How to Display Content of CHM Help File That Does Not Display Content Pane

Have you encountered this issue where your .chm file, or more popularly known as a help file, does not display its content like it’s corrupted or something? Here’s something I found somewhere which will let you access its content properly.

Here’s another experience I had just recently, this time, about a Help file in .chm format that won’t display its contents. If you’ve followed my blog even for a little while, you’ll know that I save my experiences with any problems, trivial or not, that get solved into this blog for future reference.

This post is going to be a quick and short one because the solution happens to be equally quick and short. In fact, if you’re in a hurry, you may jump to the solution by scrolling below, or clicking here.

CHM File Won’t Display Correctly

I downloaded a jQuery Help chm file and when I try to access its contents, it only shows something like the image below.

chm file wont display correctly

I thought I must have downloaded an incomplete file, but when I tried asking around in the forums, I realized that several other folks have experienced this too. Turns out this has nothing to do with corrupted files or incomplete downloads.

So, withour further ado, here’s the solution that I got from some helpful guys who did not hesitate to share their knowledge to us poor folks who would never have found a clue how to get over this problem.

Solution

  1. Right click on chm file, then click Properties.
  2. Then, Click on the ‘Unblock’ button. That’s the button just above the bottom ‘Apply’ button, and just below the ‘Advanced’ button, all within the ‘General’ tab .
  3. unblocking chm file

  4. Click ‘Ok’. This time, when you right-click the chm file and click ‘Properties’, you’ll no longer see the ‘Unblock’ button.
  5. chm file now unblocked

Now, you can access your downloaded CHM file and it will display its contents on the content pane.

chm file displaying properly

Hiding Folders in Windows: The Free Hide Folder App

Here’s a free folder hiding utility I found which is both free and efficient. It’s called the ‘Free Hide Folder’ application. Now, why would someone want to hide folders from other eyes?


Have you ever had the idea of wanting to hide some specific personal folders so that others, e.g. your kids and your wife – if its a family computer, or your prying officemates – if you’re using your office computer, may not be able to see some files?

free hide folder program

The files you want to hide may range from porn to just about anything you want to use exclusively. Just password protecting those files (there are apps that can do that) is not enough. In fact, when you password protect a file, it makes the curious even curiouser and more insistent on finding out what secret you’re hiding. Thus, making them invisible is the best way as no one can start looking for something if they don’t know what they want to look for.

Not all Folder hiding apps are good

About 2 years ago, I remember using some cool software that effectively hides folders from anyone, even yourself if you forget your password. The thing with that software (I forgot its name) is that it turned out to be a trojan-carrying application that eventually caused my antivirus software to shriek in chaos. Well, of course, it just confirms the grim reminder that not everything you download are good for you (especially if you get it through torrent downloaders).

There was one other similar app I tried that did not contain any virus or trojan, but it limits the size of the folder I want to hide. In other words, you need to shell out a few bucks to lift the limits. Now, I am not that desperate enough to hide my folders as to get myself a few bucks poorer. Besides, I knew that if I search further enough, I’d eventually find some free ones that will work just as efficiently.

Free Hide Folder

Lately, I stumbled upon this software called ‘Free Hide Folder’. It can hide folders very efficiently. It can even fool windows explorer because the folder count in its status bar shows only the visible folders. And there’s no limit to the number of folders or the size of the folders you want to hide.

Free Hide Folder password

One thing I’d like to be a feature of this app though is a shortcut key that can be set by the user. Say, I want to load the app up by pressing ‘ctrl-alt-b’. It doesn’t have this feature at present. Instead it creates a shortcut in your desktop and in your start bar effectively announcing to everyone that you have this app in your desktop. Although the curious may not know what folder you’re hiding, he’d still be suspecting that you’re indeed hiding something.

For those who have an aptitude for programming, this can be remedied, say, with AutoIt or some other similar program. I’d probably try that out sometime. After creating a hotkey, I can thus delete the shortcuts, and voila! I’m the only one who knows the app exists in the computer and how to run it (except for smart guys who might stumble on it while browsing the Program Files folder in the C drive).

Again, this is totally free as its name ‘Free Hide Folder’ says plainly. One caveat: everytime you fire up the app, it’d show you a nag screen asking you to go get a registration code. To get a registration code, you need to send some donation. If you don’t feel like donating however, you can always just click the ‘Skip’ button and you’re good to go.

