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Jan's Working with the Web

  Saving: Save a Page

To save a complete web page yourself, with all its graphics and other needed files, can be tricky. You need three things to see the page the same way it appears from the Internet:

  1. The source code for the page itself.
  2. All of the graphics and any other files needed to run the page.
  3. The correct folder structure to put the related files in.

Some web pages are different each time you visit. Stock market charts, weather maps, and news reports are examples of such pages. Other pages are interactive, containing a form, game, or activity that is controlled by a program on the server instead of by the source code for the page. You may be able to save the page as it looks at the time, but the saved page won't change or react any more.

Source Code:

Example of source code (Notepad - Win8.1)
Example: Source Code

The source code is a plain text file that contains the text on the page and the addresses of the images and other files that the page uses. Various HTML tags tell the browser which parts are headings, paragraphs, tables, etc.


Every picture on the page is a separate graphic, even things like arrows To subtopics Arrow - Current topic, bullets * *,  icons  Tip Printer  and text with fancy fonts and effects, likeFancy text with shadowFancy font.

Depending on your browser version, you may have to save each graphic separately!

Paths to Graphics and Files:

The source code contains URLs for graphics like ../images/mydivider.gif, attached files like style sheets and scripts, and linked pages like ../basics/index.html . If you don't put these style sheets and scripts in the same relative location, the browser won't be able to find them. This can get tricky!

You can try saving all the files and graphics to a single folder and see if the page displays correctly.

If it does not, you have two choices. You can read the paths from the source code and create folders to match or you can change the paths in the source code. You'll want to use the method that is the least amount of work for you.

Warning Broken links: On a page you save yourself, links to other pages may not work, depending on how the links were coded. If the link has the full URL, like https://www.jegsworks.com/index.html, it will still work if you are connected to the Internet. If the link is a relative link like "basics/index.html", it won't work from your hard drive unless you saved that page, too, and put it in the right folder.

Framed pages: An earlier versionIcon: Change web within this site of these lessons included discussion of framed pages. I have dropped this material because few sites use frames anymore. They were deprecated (declared obsolete and dropped) in HTML5 when that standard was finalized in 2014.

File Types

You have several choices in the Save as type box.

  • Dialog: Save As - File types (IE11)Icon: IE Icon: Chrome Icon: Firefox Web Page, complete: Saves the source code as an HTML file and puts all the graphics, sounds, style sheets, etc.  in a separate folder, named the same as the web page. All the paths are changed to match. Cool!
  • Icon: IE Icon: Chrome Icon: Firefox Web Page, HTML only saves only the source code.
  • Icon: IE      Icon: Firefox Text saves only the text on the page, and not any of the images or formatting. The file extension is txt.
  • Icon: IE          Web Archive saves a snapshot of the page in a single file instead of all the little files separately. The file has the extension mht and uses the icon Icon: MHT file. A good method for single pages! Having a single file makes it easy to move or copy to a another disk.

Icon Step-by-Step 

Step-by-Step: Save Web Page

 Icon Step-by-Step

What you will learn:

to save a page as Web Page, complete
to save a page as HTML only
what a transparent image is used for
Icon: IE to save a page as Web Archive, single file
to save an image
to save a background image

Save Web Page, Complete

Start with: Connected Browser open to My Home Page Class disk

  1. If necessary, open My Home Page in your browser and attach your removable Class disk.
  2. Class diskOn your Class disk create a new folder named web project1 in the folder where you are saving your class documents.
  3. Open the Save As dialog with the key combo CTRL + S , or...
    Icon: IEIE: Button: Tools (IE11) > File  >  Save As...
    Icon: ChromeChrome: Right click on the page (not on an image) and select Save As...
    OR, Button: Customize (Chrome 34) > Save page as...
    Icon: Firefox Firefox: Right click on the page (not on an image) and select Save Page As... OR, Button: Open menu (Firefox 29)  >  Save Page

