Monday, July 03, 2006

Capture The Web While You Surf!

Have you ever found exactly what you're looking for while surfing around the web or just an interesting page and then had to go about copying and pasting links, text or images for later reference?

Okay there are tools out there that can download an entire site to your hard drive but what I'm talking about is copying a page here, a page there or even just snippets of text or images as you browse or search around. I've just had to go about finding a cottage in Skye for a week and being able to jot down links and some of the text on each page was an absolute necessity. On top of that, I needed the ability to share my findings with my better half so she could pick one from the list. I did it all with this…

Google NotebookGoogle Notebook Apple CompatibleLinux CompatibleWindows CompatibleOnline  Service

This is a really useful, free service from search giant Google. It lets you take text clippings, images, links, etc. while browsing and saves them to an online notebook. Great for research or when moving between systems at work and home.

You can have more than one notebook and you can even make a notebook public so you can share it with others. On top of all this, you can organise and edit the contents as required. Here's the features breakdown…

  • Clip useful information. You can add clippings of text, images and links from web pages to your Google Notebook without ever leaving your browser window.
  • Organize your notes. You can create multiple notebooks, divide them into sections, and drag-and-drop your notes to stay organized.
  • Get access from anywhere. You can access your Google Notebooks from any computer by using your Google Accounts login.
  • Publish your notebook. You can share your Google Notebook with the world by making it public.
It works as a browser extension for both Internet Explorer 6 and Firefox 1.5 or later. Unfortunately both Opera and Apple's Safari aren't supported yet but most savvy Macintosh users are probably using Firefox already.


Scrapbook Apple CompatibleLinux CompatibleWindows CompatibleOnline  Service

This is a free Firefox extension that helps you to save web pages or just parts of a page and manage the collection. Major features are…
  • Save entire web page or just a snippet of it.
  • Save entire web site.
  • Organize the collection in the same way as your Bookmarks.
  • Various page editing features such as a highlighter, eraser, etc.
  • Full text search and quick filtering search.
  • Text edit feature resembling Opera's Notes.
On top of this, there's an add-on that allows you to transfer your data to the free, online storage site so you can effectively share your findings. If you're a Firefox user and don't want to jump into bed with Google, then it's a pretty reasonable alternative.

If you're an Opera user, then it has a notes feature that allows the user to record a text clipping from a page while browsing. It seems pretty useful but is limited to text and the notes can't be shared between systems or other users.

Social Bookmarking services like Looksmart's Furl or offer yet another way to note and tag site addresses as you browse and share them with others. Furl can archive a copy of the web page as it is recorded and can even record a text clipping from the page. However, these are basically just ways of recording lists of page addresses so there's no scope for editing and organizing the contents.

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