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Tech: Viewing web pages while offline

Jim Dixon 05 Jun 12 - 11:41 AM
GUEST,999 05 Jun 12 - 11:50 AM
Stilly River Sage 05 Jun 12 - 11:56 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 05 Jun 12 - 12:21 PM
JohnInKansas 05 Jun 12 - 08:13 PM
Jim Dixon 06 Jun 12 - 08:47 AM
JohnInKansas 06 Jun 12 - 05:01 PM
Jim Dixon 08 Jun 12 - 05:02 PM
JohnInKansas 08 Jun 12 - 05:47 PM
Tootler 08 Jun 12 - 05:49 PM
Bill D 08 Jun 12 - 07:33 PM
Stilly River Sage 08 Jun 12 - 07:38 PM
JohnInKansas 08 Jun 12 - 08:10 PM
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Subject: Tech: Viewing web pages while offline
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Jun 12 - 11:41 AM

Every summer I spend a lot of time at a cabin in the woods where I have electricity but not internet access. Every few days I take my laptop to a coffeehouse in the nearest town that has wi-fi, and spend a couple of hours looking at my favorite websites, which are updated at least daily.

It seems I ought to be able to take the laptop back to the cabin and then view the same pages I have just viewed online (like Mudcat threads, for example), by reloading them from my computer's cache. That would give me a lot more time to read, but I can't figure out how to do that. I normally use Google Chrome, but I also have IE, Firefox, and Safari installed on my laptop. I use Windows XP.

Does anybody else out there do this? If so, I'd like to know: Which browser should I use? How do I do it? Can I make different browsers use the same cache?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Viewing web pages while offline
From: GUEST,999
Date: 05 Jun 12 - 11:50 AM

http://tips.webdesign10.com/how-to-save-web-pages-and-web-sites-for-offline-viewing

Since I know nothing about this stuff, I hope that's a start.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Viewing web pages while offline
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Jun 12 - 11:56 AM

I would "print" pages as PDF files and save them by date or organize them so they aren't dumped in an apparently random computer download file. If you have any PDF software in your computer, click "print preview" and adjust the size if needed, then when you click "print" select the PDF instead of a physical printer. If you have it set up to ask you to name the file, you're set to give it the date and source name and save it where you can find it later.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Viewing web pages while offline
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 05 Jun 12 - 12:21 PM

The pages you look at will be stored in your browser's cache (for a while at least, depending on your settings). You can look at them (again) by ticking 'work offline', in the file menu in most browsers.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Viewing web pages while offline
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 05 Jun 12 - 08:13 PM

Earlier versions of IE, if I recall correctly, had a place where you could choose "Make Available Offline" but that option apparently doesn't exist in current versions.

The current recommendation for IE is the same one I use to keep a record of my posts here (for the pending ritual burning of all my stupid posts):

In IE, click Page, Save As, and select "Web Archive single file (*.MHT)" for the file type. (I think the "Page" selection is on the "Favorites Bar." If you don't show it, you can click File|Save As to get to the same file type selection.)

This works well on almost any page that hasn't intentionally blocked copying, and puts the entire web page in a single file that will open in IE when you click (or double-click, or Control Click, depending on how you've set up to open files).

The alternative of saving as a web page (htm) often creates the "file" and a same-named folder that contains anything that's linked into the base file. The necessary links are created as local links at the time of the save, and if anything is moved all the links break and the page usually becomes unreadable. The .mht format puts everything in one file that you can flip around any way you want to.

Other browsers quite probably allow saving in the "archive" format, but you'll have to check them out for yourself since I'm too old to learn the other ones.

The files you save as .mht are reasonably compact. The 5,898 threads I've posted tosaved from here take "only" a bare hair more than 1GB on the hard drive, so they'd fit on a small flash drive if I needed to keep them isolated, and you could save to a flash drive if you want to keep the temporary things separated.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Viewing web pages while offline
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 06 Jun 12 - 08:47 AM

A long time ago, I used to work for a company whose internet connection would occasionally go down, and if you happened to try to use your browser at that time, it would (sometimes) give you a message: "This web page cannot be accessed at this time. Would you like to retrieve an archived copy of the page from your cache?" (or words to that effect). There was some other version, or some other browser, that would ask, "Do you want to work offline?" All you had to do was click a button "Yes" and it worked. Obviously that would be the ideal solution, since it would be practically effortless on my part.

I don't remember which browser I was using at the time; it might have been IE or Netscape. Anyway, my current browser, Chrome, doesn't do that. (Which raises the question, what is a cache good for if you can't use it? I know Chrome has a cache because I can clear it.) Also, I can't find any "Work offline" option in Chrome.

By the way, my wife also uses the same laptop, and we have an agreement that she will use Firefox and I will use Chrome; that way each of us can have our own home page, our own bookmarks list, our own display preferences, etc., without interfering with each other. Also, I can leave my own browser open and minimize it if she wants to use the computer, and later I can go back to my own browsing with minimum disruption. This arrangement seems to work pretty well. That's why I was hoping to continue to use Chrome. Also, I like it and am familiar with it.

I have tried the "save web page as PDF" and it works pretty well, but it's not effortless and it requires planning.

I think my best solution might be to use IE because I see it has a "work offline" option, but I haven't tested it.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Viewing web pages while offline
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 06 Jun 12 - 05:01 PM

Jim -

You apparently don't have the latest (current) IE, since the "Work Offline" option has been removed in the latest versions. It is NOT PRESENT in IE9. If you're using an older Windows version, or another OS, you may not be able to use IE9 and will need to use an older version, but I think the recommendation is IE7 for everything that can't use IE9. IE7 might still have the offline option. I don't know how far back the offline option was removed.

