Down­load any­thing to ac­cess off­line

Read web­sites, web ar­ti­cles, emails and on­line maps while out and about

Computer Active (UK) - - Contents -

Some­times it’s all too easy to for­get there was a world be­fore the in­ter­net. A time when let­ters were de­liv­ered by the Post Of­fice, maps were printed in road at­lases and your best hope of de­ci­pher­ing the menu at your favourite tav­erna on Kos was to look at the pictures. Nowa­days we rely on the in­ter­net to re­solve th­ese kind of ev­ery­day prob­lems, but what hap­pens if your in­ter­net con­nec­tion fails you? Here, we’ll ex­plain how, with just a min­i­mum of tweak­ing, you can ac­cess all your favourite web­sites and on­line tools, even when you’re sud­denly turfed off­line.

Ac­cess web­sites off­line Chrome

To ac­cess web­sites off­line in Chrome, you need to make a few ad­just­ments while you’re still on­line. Open your browser and type chrome://flags/#show-saved-copy into the ad­dress bar at the top. This will di­rect you to Chrome’s Flags page, where you will see the Show Saved Copy But­ton drop­down menu high­lighted (in yel­low). Click the drop­down menu, then se­lect En­able: Pri­mary (see screen­shot above right). Once you do this a blue ‘Re­launch now’ but­ton will ap­pear at the bot­tom­left of the browser win­dow – click it to restart Chrome.

Con­tinue to browse the in­ter­net as you nor­mally would, then the next time you’re off­line, type the ad­dress of a web­site you want to ac­cess (that you have browsed within the past two to three days). The web­site won’t load be­cause you’re off­line. In­stead you’ll see Chrome’s stan­dard ‘There is no In­ter­net con­nec­tion’ screen. But you will also see a blue ‘Show saved copy’ but­ton at the bot­tom of the screen – click it to ac­cess the web­site.

Bear in mind you’ll be limited to those pages you’ve re­cently ac­cessed and they won’t have been up­dated since. If you try to ac­cess a web page and you don’t see the ‘Show saved copy’ but­ton, it means that page is not avail­able to view off­line.

Firefox

To switch on Firefox’s off­line brows­ing mode, press the Alt key on your key­board (you’ll see the hor­i­zon­tal menu bar ap­pear at the top of the browser win­dow), then click File and Work Off­line. Un­like Chrome, Firefox’s off­line mode will au­to­mat­i­cally open any avail­able web pages with­out you hav­ing to click a but­ton first. If a page isn’t avail­able, you’ll see a white screen with a Try Again but­ton.

Save spe­cific web ar­ti­cles Pocket

If you want to be more pre­cise re­gard­ing the web pages you read off­line, then con­sider us­ing Pocket. This browser ex­ten­sion lets you save spe­cific web pages to read off­line when­ever it’s con­ve­nient (and it works with Edge and In­ter­net Ex­plorer, as well as Chrome and Firefox). To get it go to www.snipca.com/23743 and click the red Con­nect Now but­ton. This will in­stall the cor­rect ex­ten­sion for your browser (you might be prompted to con­firm the in­stal­la­tion). Pocket is also avail­able as an app for phones and tablets: An­droid www.snipca.com/23752; IOS www. snipca.com/23751.

Once you’ve added Pocket to your browser you’ll be prompted to cre­ate an ac­count (if not, go to www.snipca. com/23753). Choose to reg­is­ter with your Google ac­count, or cre­ate a user­name and

pass­word solely for Pocket, then fol­low the on­screen in­struc­tions. From now on, when­ever you want to save a web page to read off­line, click the Pocket icon at the top right of your browser. When prompted to en­ter tags, add any key­words that will help you find this page later.

To ac­cess your saved web pages, right-click the Pocket icon, then click Open Pocket. Saved web pages will be avail­able on all your de­vices (as long as you use the same lo­gin de­tails on your PC, tablet and phone).