Free Hide Folder skip option

If you’re interested to know more about this cool application, check it out at this site.

ZoneAlarm Deemed AVG’s avgcorex.dll a High-Risk Virus

I accidentally turned on ZoneAlarms Antivirus and it clashed with AVG’s. Looks like ZA kicked off first when I booted my laptop and drew blood first… AVG’s.

ZoneAlarm just deleted AVG’s avgcorex.dll in my laptop after it deemed it as a high risk virus.

avgcorexdll.exe a virus?

I don’t know how ZoneAlarm turned itself on today. I’ve had both ZoneAlarm and AVG working in my notebook without a hitch for a couple of years. All of AVG’s features are on after I availed recently of its trial AVG 2012 Internet Security. ZoneAlarm on the other had all features except its Antivirus turned on as I don’t want AVG and ZA antivirus clashing with its each other. And everything went well until today.

zone alarm antivirus

I must have accidently clicked on ZA’s’Fix Now’ button thus turning on its Antivirus feature, as after turning on my notebook, ZoneAlarm screamed about a high risk virus found in the AVG2012 directory. It says my computer has a ‘HEUR:Virus.wIN32.Generic‘ infection and that avgcorex.dll is the culprit. Then it proceeded to treat it off. Aferwards, my AVG icon added an exclamation mark on its face with a warning that says’You are not protected!’. Then, as if that was not enough, all my shortcuts don’t work, until finally, windows crashed and re-started itself.

avgcorex.dll

On the AVG interface, the Antivirus icon is red and there’s a ‘VDB check has failed’ notice underneath it. Funny thing is that when I clicked the ‘New scheduled task’ link, AVG was scanning normally like nothing happened. AFter it completed the scanning, it flashed the check sign and the ‘Scan finished’ note. I think VDB stands for Virus Database.

Now, as I have yet to find out how to fix AVG’s antivirus feature, I’m stuck with ZA’s. Besides, this full AVG version will expire in 8 days time. So, I think I’ll sit it out till then and see what comes up next. It’s kind of weird though to be relying on a new antivirus after having been used to an old one that I have learned to trust.

This is what I get for using 2 different softwares that do the same thing. They ultimately will clash (like the way ZA sees avgcorex.dll as a virus, and who knows what else) and I’d be in the middle of it all.


UPDATE:
Other new discoveries by ZA:

  • footer.php of WP’s Androida theme has Trojan.PHP.Pakes.e virus. If I remember right, the footer contains some base64 encrypted text which when decryted only contains the footer links for the androida author’s site.

Best Writing Apps for Bloggers of 2012

Guest Jane Johnson enumerates 5 of the best blogging apps best suited for mobile bloggers of 2012. If you’re a blogger, you should have some of these in your mobile.

Choose the best blogging app for your style and audience

It’s important to choose a blogging platform that fits the way you write and the features you use, and most writers just naturally gravitate toward the one that makes the most sense—you don’t find the same readership on WordPress as you do on LiveJournal or Tumblr. If you’re a tablet or smartphone geek, however, you might also want to look at your platform’s mobile client to find the best fit for you. Here are a few of the big platforms’ mobile apps, and some additional tools to make blogging from your phone or tablet easier.

1. Dragon Dictation (iPhone)

The biggest limitation of blogging from your phone is the keyboard, so good dictation software should be your first stop. There are other apps out there of varying price and quality, but this is the highest-rated free dictation app for the iPhone, allowing you to dictate large quantities of text that you can paste directly into your mobile blogging app. Early implementation of dictation technology was inaccurate, frustrating, and hard to use, but recent versions have shown dramatic improvement.

2. Winscribe Digital Dictation (Android)

Winscribe is the most popular dictation app available for Android devices. While it’s primarily intended for users of their professional dictation service: doctors, legal professionals, etc. For that reason, Winscribe offers a number of bells and whistles such as barcode scanning and geo-location functionality that are probably not much good to a casual blogger—all you need is the ability to copy text to your device’s clipboard. Still, it accomplishes that purpose well, and it’s free. According to user reviews, T-Mobile LG users may find that the app switches off if the phone goes to sleep, so you might have to swipe the screen once in a while to keep the dictation running.

