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Old 04-19-10, 10:30 PM   #1
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Post How To Save A Complete Webpage For Offline Reading

Save a complete page so that I can read it later? Why would I need to do that? After all, don't we have those things called bookmarks? That's fine as long as the web connection holds. Even a simple thing as a journey from Point A to Point B could take us away from our 24 hour plugged in lives. We have got so used to the web, that the information so readily available is taken almost for granted.

Then there are some webpages which have snippets of information that's like gold dust. With the web as it is, the important content could go down tomorrow with the website shutting down or just having a server catastrophe. Call me paranoid, but when I come across a nugget of web information, there are times when I like to save the entire webpage in its exact glory. Copy-pasting it into MS Word would of course, be a simpler way.


But why go that route when one has a few other options to save a webpage for offline reading. These few ways could help us keep our favorite webpages close by, to be read when we need to.

Saving Complete Webpages With Save As

I am probably wasting a few lines here but all browsers have the feature to save complete webpages. They have had it since the early days. It's a simple one click saving job and here's how it's done in three of our popular browsers.

Firefox

From the menu, click on File ' Save Page Asā?¦ (Or alternatively, press Ctrl+S).



The Save As dialog window appears. Select Web Page, complete in the Save as type dropdown.



The webpage is saved as a set of HTML file and a folder that holds the other elements of the page.



Firefox's page saving command can be further improved using the Save Complete Firefox add-on. Though, I didn't notice much of a functional difference between the default and the add-on aided saves.

Chrome

Chrome also has a Save as option. You can access it from the Page icon that's next to the address bar. You can also load the webpage and right click anywhere on the page to get to the context menu. Or do the quick keyboard thing with a press on Ctrl+S.



The same kind of Save As dialog window appears and lets you save the page as Web Page, complete in a location of your choice.

Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer also follows the conventional File ' Save As routine. But just when you start to ho and hum, you will notice that Internet Explorer gives you another option in the Save as type dropdown. It reads ' Web Archive, single file (*.mht).



This is exactly the kind of convenience you were looking for. Instead of a complete folder that tags along with each saved single HTML page, we now just have a single file. MHT or MHTML (MIME HTML) is a standard for saving a webpage as a single file. It was introduced by Microsoft as a way to tie together all webpage elements like images and HTML together into a single file.

Not all browsers are pally with this format. Opera is the only other popular browser that has the MHT save. Firefox users though can call upon two add-ons to handle this file standard,Mozilla Archive Format &UnMHT.Both these add-ons can be installed and used to open and save complete webpages.

The MHTML file format is one of the ways to save complete webpages as single files. But it is definitely not the best way because webpages get displayed differently across browsers. Also, MHTML is not so good when it comes to handling Javascript code that's a usual part of webpage code.

Saving Complete Webpages With Firefox Add-Ons

Scrapbook Plus



Scrapbook Plus claims to be an improvement over the better known and similarly named Scrapbook. Tina did a very early review of Scrapbook in her two part series on Offline Browsing Anywhere Anytime (Part One & Part Two).

Scrapbook Plus is similar but aims to bring faster handling of all your saved pages. You can set options for what you want to retain from a webpage and the level of pages you want to link down to and save. You can capture all tabs and sort them in specified folders. Both Scrapbook and its Plus avatar come with the Combine feature.

Read It Later



We have written about Read It Later before. Read It Later is a browser plug-in that comes with absolute ease of use. With a single click you can save the currently displayed webpage. For offline use, just download your saved pages to the local machine and read it when you are away from the net.



You can click through links (instead of opening the pages) and save them for later reading using the 'Click to Save' mode. All open tabs can be concurrently saved too.

The best part of Read It Later is its inter-operability between many browsers and mobile devices. Read It Later has a lot of official applications and a few user created ones that makes it one of the more recommended tools to have in your browser.

Saving Complete Webpages As PDF

Saving webpages as PDF files sounds like taking a few steps back. Especially after we have seen the ease add-ons bring to the task. But consider a tool like PDF Download. PDF Download can be installed as an add-on or a bookmarklet on most of the browsers (Google Chrome, Safari, Opera, Firefox, Flock and Internet Explorer).



With a single click, PDF Download's Web-to-PDF feature lets you quickly and accurately convert any (unsecured) webpage into a high-quality PDF file. The PDF file can be printed, shared or just kept in a folder for later viewing. Or just merge them all into one combined bundle using the free PDFHammer from the same developers.

Do you archive webpages for offline reading? What's your favored method?

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