Read and send emails Gmail

To ac­cess your emails when you’re off­line you usu­ally need to use an email client such as em Client or Out­look. How­ever, Gmail users can use a Chrome ex­ten­sion to ac­cess any email or at­tach­ment from the last 30 days.

First, while you’re still on­line, open Chrome and go to www.snipca.com/ 23761. Click the ‘Add to Chrome’ but­ton at the top right, then ‘Add app’ when prompted. You’ll see Gmail Off­line has been added to your Chrome Apps (click the Apps but­ton to ac­cess your Chrome Apps in the fu­ture – see screen­shot be­low). Click the Gmail Off­line icon (a blue logo rather than the nor­mal red), then in the pop-up win­dow click ‘Al­low off­line mail’ then Con­tinue. You’ll now see the stan­dard Gmail in­ter­face, but you should no­tice a mes­sage along the bot­tom of the screen say­ing ‘Con­ver­sa­tions back to [date and time] avail­able off­line’. This date is the cut-off point for the emails that Gmail Off­line can ac­cess when not con­nected to the in­ter­net. By de­fault, it’s set to a week, but to ex­tend this pe­riod click the gear icon (top right) and choose ‘2 weeks’ or ‘month’ from the ‘Down­load mail from past’ drop­down menu, then click Ap­ply. To send emails click the red pen­cil icon at the top of your screen and type your mes­sage – it will be sent the next time you’re on­line.

Down­load maps to your PC Map Puz­zle

Map Puz­zle ( www.map­puz­zle.se) is a pro­gram that lets you down­load maps that you can ac­cess when­ever you’re off­line.

To get it, click the Down­load but­ton, then scroll to the bot­tom of the page to the ‘Down­load Map Puz­zle v.1.6.5.exe’ link. Dou­ble-click the down­loaded file to open the pro­gram (it’s por­ta­ble so will run with­out be­ing in­stalled). First, se­lect a map ser­vice from the ‘Base (Re­quired)’ drop­down menu, click Yes when prompted, then choose a map source – we chose ‘Google Maps - Map’ (see screen­shot above). Next, type an ad­dress (or name of an area or city) into the Ad­dress bar, then click Search. You will see that Lat­i­tude and Lon­gi­tude ref­er­ence points are added to the in­ter­face (you can also en­ter your own if you know them). Click the Pre­view but­ton to see the map you’re about to down­load. Once you’re happy click Browse (just above the Down­load but­ton) to spec­ify where the map is to be saved on your PC, then click Down­load.

Trans­late a for­eign lan­guage Google Trans­late

Google Trans­late is a fan­tas­tic app for An­droid ( www.snipca. com/23759) and Ap­ple ( www. snipca.com/23760) de­vices that trans­lates spo­ken and writ­ten words across 103 dif­fer­ent lan­guages. What’s not so well known is that it can also trans­late an im­pres­sive 52 lan­guages while you’re off­line, pro­vided you’ve down­loaded the lan­guage you need first.

To do this, open the app and tap the menu icon (three hor­i­zon­tal lines at the top left), then ‘Off­line trans­la­tion’. Here you’ll see a list of all avail­able lan­guages. Those you’ve al­ready in­stalled will be listed first but may need up­dat­ing or up­grad­ing (click Up­grade or Up­date to down­load the lat­est ver­sion). Those avail­able to add will be listed be­neath th­ese in the ‘All avail­able lan­guages’ sec­tion. Click the rel­e­vant ar­row to down­load any you’d like (see screen­shot above).

En­able Chrome’s Show Saved Copy But­ton to view web­sites off­line

Map Puz­zle lets you down­load de­tailed maps di­rectly from Google Maps and other sources that you can use when you’re off­line

Gmail Off­line gives you off­line ac­cess to emails and at­tach­ments from the past 30 days

Click the down­load ar­row next to any lan­guage to add it to Google Trans­late

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