3. WordPress (Android, iPhone)

WordPress is a great platform in general, and their mobile client is no exception. You can publish and edit posts (including images and video), moderate comments, track your page-views, and read other blogs—pretty much everything the browser-based client can do, in a tighter, cleaner interface. If you get comfortable with dictation, posting from your tablet or smartphone may actually be easier than doing it from your laptop: all you’d have to do is copy/paste the spoken text and apply any rich-text formatting manually.

4. Squarespace (Android, iPhone)

Squarespace’s mobile app is about on par with WordPress in terms of functionality, with access to advanced text editing and page view statistics, as well as full comment moderation. It’s almost universally praised by users, though WordPress has simpler-to-use rich-text functionality and a slicker interface. Squarespace is a small up-and-comer, and it’s intended for professional bloggers: while the app is free, you’ll pay $8.99 a month or more for your Squarespace account. Ultimately, that’s the killer—free blog platforms are so abundant that it’s hard to justify a paid one—but if you already use Squarespace, this app is essential.

5. Posterous Spaces (Android, iPhone)

Posterous has a strong, dedicated user base, and it’s tailored for bloggers who like to vary the readership of their posts (there are some things Grandma doesn’t need to read about); so if that’s you, Posterous Spaces provides a great mobile client. Unlike WordPress, text editing and graphics are limited, but other than that it has essentially the functionality of the browser client. If you love Posterous, this app won’t disappoint, but it also won’t replace blogging from your laptop.

We looked at a few other mobile apps—Tumblr, Blogger, Typepad, and others—but all were plagued by design issues and/or low functionality compared to the browser client. WordPress was the clear standout, so if you’re looking to start a new blog or switch platforms, and mobile blogging matters to you, the choice is pretty clear.

Bio: Jane Johnson is a writer for GoingCellular, a popular site that provides cell phone related news, commentary, reviews on popular providers like T-Mobile.

3 Productivity Software Applications to Install on Your Windows Laptop

Here are 3 cool software that you can install on your laptop to increase your productivity.

Almost everybody has a laptop today, and the majority of us depend on our laptops for our work.

While there are countless people who only use their laptop computer for multimedia purposes, the majority of laptop users are creative people who depend on their laptop for their work. Some of these people are writers, some are bloggers, some use the internet for one thing or the other and others use their laptops for educational purposes. It doesn’t matter what your occupation is, or what your reason for using a laptop computer is, being more productive can make a difference in the kind of results you can achieve each day.

What I mean by this is that if you are able to double or triple your productivity with your laptop that could mean a lot more money for you on the long-run.

One thing you need to note, however, is that the key to having a more productive laptop isn’t just to get the latest laptop with a bigger ram or bigger configuration. The kind of software you install on your laptop can make a whole lot of difference in how productive you are, and this article will be listing 3 major software you can install on your Windows laptop to help you be more productive.

  1. Dark Room
  2. The number one software on this list is the Dark Room software, and it can be of utmost importance to you if you are a writer.
    As bloggers and writers the kind of distractions we are exposed to every day can be dangerous to our work, and if we are not careful we will end up paying a lot of dollars for it. While Twitter, Facebook and every other social media sites are great, I believe there is time for everything.

    Dark Room is a distraction free writing software application for Windows users. Once you install the software on your Windows computer it will automatically take over your screen and make the writing space the only thing you can see – all you need to do is start writing, as there is nothing to distract you.

  3. Open Office
  4. The next software on this list is the Open Office software, and most of us might already be familiar with it.

    Open Office is an alternative to Microsoft Office, and I think it is a free better alternative. Open Office makes it extremely easy for you to type and use other Microsoft Office related functions on your computer, while at the same time giving you great options and flexibility.

    With Open Office you can easily use a lot of features not provided by Microsoft Office to help you save time and money. For example, you can easily print a document of any length directly without having to install a PDF converter on your computer.

  5. Roboform
  6. The final software on this list is Roboform.

    If you’re a Windows user reading this there is every possibility you log in to one or more sites every day, or that you register on one or more sites every day and have to fill in the details manually. Roboform helps remove your worries and makes it extremely easy to fill in your details with just one click.

This guest article is written by Paul who can help you find the best free laptop deals.

Free Antivirus Download For Windows XP List

Just as our office computers still use XP, I’m sure a lot of computers worldwide still have not upgraded to Windows 7. Here is a list of free antivirus downloads for windows xp.

