pzl-pcs.gif (2364 bytes) Learning More About the Web

Saving What You Find – Downloading From The Web

Sooner or later, you’ll likely find something on the web that you want to save on your own computer. Saving web information is not hard, but to get the results you want, you need to remember that a web page actually consists of several files. This means that the usual method of saving files using the File -> Save As command may not produce the results you want.

To Save Text

To save text on a web page, you have two options. If you only want a portion of the text, simply highlight that text by dragging the mouse over it, then use the copy command from the edit menu to copy the selected text. You can now paste the selected text into another application, such as a word processor. If you want to save the entire page, you can use the "Save As" command from the file menu. This will save the entire HTML page, but it will not save any pictures or other graphics appearing on that page.

Saving Images

To save an image, place the mouse pointer over the image. If you are using a PC, right click with the mouse. A menu will appear offering a "save image as" option. Click on that option. A dialog box will appear, usually with a file name already selected. You may use that file name or select one of your own. Note (or change) the directory into which you are saving the file. You’ll need it to find that file later! Press "save" to save the file. For a more complete discussion of image files, click here. Use the "back" button on your browser to return.

Saving Files

Many web sites contain files intended for downloading by visitors to that site. These may be images, songs, data sets, or reproducible documents such as an Adobe Acrobat PDF file. A well-equipped browser will be able to display or use many of these files directly. If so, saving many of these files only requires the same "right-click and save" approach described above for saving images. Once the file is displayed, simply right-click on the display area in the same way you would for an image. A dialog box will appear, allowing you to save the file.

There may also be times when you want to save a file without viewing it first. This is especially useful for large Acrobat files, since the Acrobat viewer requires you to retrieve the file once for viewing, and then again if you want to save the file. To avoid this, right-click on the hyperlink to the file. A menu will appear. Choose the "save link as" option. A file save dialog box will appear. When you click "save" the browser will retrieve the file and save it without displaying it.

If you try to access a file which your browser doesn’t know how to handle, you will automatically be asked if you want to save that file. If you answer yes, a file save dialog box will appear, and you can save the file in the manner described above.

What About Copyright?

The web was created for sharing, and most web sites exist to get information in front of people. At the same time, most web publishers want to retain the rights to the material they post on the web. Publishers are usually very direct about what you can and cannot do with their materials. For example, lesson plans stored as downloadable PDF files are intended to be downloaded, printed out, and used in classes. However, you may not use the material for any commercial purpose, such as selling copies of the file or printed lessons. While you can generally save almost anything for personal use,  putting that material on a computer where others can access it – especially outside of the classroom – may constitute a copyright violation. This is just as true for images and pictures as it is for written information. Your school likely has a clearly stated policy on copyright. You should be aware of that policy, and it should supercede any information presented here.

Certain classes of information are "in the public domain," meaning that copyright cannot be imposed on them. These include literary works on which copyright, if any, has expired, as well as most, but not all, publications created with federal funds. For example, you can download and reprint the full text of Tom Sawyer from an e-text source because that work is in the public domain. Good Internet manners, however, dictate that you should acknowledge the source for any public domain material used in your teaching.

Additional Topics

Graphics and Pictures

Anatomy of a URL

Filtering Software


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