice for the time being.


  7. 7 Posted by Simon Busse · l... on 23 Oct, 2019 06:51 AM

    Simon Busse · laborb designbüro's Avatar

    In case it was overlooked: this is only a topic with "parginated", the "continuos" export is absolutely correct.
    If I'm not wrong, you can't create "parginated" PDFs in Safari. Can't you?

    If I may add: "parginated PDF Export" is a unique selling point of marked 2. That was the reason why I bought a license! Simple PDFs without page numbers and footers/headers are available with most Markdown editors!
    For usecases like documentations, scientific texts or contracts the texts have to be copyable (as usual with PDFs).

    Thank you very much for your effort!


    Am 22.10.2019 um 18:38 schrieb Brett <[email blocked]>:

  8. Support Staff 8 Posted by Brett on 23 Oct, 2019 10:57 AM

    Brett's Avatar

    If you print to PDF from Safari, you get paginated output, it just lacks
    footers and headers. It's the same result as printing to a printer,
    output gets spread across pages of specified dimensions. So it's close
    enough for comparison.


  9. 9 Posted by gutierrez.victo... on 22 Jul, 2020 10:19 PM

    gutierrez.victor's Avatar

    I am having the same problem. Since getting an iPad, I have been making notes on top of PDFs. Highlighting text and copying and pasting into other files is pretty awesome in my workflow; but since Marked doesn't create the PDFs with text as something I can select and copy, I have been working around it. I first export the markdown to HTML using marked2, then I open the HTML file with Safari and "print" it to a PDF file if I really want margins with my document or "export as PDF" if I don't care about the margins.

    Since you mentioned that comparing the output from Safari was what you needed to see if it was possible, and the resulting files from Safari are exactly what I needed, I was wondering if this is something you ever figured out.

  10. Support Staff 10 Posted by Brett on 22 Jul, 2020 10:35 PM

    Brett's Avatar

    As stated before, paginated PDF output currently creates selectable text for me on all tests. The only exception is an issue with the Big Sur beta. What OS are you running?

  11. 11 Posted by gutierrez.victo... on 23 Jul, 2020 04:51 PM

    gutierrez.victor's Avatar


    Thank you for the response. I am running one of my computers with BigSur and that was the one giving problems. Since it was about the same time I started to use the iPad Pro, I figured it was an issue with all the other versions. Sorry for the inconvenience. Now I know I can just use another computer to create the PDFs. Thank you for Marked. It is an awesome software. Wish someone created something like this for Windows too!

  12. Support Staff 12 Posted by Brett on 23 Jul, 2020 06:16 PM

    Brett's Avatar

    Thanks. I'm hoping that the Big Sur issue resolves on Apple's end before
    release, but Marked has to use a deprecated version of WebKit in order
    to provide PDF export functionality at all, and I worry that they'll
    pass over it...


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