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Save web pages and content in Safari

There are some great websites on the internet and they are packed with useful information, images and other content. When you come across an interesting web page when browsing with Safari and you want to save the page or some information on it, how do you do this? There are, in fact, many different ways of saving a web page and some are obvious and you probably know them already, but others are not, so let's take a look at them all.

You could bookmark the web page and this enables you to return to it whenever you have an internet connection. Select Add Bookmark on the Bookmarks menu to do this or simply hold down the Command key (with the Apple logo on), and press D. Instead of adding the page to the Bookmarks menu, you could add it to the Bookmarks bar - the one below the toolbar/address box. If it is not visible, go to the View menu and select Show Bookmarks Bar. To add the current web page to the Bookmarks bar, click the drag the icon at the very left of the URL in the address box and drop it on the Bookmarks bar. It is inserted at whatever point you drop it.

It is also possible to drag the icon/URL out of Safari and to drop it on the desktop or in a Finder window. An icon is created with the page title as the caption. It's a .webloc (web location) file and to return to the website you can simply double click it to open a Safari window and go straight to it. If Safari is already running you can drag it and drop it on the Safari window to go there.

Of course, this isn't actually saving the web page and only the link to it is actually stored on your computer. Web pages can change, they can be removed, and sometimes you might not have an internet connection. For these reasons you might want to save a copy of the web page as it is right now on the Mac's hard disk drive where you can access it at any time.

Save Safari web pageTo save a web page, select File, Save As. You can enter a filename in the Export As box and choose the location, such as the Desktop or your Documents folder. There are two options on the Format pop-up menu and you can either choose Web Archive or Page Source.

A web page is constructed from many components, such as HTML, images, JavaScript, and CSS (cascading style sheets), and when Web Archive is selected Safari gets all the components and stores them all in a single file with a .webarchive extension. This is often the most convenient option, but it isn't always perfect because some things just can't be saved. Try it with various pages and see what it looks like afterwards. To display a web page saved as a .webarchive you just need to double click the file or drag and drop it on a Safari window.

If you choose to save the web page with the Page Source option then only the HTML gets saved and the file is given a .html extension. There won't be any pictures and the the styling and layout may not be included because this is often stored in a separate CSS file. You can double click a .html file to view it, but it won't look like the original web page. It is a useful to choose if you are only interested in the text content of a page because the files are very compact and take up little disk space. If you create web pages yourself, you might be interested in loading the HTML into your web page editor to examine it and see how the page is constructed.

A great way to save a web page is to print it. No, not on paper! Save the trees and print it as a PDF file. Actually, the PDF is not printed and instead it is saved to the hard disk drive, but the PDF file is created using the Print option. Select File, Print and click the PDF button to see a drop-down menu containing no less than seven PDF options.

Print Safari web pageTo save the web page as a standard PDF in whatever folder you choose, select Save as PDF. There's a Save as PDF-X option and PDF-X is a subset of PDF that is designed to be better and more compatible with printing services, especially professional ones. Unless you have a good reason to use PDF-X, use ordinary PDF instead.

The Save PDF to Web Receipts Folder automatically saves the file to the Web Receipts folder in your Documents folder. If this folder doesn't exist then it will be created automatically. You can also mail the PDF, fax it, send it to iPhoto, or open it in Preview.

We haven't quite exhausted the range of ways you can save a web page and if you are only interested in part of a web page and not the whole thing, you have a couple of extra options available to you. If you want to save an image on a web page, just click and drag it out of the browser window and drop it on the desktop or in a Finder window. If there is some text on a page that you want to save, click and drag the mouse over it to highlight it and then click and drag it out of the browser window and drop it on the desktop or a Finder window. Double clicking any items you have dropped on the desktop opens them.

Images and text can also be highlighted to select them and then copied to the clipboard by pressing Command+C. You can then switch to another application and paste it in. Try this: Press Command+A in Safari to select everything on the current web page and then press Command+C to copy it. Start TextEdit and press Command+V to paste everything in. TextEdit isn't a web browser, so the design and layout will be different, but you'll see all the text and images.

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