How to take a screenshot of an entire web page? The 3 most effective techniques

How to take a screenshot of an entire web page? The 3 most effective techniques

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Do you need take a screenshot of an entire web page? In this article I show you 3 simple and effective ways to take a screenshot of an entire web page from beginning to end, exactly as an online visitor sees it.

Taking a screenshot is the best solution to save what is visible on the monitor on your PC. But are you needing to photograph an entire web page? In this article I show you 3 simple and effective ways to take a screenshot of a web page from beginning to end, exactly as you see it online.

The technique is important: Screenshot vs Print

You just have to visit the web page you are interested in and select File > Print, and choose “Microsoft Print to PDF” (if it is present) or “Microsoft XPS Document Writer” (if the first choice is not available).

In MacOS, click on the “PDF” button in the Print window. Windows 10, MacOS, and many browsers allow you to “print” any page in a PDF file. Older versions of Windows made it possible to “print” any type of XPS file, a sort of alternative to PDF.

That being said, why take a screenshot of an entire web page? Wouldn’t it be easy enough to press Ctrl + P, click on “Edit”, then on “Save as PDF” and convert a web page into a PDF or XPS file?

Screenshot of an entire web page: What advantages?

If the PDF format is an excellent solution for documents, it has an inherent flaw when it comes to saving a web page on a PC. Regardless of the program you use to create a document, the above technique (Ctrl + P) will work like a virtual printer.

So the defects present during the conversion to PDF will also appear in the document created by the virtual printer (an incorrect alignment, announcements superimposed on the text, etc.).

Moreover, if the site in question has a specific “printable version” to reduce the problems mentioned above, it means that you are not saving the web page as it appears, but only the version formatted for printing. When you use a program to make screenshots of the screen, you are photographing, pixel by pixel, exactly what you see on the monitor.

Not only can it be useful as a document archiving system, as you will get a 1:1 scale representation of the web page, but you will also be able to show other people how the page that interests you looks in reality.

Now let’s take a look at 3 techniques that you can use to take a screenshot of an entire web page in a single screen: a program to photograph the full screen, a browser plugin, and a  very simple web service that almost always works and everywhere.

1) Make a screenshot of an entire web page with a third-party program

Almost all operating systems have an “official” tool for photographing the screen, but normally it is really very basic and too minimal. It’s more than enough to take a screenshot of some portions of the screen, but it doesn’t have advanced options, necessary to save an entire web page.

Fortunately, there are many third-party tools that, by scrolling the web page, acquire the various screens to merge them into a continuous image.

The tool I used for years, FastStone Capture (For Windows, costs $ 20), has this feature. Just click on the toolbar button or press Ctrl + Alt + PrtScn.

Note: it is still possible to download the previous free version of FastStone Capture from The Portable Collection freeware (even if this version does not have the latest features, it allows you to photograph the scrolling web page).

Screenpresso (For Windows, free) is another small software that has this feature, as well as the most popular SnagIt program (Windows / Mac, price $ 50). A trial version is also available.

2)  Make a screenshot of an entire web page with a browser plugin

The programs for making a screenshot of the screen are great if you use them regularly, but if you only need to save web pages from time to time, it makes more sense to use an integrated tool in the browser: a plugin.

Actually there are many extensions, and I personally appreciated Nimbus Review. It’s free, it’s available for Google Chrome and Firefox, and has a nice clean and streamlined interface. Among other things, it’s very easy to use. With one click you can decide whether to acquire only a portion of the monitor or the entire page. You can also decide to record your activity on the desktop. Furthermore, you can easily save the image on your PC when you are finished or upload it to a Cloud service.

3)  Take a screenshot of an entire web page with a web service

Do you need to make a screen only once? For example for your boss? In this case it is not necessary to install any software on the PC or browser plugin.

As long as the web page in question is accessible to the public (like any article in Computer Science and not other sites that you must first register with), you can use an online service like CtrlQ.org  (free) or a similar tool, Web-Capture .net . Both work quite well, but Web-Capture has a double benefit to consider.

First of all it allows to specify the format of the image, moreover it supports the acquisition through bookmarklet (so as to be able to insert a link in the toolbar of the browser to access the screenshot service).

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