Tip of the Day – Firefox Screenshot Utility

Image: Firefox screenshot utility on context menu

Once upon a time web pages were simple enough to save them locally for reference or future lookup with the browser’s built-in tools. And to just preserve how the web page looks, ‘print to PDF’ was my first choice. The problem with printing to PDF these days is, however, that the browser tries to format the web page for A4/letter format, which often destroys the layout of the page. In many cases, parts of the web page are missing or horribly distorted, and content is cut between A4/letter pages. Pretty much unusable. But have you noticed that Firefox has a handy ‘screenshot utility’ that does the job perfectly?

The twist of Firefox’ built in screenshot utility vs. non-browser screenshot utilities is that it does not only save what is currently visible in the browser window but the complete web page, even if it’s many ‘windows’ long. Even complex web pages with dozens and dozens of images and a length that would quire many A4/letter pages are not a problem. Firefox just makes a very long PNG formatted image out of the complete page with content and formatting beautifully preserved. Perfect to remember in a few decades how the web used to ‘look’ like. It’s not possible to preserve how the page ‘feels’ this way, as the active content is ‘frozen’ in the image. But I guess that is acceptable for most use cases. And if not you can still make a screen-cast video.

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