How to Insert a PDF Doc in a Craigslist Ad

How to Insert a PDF Doc in a Craigslist Ad

Angela, Charles and other Charlotte Web Development readers have been asking in the comments section of my How do you post an image on Craigslist article about inserting a PDF Doc in a Craigslist Ad. It’s a simple process. Here are the steps:

How to Insert a PDF Doc in a Craigslist Ad

Step 1: Get your PDF on-line

Similarly to how I describe in the picture on Craigslist post, you will need to own your own PDF. Don’t use other people’s resources. That will get you in trouble quickly. Also, you will need to upload that PDF somewhere. Any kind of file hosting will do.

Need Craigslist Help?

Once you have your PDF file uploaded somewhere, all you need to do is put the following code in your Craigslist ad.

Step 2: Link to your PDF in your Craigslist Ad

You can make a link to a PDF on craigslist but actually displaying a PDF on Craigslist is difficult. If you just want to make a link to the pdf, that is simple and very similar to the steps I laid out above. Let’s say that the location of your pdf is

You would put in the following link code replacing the href part with your location – be sure to keep those double quotes! Also, you would put some text to indicate that a user was going to a PDF.

<a href="">This is a link to my PDF</a>

Does that help? If not, describe exactly what you want to do in the comments section below and I will do my best to help out.

One last word on putting a PDF on Craigslist: Why?

Generally you are trying to exchange information. People will click the link, possibly read your PDF and then go on their way. Why not instead make a simple website with that information and the PDF linked and that way create an asset for your company? After all, you can edit a website much more easily than you can a PDF and a website gives you a great permanent resource to keep all of your contacts in one place.

After all, we all know that the best way to make a business profitable is to keep a list of customers and prospects. A website will help you do that much more easily than a PDF. Websites do not have to be very fancy – especially when you are creating your first one. So many tools exist today to make great looking, professional, and above all else – profitable websites for basically free. If you have questions on how to do that, please let me know in the comments below and I will write up a few articles on that, too!

How to Sell Your Crap Online

Incidentally, there’s another guy out here on the interwebs who thinks helping people out a great business model. Adam Baker from Man vs Debt has an incredible story about taking his wife and small child out of the States and travelling around the world after selling nearly all of his stuff.

While you might not be looking to do something that extreme, he’s an interesting person to learn from – especially when it comes to selling your stuff and services on Craigslist, EBay, Amazon, or anywhere, really. If you’re so inclined, check out his (paid) guide on selling stuff online. He’s got a $100 guarantee on his site. Buy his book and if you don’t make $100 by implementing his techniques, he’ll refund your purchase.

Not a bad guarantee – you make back multiple times the price of his guide or you pay nothing. And that’s even without the tons of great extras he’s included from a legion of other interesting people.

I don’t often direct visitors to this website to somewhere else on the web, but if you’re reading my article on Craigslist, Adam has something that I think can help you out.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

charles benson April 5, 2011 at 9:54 am

Good morning,

Thanks for taking the time to provide those instructions. I will look into actually doing a webpage for this purpose in the near future.


Charlotte Web Development April 6, 2011 at 10:47 am

Very welcome, Charles. Glad to help. If you have any questions on how to get started, please let me know and I’ll see what guides I can write up. Of course, if you need a site built and you are not the Do-it-yourself-web-design type, please let me know!


regina April 18, 2011 at 4:53 pm

I am unable to see the code for displaying a PDF on Craigslist. I do not want it to link anywhere. Just want to display the pdf in the posting description of craigslist. Thanks for your time and effort


Charlotte Web Development April 22, 2011 at 8:08 am


You cannot make a PDF display in Craigslist. Their security measures make that not possible. What you can do is copy and paste all of your information in the PDF and put that into Craigslist. Alternately, you could translate your PDF to HTML and put that code into the Craigslist ad description.

Hope that helps!


Dennis February 7, 2012 at 2:17 am

I tried downloading pdf file using an online program. When I copy the html code onto craigslist, I get a link not the actual pdf file. What am I doing wrong?



Charlotte Web Development February 7, 2012 at 12:31 pm


I’ms not quite sure I follow. You can’t display a PDF in a Craigslist ad but you can make a link to one.

