Tasty Apps Red Snapper 1.3
A brainwavez.org Software Review

South AfricaBy: Paul Pregnolato
Posted: 24 April 2007

Sometimes you need to archive a web page for offline viewing or permanent archiving, and the PDF function in Safari on the Mac just doesn't get it right. Enter Red Snapper: a perfect little browser plug-in for preserving almost everything on the Web. Well, if you have a Mac. Don't complain.

Red Snapper LogoTasty Apps' Red Snapper 1.3 is a utility for the Mac that enables you to save a web page with the layout and formatting perfectly preserved. Available as a 14-day shareware demo [ download ], Red Snapper is a simple browser plug-in that enables one to capture web pages and export them to BMP, EXR, GIF, JPEG, PDF, PICT, PNG, PSD, SGI, TGA and TIFF formats. Unfortunately, it is only available for the Safari browser and those using anything less than Max OS X 10.4.6 need not apply. On the plus side, however, it is available as a Universal Binary and will work equally well on both PowerPC- and Intel-based Macs.

Red Snapper in the Safari toolbarThe downloadable file is about 290 KB in size and installation is almost instantaneous; if you open Safari after installation, you will notice the addition of a fish-silhouette button on the toolbar.

For testing purposes I set the output format to PDF and opened a copy of VersionTracker's Mozilla Firefox page that I had previously saved as an HTML file to my hard drive. In my experience any VersionTracker site that had been so saved often has to be reloaded numerous times in Safari before it will display correctly. I'm not sure why this occurs but I suspect it could have something to do with the embedded CSS code not loading correctly on the first attempt.

While one can create PDFs in Mac OS X via the "Save to PDF" option from the Print function, the result in this case was less than satisfactory [ download the example file (PDF; 165 KB) ].

With Red Snapper 1.3 installed all you have to do click the Red Snapper toolbar button, select the Save option, and voila - you are done. The resultant PDF will also perfectly reproduce what is on the screen [ download the example file (PDF; 189 KB) ]. Margins and "browser trim" are eliminated, and hyperlinks are also preserved within the resultant PDF. The file size is, however, about 10% larger than that produced by Mac OS X's "Save to PDF" feature.

Although freeware alternatives are available (such as Paparazzi 0.4.3, Red Snapper 1.3's advantage is that it integrates directly within Safari (unlike Paparazzi 0.4.3, which is a stand-alone application), it can export to a wider range of formats (such as PICT, PNG, PSD, SGI, TGA, and TIFF), and it is able to capture embedded Flash, Java, and SVG images. The latest version also allows you to export via Red Snapper 1.3 directly from within the File menu or you can just hit its Apple+Shift+R hot key from within Safari.

If there are any disadvantages - apart from the fact that it is only available for Safari at this stage - there have been instances reported that it prevents you from customising your Safari toolbar any further once it has been installed. There is also no user guide, although there is a useful FAQ section on Tasty Apps' site. The developers also have a good response time to most user questions - a query on the availablity of future versions of Red Snapper for Firefox and Opera was answered within 24 hours. The response, incidentally, was to the effect that such versions were indeed being planned, but - given the small size of the operation - when exactly they would be released is uncertain.

The convenience it creates also comes at a price (albeit a paltry US$8.00 [?]), when one considers that slightly less-feature-intensive applications are available for free.

However, these minor inconveniences aside, if you need to duplicate a large number of web pages in a universally accessible format such as JPG and PDF, Red Snapper 1.3 is more than up to the task.

brainwavez.org Comments

brainwavez.org Opinion
Rating: 8/10
Pros: Easy to use; excellent results; integrates well with Safari; good price.
Cons: Mac OS X 10.4 only; works with Safari only; freeware alternatives available; limited usefulness.
Key Facts
Developer: Tasty Apps
Web Site: http://www.tastyapps.com
System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.4.6 and Safari web browser.
Licence: Shareware (14 days)
Price: US$8.00 [?] via PayPal for a full licence and free upgrades for all subsequent v1.x releases.
Latest Version: Red Snapper (ZIP)
On The Internet
Red Snapper 1.3
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