Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

How To Copy From (Or Save) A Web Page

Working With Web Pages

Whether you want to share information you have found on the web with others, or keep a copy for reference at a later date, knowing how to “work with webpages” and copy online text and images are handy skills.

The first thing to understand is that “online” material – such as webpages – are stored elsewhere, and “served” to your computer, where they are assembled and “viewed” by your web browser — through the use of HTTP and HTML ‘coding’ (which is not visible to you).

The typical webpage will have many sources for what you “see”: the HTML code, and the page’s text are probably on one “web server”, the logos and other images may come from another “server”, or servers, and the advertisements from yet other servers. These various items can be “dynamic” (changing), so that a farmer in Minnesota won’t see the exact same web page as Florida retiree (at least, not the same ads..).

Short version: a webpage is not a simple file you can Save, Edit, or Delete, like Word document or Excel spreadsheet you have created “locally” on your own machine.

Sharing Web pages with others:
The easiest way to share a web page with others is to simply send them the URL. A “URL” is the “http://blah.blahblah.com/blah.htm” (found in the “address bar”) and the easiest way to send it is to Copy > Paste.
AddrssBr

The easiest way to Copy a URL is to click – once – anywhere on the web page, and then click – once – inside the address bar. That will ‘highlight’ (turn blue.. aka “select”) the whole, entire URL.
* Click on Edit > Copy, or press the Ctrl + C keys, to copy the selection.

* You can now move to Email “compose” window, or Chat “send message” window, and click on Edit > Paste, or press Ctrl + V, which will paste the URL in, and you can…

* Now Send the recipient(s) the exact web page URL you want them to see. (Mind you, web pages are often dynamic, and your recipient might not see exactly what you see..)

Another easy method will fix the “dynamic” webpage, and turn it into a simple file (which you will have stored “locally”, aka “onboard”) which you can then “attach” to an e-mail and send – as you would a Word document or Excel spreadsheet – only it will be a PDF file, and the images will be “embedded” for you.

Fellow tech blogger Rick Robinette wrote a nice article on this method here, Easily Convert Web Pages to a PDF File, so I will let you read that instead of re-inventing the wheel. Trust me, it’s something you’ll want to know about. (And you may find out why his site is one of my daily reads.
[update: Rick posted a review today of a free program you can install for turning web pages into PDF's. Please see Nitro – A PDF Reader that is a Whole Lot More.]

Extracting selected web page items:
Sometimes all you want from a web page is just a small section of text, or a single picture — perhaps as reference material, or just a really quotable Quotable Quote. Or a recipe.

For pictures and images, all you need to do is right- click on the image, and select Save image as. ¹ This will ‘download’ a copy of the image file to your PC, which you can then “attach” to an e-mail and send. (That wasn’t so hard, was it?) Text is a little trickier.

Q: How do I copy the text on a webpage into my document?

“There are actually a couple of different ways to do this, including the old “print-to-file” method that DOS users remember. The trick is to get just the text and information you want, and not all the advertising and hyperlinks and graphics/logos that most webpages incorporate…”

As the blurb states, there are a few methods, and I am running long. Good thing I wrote out the How To steps a while back and posted them in this article, How To Extract Text From Web Pages*!

So there you have it. Some basics, and two additional How To’s. Have a great weekend, folks.

¹ Addenda: Readers have chimed in with more tips; please see comments below.

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.


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June 4, 2010 - Posted by | advice, computers, how to, Internet, MS Word | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

11 Comments »

  1. Paul,
    Thanks for a great article that will be very useful to lots of folks.
    Paul

    Comment by Paul Lubic, Jr. | June 4, 2010 | Reply

    • Paul Lubic, Jr.,
      When I write articles like this, I know very well that some people are going to roll their eyes and say “Duh!”, but not everyone is an Über Geek..
      And you know what? I’m still learning after 15 (or so) years…

      I sincerely thank you for your support!

      Comment by techpaul | June 4, 2010 | Reply

  2. TechPaul,

    Thanks for the link back on this article… I’m hoping tomorrow to put up an article that will also promote using a PDF printer (or creator) that also may be a solution in this case…

    Anywho, as always, you are awesome in your explanations, descriptions, etc… I know I always learn something here. Like Paul Lubic stated, “I’m still learning…”

    Rick

    Comment by Ramblinrick | June 4, 2010 | Reply

    • Rick,
      I am always happy to point my readers to “undiscovered gems”, and your site is one of those items.
      I will watch for the article and update mine appropriately.

      Thanka, as always, for your support.

      Comment by techpaul | June 4, 2010 | Reply

  3. And if the user is on a pay-as-you-go plan, he/she can simply right click the image, copy and paste it in paint, word, powerpoint or any other graphic editing program and save the image eliminating the need of download.
    Anyways, it’s a nice article as people often forget the most basic things…
    Btw Paul, what version of firefox your using? Is it 3.7a5? And what theme?

    Comment by Ranjan | June 4, 2010 | Reply

    • Ranjan,
      Yes, you’re right of course. It adds a step or two, but for those watching their bandwidth (for whatever reason) it is the ‘smart saver’s’ way.

      I will mod the article to point here. Thanks.

      No, I do not use alphas, betas, or RC’s like I used to, and generally try to avoid ‘first releases’.
      I generally change my firefox “persona” (see, Playing With A Fox) as my mood fits, sometimes several times a day (there’s so many to explore!) but… I keep coming back to Superman. (Not because I am a fan of comics, but because I am a Geek Superman. Ha!)

      Comment by techpaul | June 4, 2010 | Reply

  4. Your welcome Paul.
    “Geek Superman”— sure you’re.. lol.
    And regarding Personas, i don’t have any good experience. Everytime i install one, FF takes much time to open.. And no, i don’t have tons of add-ons which you may think as the culprit..
    Currently, i’m better off with them.. I may give it another try, but don’t know when.. :P

    Comment by Ranjan | June 4, 2010 | Reply

    • Ranjan,
      If I had a choice between my add on, or “personas”, I would keep the add on.

      But when you spend as much time as I do looking at a browser window, the “personas” are kind of nice to have.
      (Can you guess? One of my favorite features of Windows 7 is the Desktop slideshow. Basically useless and total fluff, true, but I tire of the same old scenery.)

      Comment by techpaul | June 5, 2010 | Reply

  5. I can understand.. Btw, I too like desktop slideshow feature…

    Comment by Ranjan | June 5, 2010 | Reply

  6. Hey Paul,

    Just dawned on me… Evernote has a feature that allows you to capture web pages in their true form (links and all)… I use it all of the time.

    Rick

    Comment by Ramblinrick | June 5, 2010 | Reply

    • Rick,
      I suspect that life is keeping you hopping, Rick, as I expected to see this from you sooner! I know you are an Evernote user (and I agree that it is a top drawer utility).

      Folks, what is Evernote? Read Rick’s write up, here, Evernote Your FREE Online Notebook.

      [update: Rick posted a review today of a program you can install for turning web pages into PDF's. Please see Nitro – A PDF Reader that is a Whole Lot More.]

      Comment by techpaul | June 5, 2010 | Reply


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