Saving for Posterity

Filed under: Technology — Alicia @ February 28, 2008

So far I’ve been lucky. All my favorite online patterns are still there, but no one knows when a website is going to disappear, so here’s an article on how to save your favorite patterns as PDFs, or print them without all the adds, menu bars, and sidebars.

Step 1: Isolate your pattern

Here’s a screenshot from Knitty’s Abotanicity pattern:

Screenshot of pattern on a website.

As you can see, it has banner ads, a side bar, a menu and a header graphic. It’s all nice, but you don’t want to save most of that information for posterity. So we’ll get rid of all of that with Aardvaark.

Aardvark comes as a Firefox extension, or as a bookmarklet for Safari, and Internet Explorer 7. This handy extension lets you alter a page to your liking. Once you activate Aardvark, by clicking in the bookmarklet or via Tools>Start Aardvaark in Firefox, you can use your mouse and the keyboard to select your pattern and remove unwanted items:

  • “w”: Wider selection (the opposite is “n” for narrow)
  • “i”: isolate this part (remove all else)
  • “r”: remove selected
  • “d”: de-widthify (remove the width from the selection so it stretches screen-wide)
  • “h”: help in case you forget the commands
  • “q”: quit when you are done

For my pattern I place my mouse on top of the pattern text, and then clicked “w” about three times, until the entire pattern text was selected (see red outline):

Pattern selected screenshot

You can scroll up or down to make sure you got everything selected, and then click “i” (isolate) to remove everything else:

Isolated content with Aardvark

You can then click “w” to make sure it won’t print or save in a narrow column.

Once you are happy with the results, click “q” (you don’t want to print or save the red outline).

Step 2: Print or Save as PDF

If you have a mac, simply go to File > Print and select PDF > Save as PDF:

Print screen from

And violà! You can also simply choose to print instead of save as PDF.

If you are on Windows, you’ll need to install a little app called PrimoPDF, which basically lets you do the same thing. Or if you have Adobe Acrobat installed, use the PDFwriter from the printer menu.

1 Comment

  1. Hola Alicia,
    Otra de tus buenas ideas, había leido algo sobre como imprimir patrones de Knitty, en el forum de Rav, pero tu lo presentas fantástico. Gracias!!!
    Lo de los pdf ya es para novatas novatas, pero una buena idea, sobretodo si estás de vacaciones sin internet, en una playa lejana (en nuestra casita de la playa no tengo ni teléfono, ni internet). ¡Buén finde!

    Comment by prunila — March 1, 2008 @ 4:11 am

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