Save/Print from this Forum

Sometimes i’d like to save a topic from this forum (in DEVONthink Pro), but i cant find a nice way to do this. Is there no printable and therefore saveable view of the forum (All Posts on one Page, no images)?
Louise. :unamused:

Hi louise,

I very much appreciate and support your excellent suggestion for some kind of printable/savable forum view here, preferably for both individual posts and entire threads.

I haven’t found an ideal way (from Safari) to select specifically desired forum content for import into DTP as text or RTF. There are many valuable posts I’d like to personally archive which are otherwise awkward to locate if not altogether lost in a relatively short time.

'Tis a sad irony this forum integrates so poorly with the products it’s helping to support. I’ve definitely noticed the negative effect that’s had on my forum participation.


DEVONtechnologies is using a “standard” forum and of course didn’t create the software that runs it, although it is one of the better forum packages available. The searching features of the forum software are rudimentary, so it’s better to capture interesting material to a DT Pro database, where searching and textual analysis are much more powerful.

I often capture interesting posts or threads into my database. Services > DEVONthink Pro > Take Plain Note results in a compact text document without images, and the URL to the original page is also captured. For some posts that involve images or scripts I may capture as PDF, rich text or as an HTML page.

This is a simple way to accumulate tips and tricks, scripts and notes on interesting uses of DT Pro. I often add comments for search purposes, or notes on my own usage of a tip.

One thing to remember. As the applications have evolved rapidly, many earlier postings about functions are no longer applicable. So when I encounter a post that’s no longer useful, I try to delete it from my forum reference collection.

It’s also possible to use DEVONagent to do searches on the forum site. In practice, though, as I look at the forum very frequently, I prefer capturing interesting posts or threads individually.

I don’t see how your response addresses what I thought louise was asking/suggesting, Bill. For me anyway, the struggle is how to cleanly add forum posts to DTP from Safari that’s the central issue, not what to do with them after they’re there.

The main problem I have using the Take Rich/Plain Note services to capture forums posts/threads is that the formatting in DTP looks sloppy when including the post’s author and date (as I like to do). In other words, you can’t highlight a clean selection of an entire post (or thread) for capturing. It doesn’t matter which of the available board styles you’re using; I’ve already tried that.

I realize that “Web > (View) Text” in DEVONagent can be used to display a printable/savable text representation of forum pages yet that’s only a possible solution for folks with DA and still not as elegant as if the forum directly supported printable post/thread views (as I understand louise’s implied suggestion).

[edit: running the “Add text to DEVONthink” script from Safari works similar to using DA but the result still looks unsatisfying without any post-capture editing (which is too tedious for me to consider a usable solution)]

louise and sjk:

There’s very little difference between captures made from DEVONagent’s Web > Text view and plain text captures using Services > DEVONthink Pro > Take Plain Note.

I haven’t bothered about the appearance of my captures from the forum, because merely having searchable and readable content in my database has satisfied me. I don’t print out the material, and any editing only involves adding notes, for example, about how I used a tip or solved a problem.

Perhaps it would be a neat feature to have a capture routine that creates an attractive text layout of the HTML content of postings, such as Topic, Thread, Date, Author and Body. That capture routine would have to be specific to the HTML layout of the forum, and so would take some development time. It should allow the option of capturing a full thread or individual post(s) and, of course, should also capture the related URL.

I will note this as a possible feature to Eric.

Indeed my question was just about the appearence 8)

That would be interesting (also one could modify this for capturing from other Web-Sites) - what i thought about first was a change in the forum software, so that it would provide a clean print-view (i dont want to use it for printing - but in most forums its called like that)

Louise :wink:

That’s a good suggestion. I have no idea if phpBB supports this. But, as I want to look for a new template anyway, I’ll see what I can go. Nothing promised, though.



SMF forums allow this - there’s a ‘print view’ when you open any thread… it seems like phpBB would too, somewhere buried in the admin options?

SMF’s printable view lacks a URL reference for quickly accessing the original thread.

I prefer the style of vBulletin’s “Show Printable Version” and also like its “View Single Post” (although it’s not a printable version). I’ve been satisfied with that combination for archiving forum content in DTP.

I’ve never noticed printable post/thread views on any phpBB forum I’ve visited and it’s something I usually look for.

Neither did I. But i found this Printer-friendly topic mod on the phpBB site. Perhaps DEVONtechnologies could give it a look.

While this statement is strictly true, it is tangental, imho. If you capture a SMF print view in DTP, the print view remains ‘live’, that is, it continues to be updated as new replies are added to the topic. One can easily ‘get to’ the live page where the embedded links are by clicking the icon above the body in DTP and if you wish you can easily wipe out the “action=printpage;” in the browser’s url where it takes you to the real thing. So it’s not just a snapshot in time of what the page was like when you did the capture.

I’m not defending that implementation- it certainly could be better, but it’s certainly more useful than dealing with avatars, smilies, divs and the other deritus contained in the primary page. They should have a link to the real page in that view, and even embedded links, but hey it’s close enough for me.

Somehow I doubt that catering to info-hoarders like us is top priority for them! :smiley:

Good find, Louise! It’s exacly that kind of poking around at their site that gave us the user-requested RSS feed we have today. (Just about the only worthwhile contribution I’ve made to this forum :wink:)