Today, I am going to write about a Firefox extension that should be in any researchers arsenal who is using Firefox for his research on the Internet. The basic purpose of the scrapbook is to capture the page you are currently viewing and saving it in the scrapbook database, so that you can refer it in the future just in case a need arises. In my experience with this extension, I was also able to save some webpages that I could not properly save with the default page saving feature in Firefox.Organization of the saved pages is in a tree like view and very flexible, so that you can categorize all related pages in a single category folder. Unfortunately, it do not natively supports tagging so if you want tagging support than you may want to use this add-on for scrapbook.But aside from this minor flaw, it supports many useful features. Some important ones are given below:
- Desired entries in the scrapbook can be highlighted that may be used to depict the importance of an entry.
- It support a lot of annotation/highlighting features for the saved pages that are very useful for marking the important areas in a document.
- You can use the DOM eraser tool to cleanup elements such as pictures and useless sidebars footers etc. before printing or saving a page.
- Supports full text search and regular expressions for searching. You can also search based on a number of other parameters such as page URL,comment and title. Searching based on a URL is particularly very useful and I use it very often myself.
- You can have multiple scrapbooks set at different locations and you can switch between them using the sidebar. For example, I have one scrapbook for the academic research, an other for my blog research and still another one for my favorite saved pages.
- You can add comments to his captured pages which may be useful when referencing them in the future as you can search your scrapbook based on the comments.
- Scrapbook versions above 1.3 also supports splitters in the scrapbook view.
- You can use the export feature to export a set of required pages and than use tools like Scrap Indexer to convert the exported pages in the chm format which is much more convenient than to use a large number of html files scattered around on the harddisk.
- Supports plug-ins and a number of useful plug-ins can be downloaded from the official website.
- Aside from capturing pages you can also bookmark pages, although this feature may not be used as often in my opinion.
- You can also insert separate note entries in the scrapbook, aside from a note that you can attach to a captured page.
- Incorporates an emergency repair function that can be used to repair a corrupted scrapbook database.
- It supports a lot of other useful features that I will leave for you to explore!
I am using scrapbook extension now for more than a year. I have lots of other extensions installed in my Firefox profile as well that I use on a regular basis, but If someone asks me to pick a single extension that is the greatest productively booster for me, then I will pick scrapbook without hesitation. I visit a lot of websites during my whole day session, and using it I can capture the important pages and sometimes also highlight the important points on a page so that I can reference it in the future, rather than going to search the original site again. This extension can be particularly useful for users on a dial-up connection as they are being charged on hourly use of the Internet. Using scrapbook they can quickly capture all the important website pages that they want to read and than read them offline. Actually, I have used it for this purpose myself for a long time.
Before, I started to use scrapbook I was using Slogger extension for Firefox that is not as feature rich and robust as this one. Another related Firefox extension that I came across is called Zotero that is well suited for academic research. But in my opinion scrapbook is more intuitive to use in many general usage scenarios. However, it is just a matter of opinion and your’s may differ.
So what if someone is still stuck on Internet explorer and do not want to switch to Firefox? OK those Internet explorer loyals are not completely out of luck because they can use the Meta Products Inquiry that can work in conjunction with Internet Explorer, but unfortunately it is a shareware application($60 for professional version) although it provides many of the features of the scrapbook and also imports the scrapbook data.
In conclusion, I would say that you can achieve many of the features that scrapbook provides by installing a number of other extensions but still they will not provide the flexibility and organizational features that it provides with ease. This one is highly recommended.
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