Grab Firefox Tabs for Offline Use

If you are simply looking to bookmark all the tabs you have open in Firefox, latest versions of the browser have a “Bookmark All Tabs” option in the Bookmarks menu.

Ever since reading a comment by Derek Featherstone some time ago on Roger Johansson’s blog I have been using the ScrapBook extension for Firefox for various tasks from knocking together blog posts to saving useful pages for my latest projects. I highly recommend it.

While doing a bit of research a couple of days ago, I wanted to save several tabs to ScrapBook, just like you would for bookmarking a set of tabs. I figured that ScrapBook must be able to do this… and it does. Here’s a helping hand.

Grabbing multiple URLs with ScrapBook

Since version 0.14.1 of ScrapBook (available since February 2005), you can use the “Capture Multiple URLs“ to save several pages at a time for offline use. Once you’ve got ScrapBook installed in Firefox, follow these steps:

  1. When you’ve got a load of tabs you want to save opened up, bring up ScrapBook (default keyboard shortcut is Alt+K).
  2. Find the “Tools” menu and go to “Capture Multiple URLs“.
  3. In the dialog that pops up, you can type in the URLs of pages you want to capture. Just hit the “Capture” button once you’ve typed them in.

Grabbing open tabs with ScrapBook

I don’t find this as useful as saving all open tabs to ScrapBook. In steps the handy “URL Detector”. Open up a load of tabs you want to save to ScrapBook and then try this:

  1. In the “Capture Multiple URLs“ tool, find the “URL Detector” and select “All Open Tabs in the Window”.
  2. ScrapBook will now have automatically put the URLs of your open tabs into the capture tool. You can then remove any pages you don’t actually want and select the ScrapBook folder to which you want to capture. Bear in mind that the default folder in the drop-down menu is Root – I’d find it more useful if currently highlighted folder in the ScrapBook sidebar was the default). You can also create a new folder to capture to.
  3. Hit the “Capture” button and let ScrapBook do its thing!

What else?

If you don’t save your captured pages to a specific folder and they end up in the Root folder, you can select multiple captures and move them to the folder you want from “Manage” in the “Tools” menu.

Of course, you can manage things how you like, organising resources, references, research for articles, blog posts or whatever. You can also create totally separate notes in a ScrapBook folder.

Also, for those not so familiar with ScrapBook, you can also edit your captured pages by loading up a captured page and hitting the “Edit” button that appears in the status bar. This can help you to save on the size that your ScrapBook takes up by removing any parts of pages that you don’t need. You can also highlight selections and add inline comments on pages. Bear in mind that your edits are not saved until you hit the “Save Changes” button (it looks like a disk)!