Internet Virus Protection

I’ve compiled hereunder a list of resources where you can get free antivirus download for Windows XP. Despite Microsoft’s idea of cutting off any more


support for Windows XP, a lot of people were not swayed into upgrading to later Windows operating systems. I know, our office computers still use xp. Except the obvious graphical changes of the latest incarnations, I myself don’t necessarily see any very relevant reason to upgrade either. But that’s because I’m not that into keeping up with the Joneses, or should I say the Gates. Besides, for the average user, XP still conveniently serves my purposes. The only reason that my other computer, the laptop which I purchased a few months earlier, now runs under Windows 7 is because it came bundled with the laptop purchase.

Free Antivirus Download For Windows XP

Microsoft Security Essentials

Microsof Security Essentials provides real-time protection for your home PC against viruses, spyware, and malware (or malicious software). Runs in the background quietly giving you freedom to use your computer knowing that someone is watching your back at all times.

You can get a free download from Microsoft with a user-friendly easy installation. Kept up to date. “It’s easy to tell if your PC is secure — when you’re green, you’re good. It’s that simple.

Download here.

Avira AntiVir Personal – Free Antivirus

Avira provides protection against viruses, worms and Trojans; AntiRootkit protection against hidden rootkits; Faster Scanning up to 20% faster; AntiPhishing protection against phishing; AntiSpyware protection against spyware and adware NetbookSupport for laptops with low resolution; QuickRemoval eliminates viruses at the push of a button.

Download here.

AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition

This (AVG) is what I used in my laptop after its bundled trial version of Micro Trend Internet Security expired. So far, everything’s cool. Of course, I’ll be upgrading to a licensed version Anti virus application pretty soon. AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition has email scanner, virus vault, on-demand scanner, resident protection, the works. It features real-time protection and other basic scanning functions using the scanning engine of its commercial version.

Download here.

Avast Free Anti Virus

This one (Avast) I used on my desktop at home. Avast offers it Home Edition free of charge for personal/non-commercial use. The minimum protection a PC needs is antivirus with anti-spyware and Avast provides such, free. ‘Small footprint’ is a term I often encounter when it comes to Avast reviews. It doesn’t hug resources while it works in the background.

Download here.

BitDefender Free Edition

BitDefender is recognized by a lot of experts to be one of the best, if not the best, Internet Security and Anti Virus application presently. This is why, this is going to be my very first licensed internet and virus protection application I’ll buy. All I’m waiting for before I hit the buy button is a fix to a minor glitch where it interferes with a browser plugin (and makes it not work anymore). The free edition offers on-demand Virus scan, online update, scheduler, quarantine and reporting. It scans selected files, folders, drives, archives, mail database and boot sector.

Download here.

Trend Micro (30-day Trial)

This is the virus protection app bundled with my Asus laptop when I bought it. I haven’t really explored it when it was still in my laptop’s system but I know it works because it did protect me throughout the trial period. It has real time protection. I remember being surprised every now and then by a pop up that tells me about possible dangers both within my files or while I surf the net.

Download here.

Kaspersky (30-day Trial)

My sister uses a licensed version of Kaspersky and she vouches for it like her life depended on it. The trial version is a full working version of the real thing. According to some experts, Kaspersky comes as a close second to BitDefender among the best internet security and anti virus applications today.

Download here.

Other Free Antivirus Download For Windows XP

There are a lot more of these free antivirus download for windows xp out there. But the choices above should be enough if what you’re looking for are free versions. Free versions, more often than not, are limited to a few relevant features of the licensed versions. Thus, sometimes, in order to acquire a sense of assurance, one may have to utilize more than one of these applications. I, for one, pairs AVG with Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware application. Malwarebytes is of the ‘on-demand’ type of scanner. It doesn’t load up and run at startup. Whenever I feel like wanting that extra assurance, I run it. Of course, there are no substitutes to the licensed versions of whatever protection app you use.

As far as I know, these listed free antivirus download for windows xp also works for the later versions of windows. They should.

Resources:

Galaga Video Game

The Galaga Video Game. Remember the 1980’s? This is one arcade game a lot of folks long ago had lots of fun playing.