    The Save As dialog opens.
  4. Class diskIn the Save As dialog, navigate to the web project1 folder on your Class disk.
  5. Dialog: Save As - home-complete Save the page with the name  home-complete-Lastname-Firstname.html and with the type  Web Page, complete . (Use your own first and last names, of course.)
    Dialog: Save Web Page - progress bar (IE11)Icon: IE IE: You may have to work through one or more confirmation dialogs, depending on your security settings. A dialog pops up with a progress bar and the name of the file currently being saved. But it may go by too fast to read.
    Status Bar: Downloading My Home Page (Chrome 51)Icon: Chrome Chrome: The Status bar shows the progress of the download with a circle around the default program icon that gradually fills in. For this page, the circle may complete too fast to follow. The Status bar button stays in view until you close the bar or the browser. Do not close it yet.
    The illustration shows the IE icon instead of the Chrome icon because that was the default program for .html files.
    Dialog: Downloads (Firefox 29)Icon: Firefox Firefox: The download arrow at the top left enlarges and animates while the download is in progress. This page may download too fast for it to show. When the download completes, click the Download arrow to show recent downloads. Do not close this window yet. (The illustration shows a Chrome icon for the page because Chrome was the default browser on the computer.)
  6. Open a File Explorer window that shows the contents of the web project1 folder:
    Icon: IE IE: Open an Explorer window, navigate to your Class disk and open the web project1 folder. You should see your new file there.
    Status bar: downloaded file menu > Show in folder (Chrome 34)Icon: Chrome Chrome: Click the arrow at the right side of the Status bar button for the download and select Show in folder.
    A File Explorer window opens and shows your new file.
    Dialog: Downloads - open folder (Firefox 29)Icon: Firefox Firefox: In the Downloads list, click on the folder icon to the right of the file in the Downloads window.
    A File Explorer window opens and shows your new file.

    Explorer: Class > my docs > web project1 (Win10)

  7. Double click on the folder home-complete-Lastname-Firstname_files.
    Explorer expands the folder to show the files it contains.
    Wow. Did you expect so many? These are the images on the page.

    Explorer: Files for home-complete (Win10)

  8. Use File Explorer's Back button to return to the view of the folder web project1.
  9. Double click on the file home-complete-Lastname-Firstname.html

    My Home Page has no background when saved as Web Page, Complete (Chrome51)The page My Home Page opens in your default browser. It looks nearly the same as the original. Only the background image is missing. Any images that are added using CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) will not be saved.

  10. Check the Address Bar.
    It should show the path to your Class disk's copy.
    Icon: IE IE:
    Address Bar: home-complete-yourname.htm - Class disk copy(IE11 on Win10)
    Icon: Chrome Chrome:
    Address Bar: home-complete-yourname.htm -Class disk copy (Chrome 51)
    Icon: Firefox Firefox:
    Address Bar: home-complete-yourname-htm - Class disk copy (Firefox 46)

    The illustrations show a flash drive named drive J. Yours, of course, may use a different letter. Or you may be saving your files to a hard drive or network folder.

    Note: Chrome automatically changes the space in web project1 to %20, which is the code for a space in a URL. That allows web servers that do not allow spaces in file names to find the file.

  11. Close the tab in your browser that shows the Class disk copy of My Home Page.

Icon: TipDrive letter names: The letters A and B are for floppy drives, which are obsolete now. C is for your primary hard drive or SSD drive. D is for your primary CD or DVD drive. Letters E and following are for other drives, which can be additional hard drives or SSD drives, CD/DVD drives, network drives, or removable disks.

Most drives show up in File Explorer only when a device is attached, but some show up in the list even when nothing is attached.

I have had computers with a media card reader. The USB ports that are part of the reader show all the time in File Explorer. But card slots for different kinds of removable media only show in File Explorer when a card is inserted. I don't know why there is a difference. It is confusing!

Memory card slots

Save Web Page, HTML only

  1. Class diskWith your browser showing the original page My Home Page, open the Save As dialog again.
    If you have not done much since your finished the previous section, the dialog will still show the web project1 folder on your Class disk, but it does not matter this time.
  2. File name: Type the path in the File name text box yourself this time, 
     e:\class\web project1\home-HTMLonly-Lastname-Firstname.htm
    Of course 'e' should be the letter of your Class disk and you would use your own actual name for the Firstname and Lastname parts.
  3. File type: Select for Save as type:  Web page, HTML only (*.htm, *html) 
    This saves only the HTML code and no other files.
  4. Click on the Save button. 

