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How to read online content offline

Although connectivity is available practically everywhere in the civilized world there might be instances when you need to read online content offline. If you’re wondering how you can access online content if you are already offline, this is not what I mean.

There are many utilities and software tools that allow you to save lots of online content offline so that you can go through it when you cannot connect to the web. It’s almost like accessing the actual website. But actually you can use your everyday tool to make this possible.

The first tool is of course, your browser. You can simply save an entire page — including images, scripts and even flash animation — into a folder and later on access it by double-clicking it: you don’t need to be online to access that page. Almost all the browsers let you save either the entire web page or just the text part of it.

There are some software applications that download the entire structure of a website — every link and image as they reside on the original website — and save it on your local drive and then you can browse it just as you browse the original website. One of such applications is HTTrack — both Windows and Linux versions are available. Personally I feel this can be an overkill and you should save the entire website offline only on rare cases.

Some note taking applications can also be used to store online content for offline reading. Evernote [read how to take notes online] for example is a great application for storing random pages. Select an entire page, copy it to the clipboard, and just paste it into Evernote and it appears there as it is. A good thing about using Evernote for offline reading is that you can synchronize all the content you have saved on various computers so that you can access them from anywhere.

Like Evernote there are many other applications that allow you to save random text both online and offline.

You can also email your web pages to yourself using ToRead. It installs a bookmarklet on your browser (you’ll need to submit your email the first time) and whenever you want to email yourself the text simply click the bookmarklet when you are on that page. The entire text of the page is emailed to you. Although you may wonder how you’ll access the material offline? Gmail allows you to access your emails offline — go to the Gmail Labs section to activate the feature.