Offline Browsing Anywhere Anytime – Part One
It may sound like a threat, but the internet is not quite everywhere, yet. So what do you do when there’s no internet available to you? First, take a deep breath!
The answer is actually quite simple. You plan ahead and take the internet with you. Or at least parts of it. It may not be an efficient way to cater your online cravings, but you may finally catch up on some long due reading and best of all, it’s free.
I have two alternatives for you, and I will start with the smaller solution.
ScrapBook is a Firefox addon that integrates with the Firefox Navigation toolbar. After installing the extension you will also notice buttons in your toolbar and status bar. They look like the favicon icon seen in the screenshot below: a blue book with a white back.
When you come across a page you would like to save, you have multiple options. Go to the ScrapBook menu in the Navigation toolbar and select Capture Page or hit the shortcut [CTRL + SHIFT + L] or right-click into the page and select Capture Page or drag and drop the website’s favicon into the ScrapBook sidebar. You only have to remember one of these, relax.
To capture only parts of a site, select these parts, then right-click and choose Capture Selection from the menu. Similarly you can capture a link or rather what’s behind it. Just right-click on it and choose Capture Link from the menu. Moreover, you can capture frames, files, all tabs, images, and instead of capturing anything, you can just bookmark a site with ScrapBook. Easy.
Per default, captured pages or selections are saved in the ScrapBook extension folder located in your Firefox profile directory. This can be changed via the options menu of the extension. In the Organize tab you can even enable a function called Multi-ScrapBook and you can then store data in multiple locations and switch between them using the ScrapBook toolbar button.
Coolness doesn’t stop there. Besides saving a whole site you can edit the page before you capture it. This is actually the greatest part of it! You can remove any part of the page using the DOM eraser, you can add comments, highlight text or add stickies and inline annotations. It’s all done through a small menu bar at the bottom of your screen. The bar comes up when you click the ScrapBook icon that sits in the status bar and select Edit Before Capture.
To best access your captured pages, click the ScrapBook icon in your toolbar which will open the ScrapBook sidebar. You can also go through the Navigation Toolbar menu or click [ALT + K]. The sidebar looks much like your Bookmarks sidebar and you can organize it just as easily. Add folders, drag and drop items or search your collection. Click the word Tools in the top right corner of the sidebar to gain access to even more functions, like import/export, sorting, the combine wizard and more.
This extension may seem simple at first, but it’s ingenious and when you dive in to discover all its features and little details, you may well be overwhelmed at first. This is a great tool to organize online research material, perfect for writers or anyone saving bits and pieces of information. The only thing it’s missing is the ability to automatically capture more than just the active page or a list of predefined URLs.
And that’s why I dare you to stay tuned for part 2 of this mini-series. In the next part I will introduce you to a tool that can do just that: save whole websites, including sub-sites, links and everything. Excited yet?
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