Cool is saving all the pages you visit using Safari—exporting them as PDFs creates a visual web page history that you can search, email, print. Smile On My Mac’s “Browse Back” wins Friday’s nifty utility of the day award.
It seems like ages since I used Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, but there’s one feature MSIE has that I liked:
Storing, archiving web pages. Each web page could be archived in a library, including links, graphic elements, text, the works.
Even if a site’s home page changed regularly, as it does with Mac360, MSIE took a snapshot of the page that could be retrieved later.
Safari doesn’t really have such a feature and similar functions in other browsers are limited, not accessible in Spotlight, and not any fun.
Certainly there’s a need for such a feature. Having it handy and workable on all major browsers would put a smile on my face.
Enter Smile On My Mac software and their nifty new utility, Browse Back. Find a need and fill it. That seems to be what those folks do.
Browse Back is discrete utility that captures your web page history and creates a reliable resource, searchable, for web research, and becomes a great web page reference.
Think of it this way: you browse to different web pages regularly and find some you’d like to archive or save.
Safari, as with most browsers, stores the links in the History. The whole web page might be stored in Safari’s cache, or not. Usually, all you have is a record of the link to the page you viewed.
Browse Back captures those web pages, graphics and all, and stores them. You don’t even know it’s happening.
The Browse Back interface remains hidden, as do all the thumbnails it creates. When you activate Browse Back, it overlays your Mac’s screen with a stack of thumbnails, which represent each of the pages you viewed and which are stored in History.
Screen controls to navigate the thumbnails are straightforward; forward, backward, to the end, to the beginning. As you move your cursor over the web page thumbnails, they separate for easier viewing.
Click on a thumbnail and that page opens. Each thumbnail can be exported as a PDF to be sent via email.
The Browse Back interface also lets you search in the overlay interface, and quickly view basic page information such as title, date accessed, and the URL.
When you think about it, it’s exactly this kind of function you’d expect to be built-in to Tiger for every type of document, not only web pages.
Browse Back becomes an excellent way to make a reliable resource for each web page you visit. Quickly retrieve the page, export the page, save the page; complete with graphics, links, ads, and the ability to search using keywords.
It works in both Safari and Firefox (support also for MSIE for both Mac users still using it).
Smile On My Mac software has a number of utilities we’ve reported on in the past and will in the future. For example, ‘disclabel’ may be the best OS X CD labeling software available.
PageSender gets kudos for doing faxes the way you really wish OS X would do faxes.
Yet to be reviewed, yet very promising utilities include PDFpen, which allows you to edit PDF files, fill out PDF forms, combine or split PDF documents, and even reorder the pages in a PDF document.
I have a soft spot of nifty utilities that do something so obvious and so useful you have to ask, “isn’t that something OS X already does?”
OS X lets you save a document, including browser pages, as a PDF document. That’s handy. But it doesn’t do so automatically, so Browse Back wins today’s utility award.
Click Here for the features list and download link.