-| Galaga Video Game Revisited

The Galaga video game is a game most kids today have perhaps never heard of but was once a craze for kids back in the 80’s. There are however games similar to the galaga video game that I sometimes see once in a while in the internet. If you’re like me who sometimes plays games for the sole purpose of de-stressing, then this is one arcade game you can start tinkering with. You see, the problem with most modern strategy games is that it stresses you even further. I prefer to leave strategizing in the conference table at the office. For a fun de-stressing game, I prefer the ones without (or only with a minimum of) the ‘strategy’ factors, like the galaga video game.

For those who have no idea of what it is, the galaga video game is a shooter game where you control a ship that is fixed in the bottom of the screen. You can only move the ship(s) from left to right using the left and right arrow keys. Simple isn’t it? You can play the game using only 3 fingers. The game was an improvement over its predecessor, the Galaxian. Whereas the Galaxian has no sound, the Galaga video game was improved with explosion sound when you lose a life. This time also, you can fire multiple bullets. Enemies, which look like giant insects emerge from the top of the screen and begin descending towards your ship in formation. They will attempt to destroy you by spraying your ship with bullets or collide with you. Your goal is to stay alive and kill as many enemies as possible which gradually increases in number as you progress in the higher levels.

This game may sound boring to most kids, my kid included, but there are still a lot of people who find some fun playing it, otherwise there wouldn’t have been a sequel called the Galaga Legions for the xbox live arcade service.


Galaga Video

Unable To Start the File System Shield. Shield Unreachable

My own accidental solution to Avast’s ‘Unable to start the file system shield. Shield unreachable’.

My home computer uses Avast as its anti-virus software. Just today its icon on the tray sported a red X on its right bottom side indicating that it is not running. When I tried to run it, it showed the following message:

Unable to start the file system shield. Shield unreachable

Clicking on Start Scan kicks up another message:

Unable to start scan. There are no endpoints available from the endpoint mapper.”

Is this another trojan attack outcome? (Or, should I ask instead, am I getting paranoid?) My google search returned some results but I was never really given any answer as to how this happened – whether it’s caused by some freaking trojan or probably an unintended mistake my son committed in one of his computer adventures. Some of my research sources gave suggestions on how to correct the problem like the following:

  • Go to Control Panel and click on the Avast Entry in the Add/Remove Programs Window. Click ‘Change/Remove’ then choose ‘Repair’. Then reboot afterwards.

    While this may have worked for some, it didn’t in mine.

  • There’s also this solution in an avast forum that requires the use of some Norton tool. The procedure is rather complicated and the succeeding conversation between the problem solver and the user with the problem gets even more geeky and complex it gave me a headache. I am either not that tech savvy or just too lazy to do long procedures. Needless to say, I didn’t even try it.
  • The Avast Help Center. I clicked on its link on the upper right corner of the avast interface and a help app window appeared. Searching for the term “Shield Unreachable” returned a blaring ‘No topics found’ answer. I wasn’t surprised at all, because I knew how un-helpful most, if not all, Help apps actually are, especially (cough) Microsoft’s.

I however found an answer quite by accident. When I explored the Avast Interface (about 2.5 seconds before I would have thrown in the towel to give up), there was this sub menu under ‘Scan Computer’ that consists of ‘Scan Now’, ‘Boot-Time Scan’ and ‘Scan Logs’. The ‘Boot-Time Scan’ feature actually solved the “Unable to start the file system shield. Shield unreachable” problem. I believe this is not the perfect solution for this. There ought to be a better one out there and I might just have the motivation to find it should this problem arise again. But for now, this will have to do. After all, it worked.

The procedure is shown in the image below. My main purpose for doing this post is actually to serve as a reference for myself so that I wouldn’t have to search far should the problem present itself again in the future. I have posted a few articles of this sort here for the same purpose. If this helps others, good.

AmplusnetPrivacyTools.exe Eating Up CPU Resources

AmplusnetPrivacyTools.exe, ekrn.exe, smss.exe gave me a lot of trouble. This is how I got it out. I feel I still have a lot of scanning to do before my computer gets completed cleaned up though.

AmplusnetPrivacyTools.exe is another one of those executables that use up all your resources and slows down everything else.

I booted my computer this morning and saw that loading of any application seem slow and dragging. My default firefox browser took a long time to load. Even the SeaMonkey browser, which I usually use when I want quick browsing, took forever just to search ‘cpu slowing’ on google.

