Copy Web Pages to Disk – Mac Kung Fu, 2nd Edition

Tip 287Copy Web Pages to Disk

There are a variety of ways to save web pages to disk within Safari so you can view them later.

Using the Reading List

Perhaps the quickest is to use the Reading List, which is built into Safari and is designed to let you read pages even if your computer is offline. Browse to the page in question and hit Shift+Command+D, or select the Add to Reading List entry on the Bookmarks menu. You can access your stored Reading List pages by clicking the eyeglasses icon at the left of the shortcuts toolbar. You can access your Reading List pages even if you have no Internet connection, making this a useful way to collate pages to read while on a flight, for example.

Reading List only saves the web page text and images. If there are any movies or music in the page, then they won’t be saved.

Saving Web Archives

The biggest issue with the Reading List is that only you can read any pages it stores—there’s no way to export a Reading List page. To save a web page to disk so it can be opened on any other Mac or on a Windows PC that has Safari installed, click FileSave As; then in the Format drop-down list of the dialog box that appears, select the Web Archive option. This will create a single file that you can email to others or pass to them via a USB memory stick.

Saving as a PDF

To save the web page so it can be viewed on any computer, save it as a PDF file. Click FilePrint; then, in the dialog box that appears, click the PDF button at the bottom left. Select Save As PDF in the pop-up menu that appears.

Beware that saving the page as a PDF will strip out most of its formatting, although it should leave the content readable (that is, text and images should be in roughly the correct order).

You might be able to avoid a messy layout by first switching to Reader view of the web page. Reader view is designed to present the body of the page in easy-to-read format without any advertising or other page furniture. Reader will likely work only if the page is article-based (that is, something like a story at a news website). To create a PDF of the page in Reader format, click the Reader button at the right of the address bar before clicking the FilePrint button, as described earlier. If the Reader button isn’t visible, then Safari doesn’t think it’s able to reformat the page correctly, and nothing can be done about this.