Capture web content yet retain formatting?
November 2, 2009 11:31 AM   Subscribe

Can anyone suggest a tool that does a better job of selecting only the web content you want to archive yet keeps the formatting when copied?

I find that I frequently need to capture content from all over the web for my own knowledge database. This includes portions of articles, comments, blog posts, etc … For better or for worse I have settled on Microsoft Outlook as the repository for my knowledge base. I have compared lots of different tools and OneNote 2007 is for the moment the best option that fits my needs. That being said I am having trouble finding a tool that will allow me to capture only that data (text and images) I need from a web page.

For the time being I have been using the “Aardvark” plug-in for Firefox that allows me to selectively remove or isolate sections of a web pages document object model. Once I have isolated the content I want to capture I then copy and paste into OneNote.

The problem I find is that the content I copy often times does not retain its formatting (font, alignment, etc ..) when pasted into OneNote. I want to avoid having to take screen shots for various reasons (search ability, archive size, etc ..).

Any suggestions on a better method or tool? Thanks.
posted by DerekTheGeek to Technology (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Google Notebook.
posted by nitsuj at 11:33 AM on November 2, 2009

Unfortunately Google Notebook is no longer being developed. Also the fact that it is only available online rules it out for me.
posted by DerekTheGeek at 11:44 AM on November 2, 2009

Just a note: you can export Google Notebook content as PDF (or .DOC) for offline via Google Apps. Doesn't help the fact that it's not being developed anymore, but there it is.
posted by nitsuj at 11:50 AM on November 2, 2009

Evernote is the way to go here.
posted by Rad_Boy at 12:22 PM on November 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

Normally I'd recommend DevonThink, but it appears that you're talking Windows. If that's the case, try Zotero.
posted by webhund at 12:40 PM on November 2, 2009

Scrapbook does this perfectly for me. I also use it to print recipe blog posts without the sidebars or comments.

The only problem i have is that it is local only.
posted by srboisvert at 12:55 PM on November 2, 2009

Not a great solution but I've found that IE does a better job of maintaining formatting when copying into MS tools (in particular it keeps tables straight when copying into excel)
posted by bitdamaged at 1:16 PM on November 2, 2009

I have been loving Printliminator to clean up web pages for print. It makes it easy to remove inline ads, images, menus. It also can mass remove images. You could try copying/pasting after cleanup or just printing to PDF.
posted by wongcorgi at 1:21 PM on November 2, 2009

Try Surfulator. It adds a context menu to IE and FF so you can just select what you want (entire web page or part), right-click, save to a category. I love it.
posted by flutable at 2:00 PM on November 2, 2009

Another vote for Evernote.

Zoot, version 6, will have this capability when it's out of beta.
posted by yclipse at 2:05 PM on November 2, 2009

Another vote for EverNote. Has a great browser plugin too.
posted by furtive at 3:50 PM on November 2, 2009

Evernote is great ,
zootool it allows you to save snapshots of pages/
Diggo - Allows note taking within webpages/ articles etc

as for Onenote idea is good, why not take a screenshot instead of copying/paste. One note has OCR built in, so words in snapsot will show up in search results while preserving formatting
posted by radsqd at 11:33 AM on November 3, 2009

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