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At some point, many of us will have to do some research, trawl through dozens of websites or like me; write an article. Have you ever found yourself with about fifteen tabs opened in your browser; all of which containing snippets of information that you hope to compile into something useful? Just keeping track of all those tabs is difficult enough – and printing them all off? Forget about that.

iCyte is a browser add-on that allows you to capture web pages, highlight text and save it to your account.

First, go to iCyte.com and click the big “˜Create an Account button‘. Then, ignoring the option to create an account, select your browser from the left side of the screen. It is supported by Firefox and Internet Explorer 7 & 8. Sadly, there is no Chrome option available.

When the download begins, you’ll be asked to close all browser windows. You have to do this in order for the installation to complete.

capture web pages

When it has done so, re-open the browser. It should automatically take you to the iCyte website where you’ll be asked to create an account. If it doesn’t automatically bring you their, go to the “˜Create an Account‘ page where you first downloaded the add-on and create an account there.  As you can see from the screenshot, it only needs a few pieces of information to capture web pages and there is no confirmation e-mail that needs to be retrieved. Once you have done this, you can begin using iCyte.

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Go to the web page you would like to save. If there is text on the page of particular relevant to you then highlight it using the mouse as you would if your were going to Copy & Paste. While the text is highlighted, click the iCyte button along the top of the browser in the iCyte toolbar. A window will open.

Using this window, enter in the name of the project. So for example, if you’re researching flight prices enter in “˜Holiday Planning A Quick Road Trip Planning Guide For Techno Geeks A Quick Road Trip Planning Guide For Techno Geeks Read More ‘ or if you’re researching an essay, enter in the title of said essay. If you already have an existing project you want to add to, click the arrow to the side of the text entry bar and select the appropriate project. After that, you can enter in tags and notes about the web page you are saving. When you’re happy with everything, click “˜Save’ and you’ve captured the web page.

To view the web pages and highlighted text you have saved, click on the ‘View Cytes’ button in the iCyte toolbar. This will open up a sidebar in the browser with a list of all your different projects and “˜Cytes’. They’re easily recognisable because of the screenshots but you can use the search bar to find one quickly. In the screenshot, you can see that I have saved a Cyte of the MakeUseOf.com homepage and a couple of my personal blog.

By clicking on one of these “˜Cytes’, the browser will load the Cyte in its full form. The quality is amazing and it looks just as it does when you viewing the actual web page. All of the links and buttons in the Cyte are fully clickable and will load their respective pages in a new tab. Along the top of the Cyte, there is an option to “˜View Live’. This will bring you to the original page of the Cyte.

All in all, iCyte is a great tool for those who research a lot and need somewhere to store all their information without printing off reams of pages. Do you know a similar tool? Cyte it in the comments!

  1. marnie
    October 1, 2009 at 7:03 am

    The thing I love most about iCyte is that it saves a copy of the webpage for you, not just the link or a clipping, or a screenshot. So you never lose the content you want or the context of the page. O yeah!

    And it's such a clever, simple design that I keeping finding new uses for it. I can use it for academic research, or to save my favourite web content, or to manage my everyday searching online.

    I also really love being able to use iCyte for collaborative research - so many new possibilities.

  2. Bryce
    September 26, 2009 at 7:33 am

    For me it's Evernote to the rescue! With an elephant as their logo they propose to help you "Never forget anything". For websites, they have a "web-clipper" addon for most browsers that pushes either an area or the entire page. But that's just the beginning.

    Their desktop clients for Mac & Windows are flawless and works offline. The web-app is equally great. Organize the clips or "notes" in "notebooks" and by tags. Import photos, documents or PDFs. Add or view notes on the road from their mobile apps for iPhone & Blackberry.

    But here's the killer part... OCR and full searchability of text, even in photographs. Evernote.com for a free account. It's my favorite app!

  3. Lisa
    September 25, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Zotero, Zotero, Zotero. Especially for academic researchers, this is the best tool I've found to grab bibliographic information, take snapshots of web pages, create items from web pages, attach notes and PDFs and more. It also integrates with OpenOffice and MS Word. It is a Firefox extension, and like icyte, lives in your browser. The developers are great and very responsive to the needs of the community. Group libraries and group file syncing have just been implemented. I wrote my thesis with Zotero and can't say enough good things about it.

    Zotero.org

    Best,
    Lisa

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