Sunday, April 30, 2006

Saving Webpages for Offline Browsing

Like many of you, I love finding new stuff on the Internet. However, you can’t spend your entire time online. Wouldn’t be nice to save a copy of an interesting webpage on your computer for offline reading? Well, you are in luck, there are several ways available not only for Internet Explorer but for Firefox and Opera web browser as well. Let’s start with Internet Explorer (IE) first.

Internet Explorer 6.0 is the latest stable version available. IE 7 is currently in beta testing. Recently, Microsoft acquired Onfolio, a company specializing in creating tools to conduct research on the Internet. Onfolio allows users to capture parts of a webpage or the entire webpage. Users can then annotate what they captured. Onfolio can create folders and subfolders to categorize your data. It really is a fantastic tool for serious researching on the Internet. In a rare moment of generosity, Microsoft has included Onfolio in their free Windows Live Toolbar beta. You heard right, it is totally free. Onfolio not only captures webpages, it is rss aggregator as well. Users can access the files offline. By default files are stored under Onfolio’s My Collection located in C:/Documents and Settings/<User Name>/My Documents.

Firefox 1.5.0.2 is the latest stable version. One of the greatest features of Firefox is its extensions. Slogger is an extension which allows users to save a copy of a webpage on to the hard drive. Users can save every webpage visited or only user selected webpages. Webpages can then be viewed offline. To get the most out of Slogger, users should install a desktop search tool. For example, I use Copernic Desktop Search application to index my hard drive, much like Google does on the Internet. The latter allows for quick and accurate searches. Also, Slogger can save webpages to Spurl, Furl and/or My Yahoo! The extension has many additional features. Thankfully, the author has an extensive tutorial on his website. Another Firefox extension with similar function is Scrapbook. Scrapbook allows users to cut and paste parts of a webpage. I like using Slogger more so than Scrapbook because Slogger with a single click saves the entire webpage, quick and simple.

Opera 8.54 is the latest stable version; however, Opera 9.0 beta is available for testing. An Opera enthusiast, Dmitry Antonyuk, created Obook plugin for Opera. Obook is still in beta testing; version 1.5 is available for download. The plugin is completely free and it works great. Obook adds itself to the Opera side panel and menu toolbar. Users simply click “Save to Obook” and the webpage is saved on to the hard drive. Obook allows you to create folders and subfolders to categorize the saved webpages.


In conclusion, Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera web browsers each have methods to save web information for later offline viewing. For a better experience, try installing and using a desktop search applications.


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