“… if it’s online, in one way or another it can be copied”
Since the beginning, the idea of having the internet was as a result of the need to share information freely.
Over the years website developers have come up with several ways to ‘disable’ copying of information from websites. But if you know what you are doing and where to look no such barriers can prevent getting what you want.
Personally, I would not advise any of my clients to implement these restrictions on their websites since it only gives your visitors a bad experience.
Below are some of the ways you can copy content from a website that has disabled text selection and/or right-clicking.
2. Copy from website source code
Websites are written in hypertext markup language (HTML). This code can be viewed by right-clicking on the website if not disabled and selecting “View source”
For beginners, this will be confusing and overwhelming and you might require basic HTML skills.
However, if the website has disabled right-click simply put below on your browser followed by the website/page URL
Once you have access to the code you can easily get the information you want and copy-paste as you desire.
3. Select from inspect element.
I will recommend this method for copying a small amount of text, it’s tedious. If the website is right-click enabled but you can’t select the text simply right click on the text and choose “Inspect element” A small window will open with the web page source codes.
The only task will be to find the text within the codes mostly held by “<p></p>” code which you can comfortably copy. I know it’s confusing but check out below, to help you understand
I know it’s confusing but check out below, to help you understand
Copy from inspect element code
4. Using Proxy Sites
There are many websites offering this service, search for “free proxy website” on your favourite search engine and begin to experiment.
5. Print website to PDF
In this case, you need to install print-to-PDF drivers such as PDFCreator. After installing the drivers you can easily print that web page to PDF which you can then copy the content you require.
6. Disable from CSS user-select property
CSS, i.e. Cascading Style Sheets, is what defines how the website looks likes i.e. the colours, fonts e.t.c This tool can also be used to disable text selection on a website using the property.
Using inspect element window locate this property on the CSS. If you find it ‘untick’ to disable it.
7. Take a screenshot of the content.
This is particularly useful with images where you can take a screenshot of the image/s from the restricted website and save it in your computer.
In addition, using OCR. i.e “Optical Character Recognition” technology one can extract all visible text as editable text and copy the text.
It’s best practice to always acknowledge the source once you copy any information from a website, that way you won’t be stealing.
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