Monday, February 21, 2011

ScrapBook - The best offline far

Well, ScrapBook is not exactly an offline browser on its own, because it is only an add-on for Firefox or some would call it Firefox extension.

I have been looking around for offline browser for a while already [since Q4 last year]. I want to keep some of the web pages on my laptop so that I can use the info whenever I want, instead of have to hook it up to broadband again every time I want to find for the info.

Sure some people would say it is very convenient nowadays with broadband, but broadband would have downtime [regularly happen at my place] and also my wife and I try to minimize the electromagnetic field produced by wireless routers [bad for babies], so we choose to disable the wireless and use wired ports whenever we can.

So back to the topic here, how do I keep the web pages offline? To do it directly, we can save the page as html, but what happen if you want to save the bulk of links as well? It wouldn't be problem for a few pages, but how about 100 pages or more?

Okay, with google around you can find many software, the free one like HTTrack Website Copier or paid one like Offline Explorer. These are not too bad, problem come when I want to convert them to windows help file format, so that I don't need to keep these bulk of offline files and copying thousands of files into USB thumb drive is pain in the ass [yes, try that with 1 file of 100M in size and 1000 files with 100M in total size]. I also tried Offline Explorer, the company offer users to use the full feature for free for limited time, but it has one big flaw, it will crash whenever it tries to download one of the website that I want, I have been try to reduce the amount of links it should download but still crash. Only until I found this ScrapBook last month, I like it so much!

okay, enough bullshit, so you have to have Firefox first, then head on to the link here to install the add-on
May not work with Firefox 4.0. You have to restart Firefox to use ScrapBook.

Now you are ready to use it, browse to the web pages that you want to save offline, right click on any place of the web page and "Capture Page" to any directory, depend how you organize it.

[Capture Page] with ScrapBook

[Save Page As] with Firefox

To capture pages that links from current page, use "Capture Page As" and an option windows will pop up, choose how deep you want ScrapBook to download at "In-depth Capture", the more the longer you have to wait.  
Don't be too greedy, else it will take forever!
WHY? Think about if you capturing for a page with 10 links, these 10 link have 10 links each and the following links have 10 link, you will end up capturing for 1+10+(10*10)+(10*10*10)+(10*10*10*10)+......  :D
You can also tell ScrapBook to download linked files like images or sounds or movie or zip files and any file type that you specify.

You can also edit and have hilites on the pages that you captured. This is very nice for people doing research and always use a lot of information from internet. You can save the earth by not printing it out to do hiliting, but just do it on ScrapBook, nice eh?

To understand the full feature of ScrapBook, you can read it here:
If you like to read PDF manual, here is one:

Technically HHTrack would be more powerful, but I am just too lazy to see it through. :P

p/s: I will write next how to make windows help files from pages captured by ScrapBook.

pp/s: That's why so many people likes apple products because it is very easy to use. Even though they have some flaws, but they catch majority of the population. I am not promoting apple, see the previous post that I making fun of apple, muhahahaha.

ppp/s: contribute to the developer if you like it

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Source: written by me, heheh

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