If you aren’t on Ravelry you might not find this post very interesting, but the lesson I hope to teach in it is applicable elsewhere online.
So you’ve taken the time to input all your needles, your stash, and your projects. You’ve marked items in your queue. Sure you know how to print your needles and queue and download a spreadsheet of your stash. But you don’t yet see a nice button to let you take your project out of ravelry and save it.
Today I will write briefly on one way to make a copy of your projects. It’s not perfect, but it’s a step and will let you get some of your information out. It’s the method I use.
Since I started using Ravelry (two years ago tomorrow — wow, time flies) I have written less and less in my traditional, paper-based project journal and started to type my project thoughts only into the notes field of my Rav project. While I don’t see myself rewriting this information, I can see myself eventually pasting a copy into my project journal. I’d also like to be able to email some of my projects to people who aren’t on Ravelry, such as my mom.
Here is a screen shot from my mac of what my February Lady Sweater project page looks like today in a web browser, how it’s designed to be seen.
Well, isn’t that nice? Oh dear, I can’t see everything. I’d have to scroll to see it all, that’s my mac (an older one). Sure, I could go over to E’s machine which has a higher resolution and take another screen shot but that’s not always possible or desired.
What can I do now while waiting for the ever-so-busy Casey (Rav code monkey) to close out issue #660 and make it easy to download a copy of my Rav Project Page?
I see two options.
1) Screen shots.
2) Create a PDF.
Both options have benefits and disadvantages.
Option 1 will create the prettiest solution — it will keep the colours and style sheet nice. But you may need to install simple software to help if your computer doesn’t support a very large screen resolution. Or you could just scroll around and take multiple shots and then stitch them together in an image editing application (I’ve done this in a word processor, you *can* do it, but it’s time consuming).
I actually prefer the second option, creating a PDF. Depending on your computer you may not need to install anything, and there are free software options out there for you. While it may not create a perfect copy, for how I like to create and store things, PDFs make the most sense to me.
An example of what my mac created today can be found as a PDF here. See, it’s ugly — but for what I want, it works. What do I want? I just want to have a record of the start and end dates, yarn, needles, and any notes I made. I’m actually not very concerned with the images. I plan to deal with them separately.
I’ll come back to screen shots and images in future posts.
If you want to go the PDF route it’s super easy and once you learn how, pretty much whatever you can print you can turn into a PDF.
For Macs really easy, as it’s built into the print dialogue:
Go to the page you want to PDF. Select Print (either apple-P or File -> Print). Then save as PDF with a file name that makes sense and in a place that makes sense for you. I like to save them by the date they were finished so this file name would be
20090515-FLS.pdf. An image of what my dialogue box looks like (I have 10.4) is available here.
But you see I miss something. By doing this I don’t get the blog post or the comments (on other tabs). If I want to retain this information I’ll just click over to those and go through the process again and name the file something different, perhaps for the comments it would become
For PC’s — something I assume most of you use, at least my web stats say 75% of you are– then if you don’t have a PDF writer installed you need to do that first. I recommend PDF 995 or Cute PDF. What these do are create a printer that will make the PDFs. So you would select print and then choose not your paper printer but the PDF one. If you click on the image to your left, it will be bigger and you can see in a bit more detail what I mean. See how the printer name says “PDF995”? That’s going to run the program to make the PDF. After you say print it will bring up a dialogue box to name the file. These applications are free, but at least PDF995 has a nag screen unless you pay them, I haven’t used CutePDF very much and can’t remember if it has any nagging features. There are other applications out there, but these are two off the top of my head. Please see my disclaimer below about them. ;) I could go into an in-depth explanation of how these things work, but let me summarize it as: they print to a PDF instead of a piece of paper.
Oh wait, so does that mean you could print to paper instead of PDF? Of course you can! You could then cut it into whatever size you want and paste it into your journal. Then you could include a yarn sample, a swatch, the ball band, a thank you note, really whatever you’d like. Or you could put it into an envelope and mail it to your little sister who refuses to go online ever. You don’t have to keep it electronic.
Yes there are other applications that cost lost of money and may (or may not) result in “prettier” PDFs. I’m not going to go there today. Trust me, you don’t want me to.
I hope this is helpful and gets you thinking about different ways you can create a copy for yourself of your online life.