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.
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. post to jaanix.
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