How to share a Web page in OS X

SafariIconXIf you are browsing the Web and wish to share the page you are visiting with others, then you can do so through several different means.

Some of these might be preferred for simplicity and ease of quickly sending a link, whereas others might be better for preserving what you are looking at.

1. Copy the URL

The classic way of sharing a Web page is to simply copy its URL from your browser’s address bar, and then send it to someone in an e-mail or chat message; however, this may not always be the desired option since the content of a loaded Web page may change, or at least appear differently when opened on another system. One easy way to do this in most browsers is to press Command-L to select all contents of the address field, followed by pressing Command-C to copy it.

2. Take a screen shot

A second option you can do is take a screenshot of your current Web browser by pressing Shift-Command-4, then the space bar to enter Window Screenshot mode, and finally clicking the browser window. This option is great for preserving exactly what you see in your Web browser, and as such is good for troubleshooting an issue or two; however, it will make an image at the relatively low quality of your screen resolution (unless your Mac has a Retina display), which will make it grainy when zoomed in or printed.

3. Print to PDF

Most Web browsers offer an option to print your current Web page, and by doing so you can choose the option to print to PDF from the PDF menu in the print dialogue, and save the image as a PDF or open it directly in Preview. This will preserve the content you see in the Web page, though sometimes it may change the layout slightly or omit some images like background; however, at least in Safari you should be able to check the box in the print dialogue to print these backgrounds and preserve them.

4. Embed in an e-mail

While not an officially supported method of sharing a page, you can also drag Web content to a Mail message window, which will embed it in the message. This can be done more easily by pressing Command-A in your Web browser to select all content, and then dragging the selection. Keep in mind that when you do this, some details of the page such as backgrounds may not transfer, and you might see some custom text styling disappear.

5. Use built-in sharing options

This feature’s details depend on the browser you use, but most browsers will support some sort of option to share your current Web page. In Safari you have the built-in Share button (or Share submenu in the File menu, or even if you right-click the address field) that will send a link to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and any other social service you have enabled in the system preferences. In addition, it includes options to send a URL via Messages or Mail, or even Apple’s AirDrop service.

If you use Safari or Chrome, you can press Command-i or Shift-Command-i, respectively, to quickly send a link to the current page in Mail. In Safari, this will also include a PDF of the current page. While Firefox does not have a hotkey bound to this function, it is still available in Firefox’s File menu.

6 thoughts on “How to share a Web page in OS X

  1. David Anders

    My account is how I share many of your posts. On my “Mac Tech Support” scoopit

  2. Ephraim Fithian

    In Safari on Mac, under the File menu, select Share, hold shift key, select email, and it becomes Email Link to this Page. It then opens Mail so address can be added along with any comments, including the link.

  3. Kurt J. Meyer

    The Safari cmd-I shortcut allows to send the web page as an email. It opens a new mail with that link and offers four options there: Link only, PDF, HTML and Reeder.

  4. B. Jefferson Le Blanc

    An option you didn’t mention for saving web pages – as web page archive files, is available in Safari under the File menu>Save As… . You can save as Page Source or Web Archive (the default). The advantage of a web archive is that it includes all the content visible on the page and the formatting. I used to save MacFixIt articles, among other things, as web archives. Then I discovered the Save as PDF option in the print dialog and switched to that format for saving web pages. The PDF will also include all the content and formatting and links remain live. PDFs, unlike web archives, are not browser dependent and you can be sure, if you want to share them, that they can be opened on most computers.