Extract a thread as a text file

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Hi!

Is there any way to copy a whole thread out to a text file? This would allow me to browse the result on my Kindle.

David
I'll first mention the "Export Posts" facility, but I think this only exports your OWN posts, rather than an entire thread.


What I sometimes do (On ANY website, not just here) is to press the "print" button on my web browser. I do have a real printer which puts things onto paper, but on my windows setup I have a free piece of software called cutePDF writer. (There are other similar software printers available).

Well, that generates a PDF, not text file, but it does at least maintain the formatting and images, which a text file cannot. I don't know whether it would be useable on your Kindle device.

If the thread you are interested in is very long, you may want to change the number of posts per page - I'm not sure what the default is, but if you change it to a larger number (50 is the max) then there will be fewer pages to print (each page would have to be be printed to its own individual file).
(This post was last modified: 2021-07-26, 07:14 AM by Typoz.)
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  • stephenw
Thanks for that - it is such a shame that "Export Posts only exports the author's posts - which seems the least useful option!

Kindle works best with pure text files, but I'll explore what I can do with CutePDF writer.

David
(2021-07-26, 09:19 AM)David001 Wrote: Thanks for that - it is such a shame that "Export Posts only exports the author's posts - which seems the least useful option!

Kindle works best with pure text files, but I'll explore what I can do with CutePDF writer.

David

One other angle I explored then. Using the Firefox browser - at least on windows - there's an option called 'Reader View' - press F9 or use the 'view' menu. That gives a simplified, mainly text-based view. Then from the  'file' menu, select 'save page as' - or just press CTRL-S. It actually tries to save the HTML, but you can try to save it as text and it may be easier to use than a PDF.
(This post was last modified: 2021-07-26, 10:31 AM by Typoz.)
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  • David001
I've just installed the download thread plugin which dragonexpert and I put together a few months back.

You should now see a "Download Thread" option at the very bottom left of each thread. You can download threads in various formats. Text is not one of them, but if you choose "HTML", then you can open up the saved file in a word processor and save it as plain text (the layout won't be perfect, but it'll probably be "good enough").
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  • Typoz
Thanks Laird,

That works really well, and of course it immediately makes it possible to search large threads like
Darwin-Unhinged-The-Bugs-in-Evolution, that interests me. The thread comes down as a ZIP file which is very convenient since explorer can search through a ZIP file just as if it were a real folder. The ZIP file weighs in at over 700K bytes!
(This post was last modified: 2021-07-27, 10:33 AM by David001.)
I'm glad that that works well for you, David. 700kb of content is testimony to the interest with which this community approaches that question! Regarding searching threads, there is an online alternative: notice the "Search Thread" button just above "New Reply" at the bottom of each thread (above the Quick Reply box).
P.S. It looks like there is a minor bug in that, often, formats other than the one specified are also contained in the ZIP file. That will need to be fixed at some point.
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  • Typoz
(2021-07-27, 10:44 AM)Laird Wrote: P.S. It looks like there is a minor bug in that, often, formats other than the one specified are also contained in the ZIP file. That will need to be fixed at some point.

I also noticed a related bug, that the very latest post(s) may not be present across all of the formats. Possibly only the selected format is up-to-date, but it's a very minor issue.

I had a look at the csv file but when loaded into MS Excel, the date didn't seem to be interpreted as anything meaningful. Pretty sure that's just MS living inside its own bubble though. Edit: OK, I found how to convert the date to Excel.
Code:
=(C2/86400)+DATE(1970,1,1)

where C2 is the cell containing the Unix date.
(This post was last modified: 2021-07-27, 03:24 PM by Typoz.)
Laird,

Since you are (one of) the authors of the software, Do you think it would be worth adding a plain text option to the possible formats.

David

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