  5. In the Address bar of the browser, type the path
      e:\class\web project1\home-HTMLonly-Lastname-Firstname.htm
    where e is the drive letter for your Class disk and using your own name.
  6. Press ENTER.
    Hmm. There are some parts missing here! The images aren't here. That's what happens when you save only the HTML. Each browser shows the missing image locations in a different way.

    My Home Page - local copy from HTML only format (IE11) Icon: IE IE: Shows a small icon and the ALT text, if there is room in the space that the image should take up.

    My Home Page - local copy from HTML only format (Chrome 34)Icon: Chrome Chrome: Shows a broken image icon and the ALT text inside a rectangle that is the size of the image.

    My Home Page - local copy from HTML only format (Firefox 29)Icon: Firefox Firefox: Shows the ALT text where the image should be, but does not show an icon or an outline.

  7. Click the Back button to return to the original My Home Page.

    Using a Transparent Image

    Below the outline for the house image in the 'HTML only' copy of My Home Page, Chrome shows a narrow rectangle for another missing image. No image showed here on the original page. What is it??

    This mysterious image is a transparent image used to manage the spacing on the page. The whole page is one giant table. The transparent image keeps the table column on the left wide enough so that all the text in the column on the right is off of the blue border. The image is invisible itself. The rectangle is showing here because the image is missing.

    This technique is a sneaky way around the tendency for HTML tables to collapse to the smallest size possible.

Icon: IE IE: Save as Web Archive, single file (MHT format)

IE offers an additional file format, Web Archive, single file. Instead of putting the images into a separate folder, IE can put the images AND the HTML source code into a single file. This makes it very easy to move the page to a different drive.

  1. In Internet Explorer, return to the original My Home Page, which has all of the images and background.

  2. Open the Save As dialog again. (File  >  Save As... )
  3. Save My Home Page again to the web project1 folder, using the name  home-singlefile-Lastname-Firstname.mht  and the type  Web Archive, single file (*.mht) .
  4. File Explorer: file sizes for different file types (Win8.1)Switch back to the File Explorer window and show the web project1 folder again.
    The file home-singlefile-Lastname-Firstname.mht is much larger than home-complete-yourname.htm and home-HTMLonly-yourname.htm. It contains all the images also instead of saving them separately. Of course the 'complete' version has files in a separate folder, too. The MHT version is still bigger than the 'complete' version plus its folder. Bigger, but much easier to move to a new location.

Save an Image

Sometimes you don't need the whole page, just an image on the page.

  1. ComputerRight click on the image of the computer on the page My Home Page.
  2. Menu: Right Click > Save Image As... (Firefox 29)Right Click Menu: Save image as... (Chrome 34)Right Click Menu: Save picture as... (IE11)Choose  Save picture as...  or Save image as...
    The Save dialog appears.
  3. Dialog: Save As > computer.gif (Win8.1)Class disk Save to the web project1 folder with the name and file type that the dialog suggests, computer.gif.

  4. File computer.gif saved to your diskOpen a File Explorer window to the web project1 folder on your Class disk.

    The image file joins the copies of the whole page that you made earlier.
    (If you are using IE, you have an additional item.)

Save the Background Image

A web page can have an image in the background, underneath the text and other images. This might be a solid block of color or a single large image or a small image that is tiled across the page over and over. The page My Home Page has a background formed from a long, narrow image that is blue on the left end and white to the right. A cropped version shows below. The original is 2000 pixels wide so that it won't repeat horizontally inside the window.

Background image forr My Home Page

In previous browser versions, you could right click on an area with no text or other images and the context menu had a choice to save the background image. Chrome does not do this. Microsoft Edge does not either. IE shows the commands but they are unavailable (IE11 on Win8. and Win10). Firefox lets you View Background Image which shows the image in a browser window by itself. You can save from there.

I have not found an explanation for IE's unavailable commands.