How to Copy Text From a Protected Web Page

Some websites have enabled a JavaScript command that restricts your ability to copy content.
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In this era of digital connectivity, it is difficult to ensure that the original content you place on your website is not distributed or used elsewhere without your knowledge. As part of an effort to combat this form of copyright violation, some websites feature "protected" content. The term is used to describe websites where it is impossible to right-click text or select on-page content for the purpose of copying and pasting it. If you need to copy text from a protected website, you have to take a creative approach.

Tip

Some websites have enabled a JavaScript command that restricts your ability to copy content. You can work around this by disabling JavaScript in your browser or accessing the HTML code for the page in question.

Basics of Protected Web Pages

When website publishers create protected content, they are essentially implementing a JavaScript code that does not allow users to interact with on-page text on their websites. This JavaScript code is, for lack of a better phrase, embedded in the website, meaning that the copy protections remain enabled irrespective of the browser or platform you use to view it. Before you can copy text from a protected website, you must work around this particular impediment.

Exploring Ways to Allow Copy and Paste

Perhaps the most effective method at your disposal for circumventing this issue is to disable JavaScript on your personal browser. By doing this, you ensure that the website is not able to deploy this particular content-protection tool. To disable JavaScript in your browser, you must first access the browser settings controls.

For example, if you are using the Safari browser, your first step is to go to select Preferences from the Safari drop-down menu at the top of the screen. In the Preferences window, click the Security tab and then remove the check mark in front of Enable JavaScript.

If you are using the Firefox browser, type about:config into the URL bar at the top of the screen. Firefox provides you with a warning that you must accept before moving on with the process. When this is complete, a window appears showing a lengthy list of extensions currently active in Firefox. Scroll down until you reach the javascript.enabled preference item. Double-click this phrase to deactivate javascript within the browser.

After JavaScript is disabled, you should be able to work around any protections included on the website you are visiting. It is in your best interest to reactivate JavaScript when you finish your copying, as some popular websites are unable to function properly without it.

Assessing Alternate Methods

Although you can search for an allow-copy extension download, you can also take the copy directly from the code of the website itself without having to download any browser add-ons.

If you can click and drag over text on the web page, select the specific content you want to copy and then right-click. From there, click the Inspect Element option in the menu. At this point, a window appears that displays the specific content you selected as part of the website's source code. You should be able to copy and paste it as needed.

If you can't select the specific batch of content due to on-page restrictions, right-click anywhere on the page and select the View Page Source command to display the full HTML code for the page. Scroll through the code until you reach the desired content and copy and paste from there.

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