The method recommended by Microsoft, for IE9 and Win7, is just "Save As" - "file type web archive *.mht". Saves are quite quick and easy, and when you open them offline (in IE) the page is exactly the same as you'd see if you were one the web. There are rare cases where one of the "linked in" ads may not display, but usually the ones that were loaded at the time of the save are there.

I have used that method since at least IE5, so it should work in any IE version.

The "work offline" in older IE relied on the Internet Temp Files that were received while you're on the web, and keeps any site you visited, so you don't easily get much choice of what to keep "for later." Clicking "work offline" just temporarily blocks clearing of the Temp files. I've found resorting to the Temp folder a "necessary" at times (for other reasons best not mentioned), but haven't found it to be very stable or reliable. If you just SAVE the web pages (preferably in the "web archive *.mht form"), they're yours until you delete them.

If another browser that you prefer to use allows a "Save As" in the .mht format, it should work just as well with any of them. For temporary use, you may be able to save web pages in the default .htm/html format, but those have some nasty behavior tricks if you try to do much with them. (If you need to move one, you need to open it in your browser and save again from the open file to the new location. Copy and Paste will break the files in most cases and especially for those that save a "links folder", and often will break the file at both source and destination locations.)

Saving as PDF is sort of a "best compromise" for something you want to archive for a while, and is fairly convenient for exchanging information, but there are lots of different "flavors" of PDF files you can get. Since the html files that display web pages are "plain text" the built in converters (in Windows) don't need to OCR, and usually you get a PDF that you can copy stuff out of, but depending on the reader you use adding comments or inserting anything additional can be a PIA. Although not always the case, it's likely that the PDF files will be larger than the MHT from the same page.

Take a look at whether your preferred browser can "save as archive" (.mht = encapsulated html), and if it can, try a few. I think you'll like the method.

If the browser you like won't do it that way, give it a try in another browser, even if it ends up being IE.

When you open an mht file in your browser it is the same page you saw on the 'net, and you can do anything with that file that you can do with any other kind of file without fear that it will fall apart on you.

NOTE THAT unfortunately none of these methods automatically saves the URL for the page you take offline. This isn't much of a problem if you're offlinining from places you go to regularly, but I do sometimes just copy from web pages and paste to Word, with the URL copied and pasted at the top of the .doc.

Although Ctl-V will work to paste what you copy from the web into Word, "Alt-E, S" and select "formatted text" works better for pasting into Word from web pages than just Ctl-V. Alt-E,S gets "Edit - Paste Special" and lets you choose a format for how to paste. I have to use the "quick keys" since I can't find that function in the %!$#!! 987 buttons on any of the 12 "ribbon tabs" in Office 2007. (I think I actually did find it once, but it took 9 clicks to get to it, so I forgot where it was.)

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Viewing web pages while offline
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 08 Jun 12 - 05:02 PM

I'm using IE8. It definitely has the "work offline" option in its menu, although I haven't tried using it yet. I'll let you know how well it works.

I think IE9 isn't compatible with Windows XP, which is why I haven't installed it. (I could be wrong.)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Viewing web pages while offline
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 08 Jun 12 - 05:47 PM

I think you're right about IE9 & WinXP. I think I got IE9 while I was still running Vista, but it didn't seem important enough to waste a brain cell on so I don't really remember when it landed.

If you're signed up for automatic updates, Microsoft should - eventually - give you what's the latest IE your OS can use. The update to IE8 was pushed as a "significant security update" so it should come for the OS versions that can use it, even for the "obsolete/unsupported" WinXP.

Now if they'd figure out how to make Windows Explorer actually work (versions since Vista) it would be a big help.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Viewing web pages while offline
From: Tootler
Date: 08 Jun 12 - 05:49 PM

Chrome has a "Save Page As..." if you click the spanner icon.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Viewing web pages while offline
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Jun 12 - 07:33 PM



It really works well, once you see how to set it up......obviously, you must be careful what you tell it, but you CAN specify how many levels and what sort of items you want it to get.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Viewing web pages while offline
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Jun 12 - 07:38 PM

You can save the file to look at later, but the browser in that case saves all of the goofy links and crap. Put it somewhere so you can dump it all later.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Viewing web pages while offline
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 08 Jun 12 - 08:10 PM

For "browsing off line" as indicated up there at the top, I would think you'd want to put any/all of the offline stuff where it's easy to dump. That's one of my reasons for NOT USING the built-in options, since they sometimes create obscure folders with hashed names and weird "attributes" that make it a puzzle to know what you can get rid of and what's actually something useful.

For some reason, mudcat seems to "remember" that any thread I save from the 'cat should go in my "\mudcat\something" folder. I probably should worry that "Max knows" but I prefer to think maybe he'll just ask me if I've got a copy if something ever gets lost here ... (which of course could never happen).

None of the other sites where I occasionally save something seems to have that level of sophisticated intelligence.

Occasionally, if you really want to "save" something and want to save the URL (and/or links on the page) an easy way is just to print it with printer options set to "print table of links," but often that turns a 2-page print into 10 or 15 pages. If you've set your headers/footers right in your browser, you can get the URL you printed from in a footer, but it's often truncated so it's not all there.

It would be convenient if the "print to pdf" driver had the "links" option, but I haven't found it except for the paper eating printers (although I haven't looked very hard).

John


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