Does the link work?

Thanks, Ted.


Denise May 21, 2012 at 10:06 am

So how do you translate a PDF to HTML exactly? I downloaded a converter but it breaks up the ad and the text that I inserted underneath each picture. Also what code? I am assuming you would have to use a hosting site as well to get a URL, but how do you do this and what is the code?


Charlotte Web Development May 21, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Hi Denise, Thanks for commenting. PDF translation to html is notoriously bad. There may be excellent tools out there for it, however I am not aware of them. It’s been easier in my experience to either put a link to the pdf you have hosted elsewhere – and that’s what this article shows you how to do.

Another alternative is to just make an webpage from scratch that mirrors what the PDF looks like, then put that code into Craigslist.

Does that answer your question?


Nancy Watkins November 2, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Hi – I’ve been trying to upload a photo of a dining room table w/ chairs to my text ad. I’ve done everything that Craigslist told me to do & the photo won’t appear w/ the ad.


Thanks, Nancy


Charlotte Web Development December 28, 2011 at 9:06 am

Nancy, Can you share the code you are putting into Craigslist? That way I can diagnose what’s going on.


lee jenkins March 31, 2012 at 7:32 am

Hi, I followed your previous explanation for putting up a photo/flyer on CL and it worked perfectly, EXCEPT, that only MAC users can see it. It is invisible to PC users. Any idea why? I created it on a MAc and converted it to a pdf file. I have it hosted on my website and if a PC user clicks on the link on my website they can see the flyer. If they go to the CL page, all they see is a blank page, whereas MAC users see the flyer. . . Any idea how to fix so PC users can see it as well? Here is the CL ad: (if you can’t see it, it is there, i promise!) Here is the link to my website:


Charlotte Web Development April 2, 2012 at 10:23 am


I can see the flyer perfectly on Mac, iPhone, iPad, or desktop with IE 7. Lookds good to me!



lee jenkins April 6, 2012 at 10:27 am

Hi ted,

Well you are the only PC user who can see it? I’ve asked numerous people to view it and they can’t see it. . . Only if they have a mac can they see it. Any theories about why?


Charlotte Web Development April 8, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Hmm. Can you send me a screen shot of what they are seeing? Ask what their set up is – What version of Windows and what browser & version. If they don’t have a PDF viewer installed, they would not see anything.


lee jenkins April 9, 2012 at 2:33 am

The problem is with firefox and chrome. . . I can see it when i use safari, but not when i use firefox (on same computer.) My french teacher has a pc and uses Chrome and can’t see it. My niece has a pc and i don’t know what she uses, but she can’t see it either. My friends who have Mac all can see it (i guess they don’t use firefox!) I’ve pasted below what i see when i use firefox (empty where flyer should be). . . When i use safari, i see the flyer–not a link, but the flyer itself. . . i.e. i don’t have to click on a link to see a flyer. Many thanks for your help. This *is* perplexing.

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John Rogers June 13, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Hey Ted,
Do you know if Craigslist allows lead capture forms? I would love to put a form in an ad asking for an email address, then send them the pdf report, but didn’t know if this was allowed.


Charlotte Web Development June 14, 2012 at 7:53 am

John, I don’t think this is possible. To put a form on Craigslist you would need to use some kind of client-side scripting language. And Craigslist disallows all of them.

However, I believe that you are on the right track! I wrote a brief article that getting users to your website is the best feature of Craigslist. You can see that one here:


Paige May 15, 2013 at 12:43 pm

HI.. how do you get a PDF onto Flickr? I am trying to get my PDF File onto Flickr, but every time I go to upload it, it’s not showing where I saved it??


Charlotte Web Development November 20, 2013 at 9:59 pm

Hi Paige. I didn’t mean to infer that you could upload your PDF file to Flickr. You can upload it anywhere. It looks like you have a website. Just upload it to your server in a way that you can access it off of your main url and use that as a link. Does that help?


Charlotte Web Development April 9, 2012 at 10:52 am

Hi Lee,

Do you have another Craigslist ad up? The one you originally posted seems to have been taken down.

Thanks, Ted.


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