How to Convert Web Pages to Plain Text

By Jay Leon

Web pages are written in a markup language such as HTML. When all you need is the text content of a page, convert it into a text file. You do not need to use an HTML-to-text converter, although such programs exist. Some browsers give you the option to save only the text in Web pages. This omits code, graphics and other content. Saving a Web page as text may significantly reduce its file size.

Firefox

Step 1

Type the Web page address in the location bar near the top of the Firefox window, and press "Enter." (If the location bar is not visible, click "View" and then "Toolbars" and select "Navigation Toolbar.") If the Web page is on your hard drive, click "File" instead, select "Open" and open the file on your computer.

Step 2

Click the "File" menu. Click "Save Page As" or press "Ctrl" + "S." If you are viewing a page within a frame, choose "Save Frame As" instead.

Step 3

Navigate to a folder in which to save the file. Click the pull-down list next to "Save as type." This displays the supported file types. Select "Text Files."

Step 4

Type a name for the text document. Click the "Save" button.

Internet Explorer

Step 1

Go to the Web page you want to save as a text file. Use "Open" in the "File" menu to open a page if it is located on your computer.

Step 2

Click "Save" from the "File" menu.

Step 3

Enter a name for the new text file. Select "Text File" as the format.

Step 4

Click "Save."

Copy and Paste

Step 1

Open the HTML file in your Web browser.

Step 2

Click and drag the mouse pointer over the areas that you want to save. Click "Edit" on the menu and then click "Select All" if you want to copy all the text.

Step 3

Click "Edit" on the menu bar and then click "Copy."

Step 4

Open a blank document in a text application such as Notepad or WordPad. Click "Edit" and then select "Paste" to transfer the text you copied. Save the document as a text file.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can select any text on the page if copying is not disabled. If it is disabled, turn off JavaScript in your browser first.