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Scrapbooks are one of the great joys of childhood (and sometimes adult life too!): they are often where we store what is most precious to us. As you trawl the Internet, from time to time you come across little gems that you want to keep. You can add them to your Bookmarks or Favorites list. However, the World Wide Web being what it is, the next time you want to find your favorite resource, the link is broken and the precious resource is lost. However, if you use the Firefox browser, help is at hand with your very own digital Scrapbook.
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The Scrapbook add-on for Firefox
One of the reasons why Firefox has been gaining in popularity as an Internet browser is the ability for users to tailor their browsing experience (see for details) by the use of add-ons and extensions.
The Scrapbook add-on for Firefox works just like a real Scrapbook, keeping all your favourite web pages in one safe place. It works by storing the web pages locally on your computer, so unlike Bookmarks or Favorites, once you have placed a page there, it cannot be lost if the external resource moves or is deleted. Also, if you use a laptop that you take out of wireless Internet range, or don’t have “always on" Internet, then you can work on the resources offline.
To find the Scrapbook add-on, just Google “Scrapbook add-on." From the resulting website, you can download and install the Scrapbook add-on. As Firefox updates itself, it will look for new versions of all your add-ons to make sure that you have the latest version and the add-on is compatible with the version of the browser you are using.
Once installed, Scrapbook adds its own menu to the menu bar to allow you to add and retrieve the web pages that you have added to your scrapbook, in a similar fashion to the existing Bookmarks menu.
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The biggest limitation of Scrapbook
In use, Scrapbook’s greatest strength can be its greatest frustration. Because it stores the resources locally on your PC, if you move to a different PC, then your precious Scrapbook is unavailable. If having a mobile Scrapbook is important to you, then you can use Firefox Portable on a USB stick, and take your Scrapbook with you. Install your Scrapbook add-on to Firefox Portable (see http://www.brighthub.com/office/home/reviews/28332.aspx for more information on Firefox Portable) and then it will store your resources on the USB stick itself.
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The Scrapbook add-on has won awards. It’s easy to see why. It’s easy to install and use, and meets a real need. It works just like its real-world analog. And of course, it’s free.