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Add a PayPal Shopping Cart to a PDF

A PDF file can be used for shopping by adding a button as a link. While it's possible to create a fully customized cart, the simplest e-commerce solution is to use PayPal. Consider the example below.

Click Here to open the PDF shown in the screenshot.


Click any of the Add to Cart buttons on the PDF to open a PayPal Shopping Cart.

The actual cart you see will depend on your PayPal Merchant settings, and your browser. However, the example shown here depicts the important elements common to all carts: the Product Name and Price, as well as an optional Secondary Description.

NOTE: This is an actual Live shopping page. Don't complete the purchase.



A PDF is virtually universal and can be opened on almost any device, depicting your products exactly as you intend them to be seen without worry about how different browsers may resize or rearrange elements. However, it has some limitations. While you can open a downloaded PDF offline, you still need an internet connection to use the shopping cart. Also, the user experience may vary between browsers and whether the PDF is opened from a downloaded file or a link.
For example, if you used the link above to open the sample PDF, you probably found that the PayPal Shopping Cart opened in the same tab when you clicked the Add to Cart button. This means you would have to use the Browser's Back button after each selection to re-open the PDF to continue shopping.
However, depending on your browser settings, the PDF may not have opened at all but instead downloaded to your device. In this case, when you opened the file and clicked a cart button, your device should have opened the browser. This may or may not have been proceeded by a warning.

In summary, a PDF-based Shopping Cart has the advantages of being viewable off-line, and giving you full control over how your products are displayed and printed, but may only be useful for purchasing small numbers of items due to browser issues.


Return to Tutorial Selection or continue to Add a Cart Button to a PDF