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I am trying to screenshot all the pages of a textbook i have online. I am opening the book in safari, all i want is to automate in some way the ability to take a fixed location screenshot at intervals save it to downloads or desktop(wherever) and then have a my cursor click the next page button and retake a screenshot a multitude of times would this be possible in anyway?

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  • Without a URL to the target web page, it's not that easy to tell you how to handle that part and without it I would not even start to devise a solution. Have to ascertain the Safari side of the equation before integrating it into an overall solution. Also, what version of macOS are you running? – user3439894 Mar 15 at 16:50
  • yea i understand.from what I see changing the page within the book the URL is not changing. I am using Big sur – Zedris Mar 15 at 17:09
  • RE: "from what I see changing the page within the book the URL is not changing" -- That may not matter at all, however, without looking at it I cannot say whether or not it can easily be automated. What's the URL? – user3439894 Mar 15 at 17:12
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You can do this with the new screenshot key command - Cmd ⌘ Shift ⇧ 5 set to 'Capture Selected Portion'.

enter image description here

Once set, it will capture nominally to Desktop, each titled ScreenShot date/time [eg ScreenShot 2021-03-15 at 4.42.15 pm, so they will file alphabetically. You can capture using Return/Enter or by clicking the Capture button. The selection area is remembered between snaps.

You could potentially automate this, but it's a swift process, so I doubt you'd really need to.

If you need to change the file save location, see How do I change the location of macOS screen captures?

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  • I believe the OP is looking for a totally automated solution, and not to do it manually. – user3439894 Mar 15 at 16:54
  • I think so too, but fumbling through the html is going to take more faffing than just sitting & repeating this action. Click next page, keystroke, keystroke, ad nauseam:) It is the kind of task QuicKeys used to be perfect for. Automator is nowhere near as good.[imo] – Tetsujin Mar 15 at 16:56
  • I done this before, and if the UI elements of the target web page are JavaScript'able then it actually is quite easy and using a command line utility to do the screen shots is the way to go. This can all be done in a Run AppleScript action in an Automator workflow of just an AppleScript script. Need the URL to get the necessary Information to implement the JavaScript portion. – user3439894 Mar 15 at 17:03
  • ah thank you I would have hopped for a more automated situation since its like 2000 pages but this is better than nothing. – Zedris Mar 15 at 17:05
  • @Zedris, RE: "ah thank you I would have hopped for a more automated situation since its like 2000 pages but this is better than nothing." -- You are giving up too quickly! If I can look at the target web page I most likely can provide an automated solution. – user3439894 Mar 15 at 17:09
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Yes it is feaseble, you can do it using automator to:

[Repeat X times]

1 - Screenshot the whole screen.

2 - Activate your favorite image editor (ie Photoshop)

3 - Paste

4 - Activate Safari back

5 - Click

[End Repeat]

Later you will crop the image to the portion of the screen you want, and export each layer as a single page. Photoshop has a built in script for doing that.

Now the there are some issues, like waiting for the page to load, and cliking the right place. You can instruct automator to wait a few seconds, if you trust your connection and the textbook server - or else you might end up with a very messi situation. The click is also tricky, you can use third party apps like "cliclick" to set an absolute point like (1200x,800y), providing the "next page" button is always on the same position. Also, you may want to restrict it to, say 50 loops, because the images will eat a lot of memory if you do 2000 pages in a row, and the system can crash.

I would choose to avoid the click and loop. You can do everything else using a short cut. I know, it is tiresome, 2000 times the shortcut + a click, but if it is not something you do on a daily basis, I belive it worth the trouble.

But since you are pirating stuff, don't you think it is easyer to look it up on piratebay or something? Like others have said before, show us the URL so we can provide better answers.

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