If you are like me, you regularly need to save articles from internet sources for later review. As a law librarian, I gather news sources for faculty, educational resources for my students, and articles on librarianship and professional development for myself. A nagging problem arises when I try to save these webpages—the printer and print-to-pdf doesn’t like long screens.

Simply trying to print or to use print-to-pdf to save a webpage longer than one page often results in lines from the article falling into the “gap” between pages at the bottom margin. This means you will end up losing valuable information from the middle of your document and valuable time retracing your steps to find that webpage again. Fiddling with the margins before printing might help, but in my experience that tends to be more hassle than it’s worth.

(Above) The “gap” created by the page break when saving a webpage to .pdf.

But, lo! A solution! Meet the scrolling screenshot. Using a browser ad-on, you can take one long image of the entire webpage at once. I use GoFullPage, a free, ad-free browser extension that allows one-click full-screen capture. Once installed, simply navigate to wherever your preferred browser keeps its extensions and select GoFullPage (on Chrome, it’s the little puzzle piece in the top righthand corner). This will capture the entire webpage as an image which you can save as a .jpg or .png. Then, as needed, use print-to-pdf to break the image into printable, page-sized chunks. Boom! No more gaps in your articles!

GoFullPage is available for download on Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Firefox. However, if you are a Firefox user, that browser already has a built-in scrolling screenshot feature you can access by clicking the three-little-dots button, then “Take a Screenshot”, then “Save Full Page”—no plugin needed. For Safari, an comparable extension to GoFullPage is Awesome Screenshot, which is also free and follows the same general principle as GoFullPage.

Whether you are collecting legal blogs and news articles, or just want to capture your whole Twitter feed at once, using a browser ad-on can help simplify your resource gathering and avoid the headache of wrestling with your page margins. Now go forth and save (or print)!

 

A Long Shot: Using Scrolling Screenshots to Save Your Internet Research

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