Scrivener Quick Tip: Import Web Page

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This post is part of my Scrivener Quick Tips series

(I’m using the Mac version of Scrivener, v 2.3.1)

Ever find yourself working on a writing project without access to the Internet?  Maybe you have a couple pages bookmarked because you keep going back to them for reference information.  Well, what do you do when you can’t access those pages because you’re away for the weekend in Bum F**k Nowhere (or downtown [Insert name of any major city here]) and there’s no Internet?

Why not take them with you?

Scrivener was designed to put everything you need inside a single project so it’s all right there at your finger tips.  This includes web pages.

Downloading web pages as reference isn’t something new. Adobe Acrobat Professional has had that nifty little ability for many years.  Scrivener’s tool is very similar and just as easy to use.

First up, jump onto the Internet and navigate to the page you want to import.  With your project open, click the ‘Research’ section in your Binder.  Next, click File > Import > Web Page.  You can either drag and drop the web URL into the box provided, or, if you select it and hit copy before hand, it will auto-populate as shown here:

If you give it a ‘title’, you could build a footnotes section referencing your sources, but you don’t have to do that if you don’t want to.  Click ‘Ok’.  Here’s the Wikipedia page on the web:

Here is that same page, now as part of my Scrivener Project:

The entire page, with images, is pulled into my Project.  Best of all, it’s archived -meaning that everything (except the page links) is now local and I don’t need to be connected to the Internet to view the page. I note that the page links are not archived – they are still web links, so clicking ‘History’ in the above example, will take me to Wikipedia and try to open that page.  However, if I scroll down, I can see the entire contents of the page inside my Project:

Now, you cannot pull a web page into your Scene/Editor.  You can only import web pages into the other areas of your Project, like under Research.  Once you have brought a webpage into your Project, you can also convert it to text for editing (if you want).  Click Documents > Convert > Web page to Text:

The benefit to doing this is that the text becomes 100% editable and can now be dragged into your Manuscript folder if you so choose.  Obviously, you should only do this IF YOU OWN THE CONTENT!  If you don’t, it’s stealing – so don’t do it.  If you’re using it as reference, do it properly and give credit back to the correct copyright holder.

Where this becomes useful for some of my friends is that they maintain online wiki’s of their own – places where they store tons of worldbuilding information, for example – all of that is written / created by them, and, therefore, they might need to pull some or all of it into their project.  For you or I, who don’t have such repositories, it’s useful for having the research we need at our fingertips even when the Internet isn’t available to us.

More Scrivener Tips coming!

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~P

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