I tried checking out the Windows Task Manager, and sure enough, the CPU Usage showed a whooping 100% usage. So, I clicked on the ‘Processes’ tab to check out the culprit. On double-clicking the CPU column button, this ‘AmplusnetPrivacyTools.exe’ executable soared up to the top, claiming to be the thug who is eating up

CPU resources. I have seen something like this perhaps a couple of times before, and the culprit applications are usually a little tricky to pull down. Like, I tried to use the ‘End Process’ button to have it stopped by force; but before I could sigh with relief, it re-activated itself back and shot up to the top cpu eaters flank with a grin and greeted me ‘I’m back!’.

Luckily for me, this AmplusnetPrivacytools.exe file was easier to break down than some other pain-in-the-neck I’ve encountered before. I searched for its location in the drive. Once I’ve found it, which was in the systems folder, I used some lightning speed Jet Li moves of ending the process via the Windows Task Manager and immediately deleting the files (the exe file itself and this AMPLUSNETPRIVACYTOOLES.EXE -3A7D8C4D.pf file (yeah, it showed itself in capital letters as if trying to look meaner than it really is)) before it can re-activate itself.

After the surprise attack I gave the enemy, I took a peep back at ground zero and saw that everything looks alright this time. The CPU Usage bar had subsided to its normal levels and the enemy hadn’t resurrected itself anymore.

This time, I could take a full sigh of relief breath cycle and felt good at myself for taking the enemy down without having to call for help from the IT folks downstairs. Yeah, these IT kids are an awesome lot. Sometimes I think they are part human and part machine. How else can they tame down a messed up computer so quickly without breaking a sweat? The trick I used above was given to me by one of these kids sometime ago.

I still have to do a research on what this AmplusnetPrivacyTools.exe does besides sucking cpu resources. For all I know, it could be a resource file used by some legitimate application in my computer and deleting it might cause it to cease to work. Or, it really is some Trojan or whatever virus, in which case, what I’ve done is not necessarily enough to stop it. It could have entered some data in the registry where the tracking down for it usually proves to be way beyond me. Well, I’ll find out soon I guess. Or, if you know something about it, you can save me the waiting time by speaking your mind now in the comments section. 🙂

UPDATE: The Day After

Lo and behold, the next day, I was again greeted with a crappy drunken slow cpu. But when I checked who’s on top of the cpu huggers list, it’s ekrn.exe! So I repeated the same process I did yesterday. Thing is, I couldn’t find ekrn.exe in the windows directory where it should be. Even the recommended RegCure software wasn’t able to remove it (although it did find 1,354 problems in my computer!). Some site also said that ekrn.exe problems are 94% due to registry problems. Google, google, google. How to remove ekrn.exe. I found out that this executable is something ESET uses. After 2 hours, I got kinda tired and looked again at the task manager’s top list and found that just below it is smss.exe. Well, why not try to end this process? If my computer crashes, so be it. I can’t do anything today anyway as long as cpu usage is 100%. So I killed smss.exe, and what do you know, the cpu usage bar made a free fall to 1% like a bungee jumper from a crane boom. Then I remembered this smss.exe is actually the one I meant when I said I have had this cpu hugging issue before. Thing with smss.exe is that although you can end its process in the task manager, it refuses to get deleted in the windows explorer. I had to resort to downloading this pocket killbox free app to have it killed by force.


It’s peaceful here once more. I hope I wouldn’t need to add another ‘day after‘ update to this post anymore as this post is getting uncomfortably long. This must be the longest post I have written so far. Anyway, if tomorrow gives me another challenge like this, I’m going for reformatting.

Capture Web page: My 3 Favorite Methods

In monitoring my SEO work, I have to capture webpages not as saved html but as an image. Simply clicking on the ‘print screen’ button won’t capture the whole web page.


To capture web page usually involves screen capturing software or screen capture download (browser extensions), which may or may not be free. But most of the free ones are as good as the paid ones. My favorites are of course, you guessed it, the free ones. Freeloaders!

When I say, capture web page, I don’t mean save a webpage as html. I meant to capture web page as an image. There are several reasons why you might want to capture a web page as an image. Some of them are the following:

  • Save a webpage as an image for presentation purposes, e.g. powerpoint slideshow, reduced size image for presentation in an article.
  • Capture web page as an image because it can not be saved as an html file.
  • Capture various states of a webpage in a sequence of changes.

