DON'S FREEWARE CORNER - SEP 2016
SAVING WEBPAGES AND ARTICLES TO PRESERVE OR READ LATER

2016 Donald R. Snow -- This page was last updated 2016-10-25.
These Freeware Corner notes are published in TAGGology, our Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group (UVTAGG) monthly newsletter.  They are also posted on my Freeware Corner Notes page on  http://uvtagg.org/classes/dons/dons-classes.html  where the links are active and there may be corrections, updates, and additional information about the topic in other class notes

SAVING WEBPAGES

There are several reasons to save webpages, one of which is to read them later when you have time.  By saving them you can put them on your mobile devices so you can read them while waiting at an appointment, for example.  Or you might just want to preserve an article​,​ since about one-fourth of all webpages on the Internet change or are deleted every year.  Another reason is that you need access to a page while you are working on related things.  This Freeware Corner article discusses some tools and ways to do this.

POCKET

This is a free service available from  https://getpocket.com/ .  Their slogan is, "To view later, put it in POCKET."  When you sign up for a free account, a small icon is placed on your brow​s​er (Chrome, Firefox, etc.) in the upper right corner, so when you find an article or website you want to save, clicking on the icon saves the article to your POCKET account.  I don't know what limits they have as to size or number of articles you can save, but at any given time I have 50 or more articles saved in my free account.  POCKET can be installed on all your computers and mobile devices, so the articles are available to you anywhere.  Then, when you have a moment, click on the POCKET icon on your smartphone and select an article to read.  If you don't have time to finish it then, the next time you open POCKET, it opens to the point in the article where you left off.  When you finish an article, you can delete it or archive it and it will still be available to read again, but won't show up in the active article list. I've been using POCKET for a couple of years and find many articles that I want to read, but not right then.  The articles are sync'd on my smartphone when I'm connected to my wireless Internet connection at home, so I don't have to download them later.  As an example, I just went to my Freeware Corner notes page ( http://uvtagg.org/classes/dons/dons-freewarecornernotespage.html ), selected an article, and clicked on my POCKET icon.  Within seconds it was saved to my POCKET account and was sync'd (synchronized) on my smartphone to read.  I recommend POCKET highly and I use it a lot. It makes saving articles to read later very easy.

SAVE TO PDF

Adobe's Personal Document Format (PDF) is the most widely used format for articles, books, manuals, etc., and there are many free programs that will save articles to PDF ​or convert them from PDF to other formats to read later.  See some of my other Freeware Corner articles for more information on such programs.  Here I will just discuss one or two programs for saving and reading PDFs.  To save to PDF I frequently use FastStone Capture.  The last free version of FastStone Capture was version 5.3 and that is still available from several websites, including  http://www.oldversion.com/windows/faststone-capture-5-3 .  I used the free version for many years and liked it so much that I paid the $19 for a forever-license for all new shareware versions.  They are up to version 8-something now.  There are many screenshot programs, most of them free, but this one has the extremely useful feature of being able to save an entire scrolling window or frame, not just the part you see on your monitor.  Most articles that I want to save are more than just one screen full, so using FastStone Capture I can save the entire scrolling window as a PDF. ​ When I save the file, I name it so I know what's in it, and can then read it on my computer or put it in Dropbox and copy it onto my smartphone or tablet.  To read PDFs on my computer I use a simple PDF reader like SUMATRA ( http://www.sumatrapdfreader.org/free-pdf-reader.html ).  To convert a PDF to Kindle ​epub ​or other ebook format I add it to my CALIBRE program ( http://calibre-ebook.com/ ) on my computer and convert it.   Then, when connecting my smartphone or tablet to my computer, it is automatically copied there. The original PDF in Dropbox can also be read on my smartphone or tablet with any PDF reader.  The difference to remember with PDF format is that PDFs are pictures of the text page, so you can't change the font like you can in epub and some other formats.  For small-screen devices like smartphones epub format works better since you can increase the font size without changing the entire page size, unlike PDF.

SAVE TO EVERNOTE

The Basic version of EVERNOTE is free from  https://evernote.com/  and is another program I use to save webpages and articles.  You set up a free account on EVERNOTE's home page and then install it on your computers and mobile devices.  The free version can only be installed on any two of your devices, e.g. a smartphone and your home computer, but you can use the web version in a browser on any of your other devices.  The commercial versions can be installed on any number of devices.  It can also be used on any computer or device on which you can get to the Internet, e.g. on a computer at a Family History Center.  You log in to the EVERNOTE website with your user name and password and then all your notes are available to you.  It has a Webclipper app that you can install in your browser, so when you find a website to copy or an article to save, click on the EVERNOTE Webclipper, fill in the tags and remarks you want to save with it, and click Save.  The webpage is then saved to your EVERNOTE account and will be sync'd (synchronized) to all your devices where you have installed EVERNOTE and in the web version on your account.  I use this to save webpages that have information that I know I want to keep, not just read later.  EVERNOTE can also save PDFs by just draging-and-dropping them into notes.  These PDF notes are OCR'd (Optical Character Recognized) by EVERNOTE and are then searchable in your EVERNOTE account.  Some webpages don't look good when saved by the EVERNOTE Webclipper, so I sometimes use a "readability" program on the webpage first and then save that to EVERNOTE.

SAVE TO PDF WITH YOUR BROWSER: CHROME, FIREFOX, OR EDGE

PDF has become so important that browsers now have a built-in feature to save webpages to PDF.  For Chrome right click anywhere on the webpage or on the 3-horizontal-bar icon in the upper right corner, then click the Print option and make sure it is set to Print to PDF.  When you click the Print button, it asks you what to name the PDF file and where to put it.  I leave my browser's default print settings as Print to PDF, so I don't inadvertently print to hardcopy, unless I actually want to.  And even when I want to print a hardcopy, I usually Print it to PDF first and then print that to hardcopy.  That way, I always have the original, if I need to print more copies, and electronic copies are easier to find than paper copies.  This Print to PDF gives a good file of the entire page and that may include a scrolling window.  As mentioned above, the PDF can then be copied to Dropbox and transferred to a mobile device or can be converted to epub or other formats.  The browser FIREFOX has an easy way to set the font size, margins, headers, and footers before printing to PDF, and I usually use it to print my family history class notes, even though I use Chrome as my default browser.  When I teach a family history class, I ​first ​update the class notes in html (computer jargon for "hypertext markup language - the stuff you see in browsers), upload th​at to my webpage, and then use FIREFOX to print that to PDF to make the hardcopies.  The new Microsoft EDGE browser in Windows 10 has similar set-up features before printing to PDF.

CONCLUSION

Saving websites and articles, ​​ both for preservation and for reading later is important, since the Internet changes so rapidly.  You can keep a copy of whatever you want on your own computer and/or mobile devices to read or refer to later, regardless of how it changes, or disappears, on the Internet.  ​This Freeware Corner article has only considered a few of the many options for doing this.  If you have a way that you like to use​ other than one of these, please let me know.  I will probably write another Freeware Corner article with more ideas some other time.
=====================================​