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CorinaMarie

Making Offline Reference Pages

12 posts in this topic

In my various Shoppes threads I've recommended for peeps to save a copy so they'd have them available if Photobucket ever borks my free account and the pictures go missing. I'd done that myself a few days ago. You know, File --> Save Page As ... --> (Type) Web Page, complete. I had this silly idea that saving the complete web page would be, well, COMPLETE. Like all the text and pictures. Turns out in Firefox that's not true unless one has this Add-On. And then one also reads this documentation. And then one adds a missing variable:

Add%20Keepscripts_zpsqr6bdfj1.jpg

 

Once I did that (and restarted Firefox) I then did complete saves of my map making and shoppes threads, copied the files to a flash drive, loaded them onto one of my SC4 game comps (which is not connected to anything else), and then I could view the threads completely offline with all the pictures. So, this is just a heads-up post for peeps who might believe they've made a complete copy using Firefox and really didn't get the whole thread saved in a useful way.

And, it would be nice if the gurus with other browsers test if theirs can make a true, complete offline copy and let us know here.

 

Edit: I'm adding CB's quote here since it's extremely relevant to my premise:

9 hours ago, Cyclone Boom said:

If the images aren't saving correctly when attempting a "Save As", it could be a cache issue.

On Cori's Shoppes, I tried a force refresh (Ctrl+F5) and that seemed to fully load the images into the cache, which could then be downloaded on Firefox. ;)

 

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Actually, I'd advise against doing it this way. Much better is to compile everything into a PDF or HTML file dedicated to the task. I prefer the latter, since they don't require 3rd party software to read/open. Websites by their nature have various links, code and other things as part of the page. Bundling all that together with the bit you want simply muddies the waters and can lead to unexpected results. Pure HTML by comparison can be read by any browser from the last 20 years.

Fantozzi, nos.17 and CorinaMarie like this

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A good alternative from user-side is to print the page to a pdf or xps file. Almost any current OS can do that and require no effort from the creator, so is a good and fast alternative for tutorials done by inactive users.

Of course that better results can be achieved with more sophisticated methods, but this one is a no brainier, 1 minute task.

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1 hour ago, rsc204 said:

Actually, I'd advise against doing it this way. Much better is to compile everything into a PDF or HTML file dedicated to the task.

That sounds like a lot of work for when I find a good thread someplace that I want to save. As I do it now a few mouse clicks and I have a usable copy. So the file I get that way is bloated. Is it really worth all the time it would take to compile a PDF or vanilla HTML? Or are you saying there are tools for that which make it just as quick and easy as saving the complete webpage?

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An option is to copy and paste into a word processor, but some formatting can be lost, then saving as pdf or html. Printing in pdf is faster but even less elegant in terms of formatting.

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As with any task, there are a myriad of ways to accomplish things. But actually, saving a page can be fraught with problems and may not actually be readable when you come back to it later. If a page relies for example on CSS, Java or other web formats, perhaps linked objects are needed online to use your offline resource. That could include stuff that may change on the server side here that prevents it from working down the line.

Making a PDF or HTML file doesn't have to be difficult. If you already have all the content, it can be copy/pasted, you might need to do a bit of re-formatting, but it would work. When I re-made the BAT Essentials tutorials, the reason I could was because I had converted them all to Word files. In this case it was a lot of work, but for your Shoppes it would be much simpler, because it's a simple list of text, images and links. Most modern software would keep everything like links even when copy/pasting from a browser. So it doesn't have to be a huge amount of effort.

As a test, I just copy/pasted your Terrain Shoppe from Internet Explorer into Word 2003 (hardly modern). All the images came over, as did the links, which would represent less than a minute of work. Of course, spending ten minutes better-organising the formatting would be more ideal, but it doesn't have to be hard work. Word 2003 can even save as HTML, although it's not ideal. Later versions can save as PDF too.

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1 hour ago, matias93 said:

Printing in pdf is faster but even less elegant in terms of formatting.

Yeah. I tried printing the page to PDF and I got 81 pages. The first page was kinda goofy, but readable. The next 80 were blank. :boggle:

 

1 hour ago, rsc204 said:

As a test, I just copy/pasted your Terrain Shoppe from Internet Explorer into Word 2003 (hardly modern). All the images came over, as did the links, which would represent less than a minute of work.

I don't have any Word Files like you do for your tutorials. I just write it right in this little reply box. And for the css and whatever else, those don't seem to be a problem since I used that Add-On to FF. I was able to view the complete page on a totally isolated comp with no internet connection. It seemed like a good plan and I was going to update my threads with more details about saving the complete webpage, but since that's not a good solution for other peeps, I'll just leave them as they are. Anyone who wants an offline copy can use your c & p method. I imagine most peeps know more about this than I do. :blush:

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Well as always it's horses for courses. If it works, there is no wrong way here.

Using the tool you mention may bypass any issues. From my experience though, I've come to the conclusion that simply saving web pages isn't a great archive solution.

But in terms of making them into a proper PDF/HTML files, perhaps I should clarify here, this would be something I would do to release them. Since once they are packed up you could either attach them to the post for download, upload them to the STEX. Or in the event the files were very large, link them to Google Drive/One Drive/Dropbox or an equivalent.

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I started several browsers to see how they save pages, but only Internet Explorer could save a web archive single file *.mht.   File --> Save As -->  Save As Type -->  Web Archive, single file (*.mht).  I get a complete single file copy indistinguishable from the original as loaded back into IE.   The text, graphics, tables, pictures, links all present and functional.   Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera all display HTML good to 4.1 Transitional, but are not immediately mht-file-friendly.   Have no idea about MS Edge as I've declined installing W10.

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If the images aren't saving correctly when attempting a "Save As", it could be a cache issue.

On Cori's Shoppes, I tried a force refresh (Ctrl+F5) and that seemed to fully load the images into the cache, which could then be downloaded on Firefox. ;)

That archive addon does sound interesting though, so might give it a try. Especially for some resources around the web which can't function offline for whatever reason (usually scripts). Some also require tedious reformatting to make any sense of.


  Edited by Cyclone Boom

Moved my post to here (main topic) + additional comments.
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18 hours ago, rsc204 said:

Much better is to compile everything into a PDF or HTML

On information 'timestamps' are something quite important - to know when information was created is signifcant, to know what is newer and what is older makes it possible to sort information from old to new and do reading according to this order.

Copys from web content makes alterable content static - it's some kind of snapshot. Also therefore it is no bad idear to work with pdfs - you can make a version history of your snapshots taken from web content much easier.

 

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2 hours ago, Fantozzi said:

... 'timestamps' are something quite important - to know when information was created is signifcant, ...

Here's how that addon does it when you select Archive:

FF%20Archive%20Sample_zps2bmj0inq.jpg

 

I realize @rsc204 says this isn't a good method (or rather advises against it), but the simple, two mouse clicks to start it and then decide where to save it and I now have the completely complete webpage viewable just the same as I see it online with no rigmarole of reformatting it or getting 80+ PDF pages seems like the ideal method to me. So, the horse for my course is, of course, just my horse.

And when I do the Save Web Page, complete rather than Archive I get a separate folder with all the .jpgs in there which can be viewed or used individually. ;)

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