You can add more. In my website design process, I sometimes capture different web pages for comparison in choosing the best looking arrangement of elements and design. In my SEO monitoring of my sites, I find I can save more exact information by capturing the whole google search result page as an image than saving it as an html file. Sometimes, in checking the possible adsense ads that get generated for a particular article, you can only save the result if is captured as an image. If you save the page as html, you’ll never see the adsense ads when you open it offline, or if you open it again online, you may not see the same ads which you saw before. I am sure I’m going to find some other purposes for capturing webpages as I progress in this ‘career’.

Capture web page using Aviary.com

You found a remarkable page, say, ‘http://moralde.com/capture-webpage-my-3-favorite-methods/’ and you want to save it as an image. All you need to do is to click on the url box of the browser and type ‘aviary.com’ before the current url address. So, the url now becomes ‘aviary.com/http://moralde.com/capture-web-page-my-3-favorite-methods/’. Then, press enter.
capture-web-page-aviary

You will then be presented with an online graphics editor on which the page is presented for editing. Now, you can draw lines, arrows, free-hand scribbles, eyedropper, etc on the captured webpage. If you opt to use the ‘advanced editor’, you’ll get photoshop-like capabilities and features.

In the regular editor, you either save the image in .PNG format, or ‘save & host’ online by copying the url of the images hosted in the aviary site which you can then embed on your page. In the advanced editor, it is saved in the aviary.com site as an .egg extension file which you can embed on your own page for presentation. There are choices for image size, but choosing ‘full’ does not necessarily deliver a full size image. Instead, you get a reduced representation of the whole image. As an alternative to the need to type in the url box, there is a firefox extension which you can install instead.

Fireshot extension

This one requires you to install an extension, say, in firefox. On first use, it prompts if you want to make it available in IE too. If yes, it installs the plugin in IE automatically.

You’ll find the fireshot button on the top-rightmost corner of your browser. Clicking on the right side of the button (the part with the down arrow icon) drops down a menu from which you can choose (among other choices) whether to capture only the visible area or the entire page. Whatever option you choose, you’ll be again given another set of options, some of the most useful are:
webpage-capture-fireshot-howto

  • capture & edit: The fireshot window appears and you can then edit the captured image with a lot of editing features, e.g. add lines, arrows, scribbles, text, etc..
  • capture & open in external editor: You will be prompted to choose your favorite image editor on which to edit the captured image.
  • capture & copy to clipboard: You can then use the image copied to the clipboard as you please, e.g. paste it on your document.
  • capture & save: You will be prompted to save directly to your chosen directory (as .bmp, .jpg, png, or .jpg).

I kind of like fireshot better than aviary. If I switch to Fireshot Pro, which however requires payment (~$34), it becomes even way better with a lot of cool features. For my purposes however, the free version is good enough. You can add fireshot to firefox by clicking here.

Snapper (firefox plugin)

This is a screen capture download (a firefox plugin) that works just like fireshot but without the editing features. Once installed, you’ll find red snapper fish icon at the status bar area of your firefox browser. Right click on it and you can set your preferences like:
webpage-capture-snapper

  • Simple – Click, drag, snap: Capture a portion of a page by clicking and dragging your mouse over the area you want captured.
  • Full Page – Snap the entire page: This means the whole page is captured automatically.
  • View Pane – Snap the portion of the page that is currently visible.

It’s then very easy to capture webpage with snapper. All you do is right click on any part of the page and click on the pop up menu entry ‘Start Snapping‘. Then you can save the captured image as either jpg or png. If you wish to cancel and not proceed with the snapping, you just right click and select ‘cancel snapping‘. Note that after you ‘start snapping’, you can no longer navigate the page like a normal page. You return to normal browsing after saving the snapped image or cancelling the ‘snapping’.

Snapper differs from the above 2 by the absense of an editing feature. However, this shortcoming makes snapper the lightest among the rest. You can add snapper to firefox here.

Have you also used some kind of software that also capture web page? I’m sure there are a number of other screen capturing software out there. These just happens to be my favorites. If you find or is already using something which you feel is better than the above mentioned screen capturing software, drop me a line and I’ll check it out.