9/10/12
6:45 am

MacMost Now 759: Emailing Web Pages and Links

Mountain Lion offers four different ways to send web pages from Safari through Mail. You can send a plain link, as before, or send the page as HTML, a PDF or Reader content only. The trick is knowing where to select which of the four options you want.

Video Transcript (Click to Expand)
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let me show you how to email web pages and links to web pages using Safari and Mail in Mountain Lion.

So Mountain Lion changed the way that you share pages through email. There are some new features and if you are used to just emailing links you need to know how to set it up if you need to do that. Let me show you.

Now say you want to email this web page. The way you do it now in Mountain Lion is you use the Share button. The Share button appears here. You click on it and you get options. Now you get a lot of these same options if you go to File and Share here. So you can go either way to email. When you say Email this Page it will open up a composition window in the Mail app.

Now, of course, you have to have the Mail app all configured. If you are somebody who uses say web based email like web based Yahoo or web based Gmail then of course you continue to copy and pasting as you did before. But for those of us who use the Mail app or even another mail app like Outlook, as long as you have it set as your default it should actually open a composition window.

Now in Mail you actually have several options. Now your intention here may have been actually to mail a link to the web page. That's how it used to work in the past. You notice it actually has the entire web page in here. How do I change that? Well, you'll see this little thing here called Send Web Content As and you have four options now under Mountain Lion. So what you want to do if you just want to email a link go to Link Only. Then it works as it did before where it just sends a copy of the link. Even better it will remember the default setting here. So if you set it to Web Only the first time then from then on every time that you share as an email it will assume that you want Web Only and you can operate as normal.

So this is how you do it. You would paste in the email address here and then you would type anything else you want in addition to the link in the body of the message and hit send.

If you want to try one of these other things they are quite useful. For instance web page itself will actually send the web as an email, an html email. An even better way to send it that's much more compatible across browsers and platforms is a pdf. It is actually going to compile the web page into a pdf file.

Another option is to send it as a Reader Page. So what is Reader. Well Reader will actually just take the article text, assuming it is some sort of article or blogpost or something like that, and actually put that in there. So it is very similar to if we would go back to Safari and click on the Reader link and you can see it right under here. Click on Reader and then you get the Reader content. So it is a way to basically send somebody an article without including all the rest of the stuff on the page.

Now here I sent all four variations to myself so you can see what I get. As a link only I just get the link in an email message. Pretty simple.

If I go to Reader I get what looks like reader content. Just the article itself. All the images included with links and a link to the web page.

As a pdf I get a file there. I can select it and use Spotlight here to preview it. You can see that I get something very close to the Reader content here as a pdf. So a little different than if you were to print the page and save it as a pdf from printing and then email that to somebody.

Then if I do it as a web page you can see here that I get what looks like the whole web page even with a lot of active elements. It leaves off a few things so it is not complete but it gives a pretty good representation of the page.

Of course if you are in the middle of composing an email already one of the easiest things to do might be to just go in here, select the address, copy it, and go into the email and paste it in. It is pretty simple to do and most email clients will interpret a full URL as something that is clickable. So you don't have to worry about making it a link that should happen automatically on the other end if it doesn't happen on yours.

Now the system is far from perfect. I found some weird quirks. For instance if in Mail if you have yourself set to send only plain text emails it looks like it sends the web page and the reader content as normal but actually it is sending a plain text version which actually in and of itself is kind of useful. You should try that if you are a fan of send plain text email. Also I noticed if I click on reader to open the reader content on the web page and then click on share, it will actually send the web page as the reader content not as the actual web page content. And the same thing if you are doing Reader it will actually send a reader version of the reader content which is really strange.

So it's not exactly bug free but it seems to work pretty well no matter what you want to do.

So I hope you found this useful. Until next time this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 7 Responses to “MacMost Now 759: Emailing Web Pages and Links”

    RobbL
    9/10/12 @ 10:07 am

    Hi Gary, Love your Updates and vids, I always learn a lot! Here’s my problem: the Safari READER feature is great in viewing and then emailing content; however, LION handled this much better. For example, all pics and jpegs seem to be stripped away from the ML emailed version even though those pics are viewed on my screen prior to clicking the SEND button. Lion sent the pics beautifully. What’s this all about?

      9/10/12 @ 10:27 am

      As I mentioned in the vid, it can be temperamental. Don’t click on Reader, and then email as Reader. It does a Reader version of the Reader content. Also, if you default composing setting in Mail is “plain text” then it will take the Reader content and stuff it into a text-only message without showing you it is doing it. I’ll bet that is what is happening to you.

        RobbL
        9/10/12 @ 1:30 pm

        You are correct! I changed my preference to RTF and now the pics do send along in the new emails. This was never an issue in LION, but apparently it has become one in Mountain Lion. WTF is that all about? Great catch, Gary!

          9/10/12 @ 1:49 pm

          I suspect it is just a bug and we’ll see a fix soon.

    Clive Littin
    9/13/12 @ 2:12 pm

    Gary, I just have to say again how info-rich and rewarding your tutorials are. Thanks heaps.
    Clive (NZ)

    Paul
    9/18/12 @ 9:43 am

    Actually it does work with Gmail. When I click the share button, my default email is gmail on the web. it inserts the link right into the new email.

    Nancy
    9/22/12 @ 2:49 pm

    Fantastic. I always learn something new with your videos. I was using the “file, share” clicked from the top Safari bar. This works much better. Now going to check if my email is plain text or rtf.

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