How to Copy and Paste on Sites that Won’t Let You

Copy Paste Featured Image

While surfing the Web, have you ever found a handy piece of information you want to add to the presentation you’re working on but can’t right-click to copy the text because the website has disabled it?

Luckily, there are a few easy workarounds that let you copy and paste from any website you want.

1. Disable JavaScript in your Browser

There are many websites that use JavaScript to disable right-click use on a website. By disabling JavaScript for the site, you can restore the use of right-click and copy-and-paste.

Do note that disabling JavaScript can also affect other functions of a website that can prevent some images or embeds from loading.

  1. Click on the three-dot icon next to your Chrome profile pic in the top-right corner.
Open Settings Menu Chrome
  1. Select the Settings option in the drop-down menu.
Open Chrome Settings
  1. Select the “Security and Privacy” option from the list of settings.
Open Security Settings Chrome
  1. Open the “Site settings” menu.
Open Site Settings Menu Chrome
  1. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on JavaScript.
Open Java Script Settings Chrome
  1. Click on the “Add” button to block a website from using JavaScript.
Add Website To Disable Java Script
  1. Enter the URL of the website where you want to disable JavaScript into the pop-up window and click the “Add” button.
Confirm Adding Website

Go back to the website you want to copy text from, and hopefully, the copy-paste functionality will be restored.

2. Copy Content from Source Code

If a website allows right-clicking but does not let you select text and media, this method comes in very handy.

  1. Right-click anywhere on the website to open a drop-down list. Select “View Page Source” from that list, which opens the HTML code of the website.
Right Click To Open Page Source
  1. Scroll down to find the text you want to copy and copy it from here. The source code can be full of syntax that is hard to understand if you’re not a programmer. Do not get overwhelmed, as the plain text is always displayed in white or black, depending on the theme of your browser.
Copy Text From Page Source
  1. Even though you can copy a section of text from the page source directly, copying multiple sections or the article will take ages. To speed it up, copy the entire HTML text on the view source page by right-clicking and selecting “Select All” and “Copy.”
Copy All Text From Page Source
  1. Head over to an HTML-to-text conversion website like Paste all the copied HTML text in the HTML tab and click the “Clean” button to get rid of all the unnecessary code that includes JavaScript or CSS elements.
Paste On Wordhtml And Clean Html
  1. Switch to the “Word Editor” tab and to easily copy the text you want without any restrictions.
Copy Text From Wordhtml 1

3. Select from Inspect Element

Inspect Element is a very useful tool built in to almost every web browser. It allows you to look under the hood of every website and access its source code. Follow these steps to use Inspect Element to copy text from a website.

  1. Right-click anywhere on the web page to open a drop-down list and select the last option, “Inspect.”
Open Inspect Element Window
  1. A sidebar will pop up on the right side of your screen, or in some cases the bottom. Select the element selection tool in the upper-left corner.
Click Onthe Selection Tool
  1. Click on the text you want to copy on the web page.
Hower Above The Text You Want To Copy
  1. Clicking on the text you want to copy will direct you toward the line of code in the Inspect Element window where you can easily copy it through the Inspect Element window.
Copy Text From Inspection Panel

4. Screenshot and Convert to Text

Another easy way to copy text from a website is to simply take a screenshot of the web page and convert it into text using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) applications.

  1. Press the Win +Shift + S keys together and activate the snipping tool in Windows to take a screenshot of the text you want to copy. Alternatively, If you are using a Mac, press the + Shift + 4 keys. Try to capture only the important text you want to copy and avoid snipping any unnecessary elements.
Mac Select To Crop
  1. Go to ocr2edit and select the “Choose File” option to upload your screenshot.
Ocr To Edit Choose File Option
  1. Once uploaded, click on the “Start” button to begin converting your screenshot.
Start Ocr Process
  1. Once the process is complete, a text file should be automatically downloaded to your system. If the site fails to do so, you can manually click on the “Download” button to download your text file.
Download Converted Text

This option is viable if you want to save the whole web page for further use and not just a portion of its text. It is easy and has many use cases.

  1. Go to the webpage you want to print and select the options menu by clicking on the three-dot icon. From the drop-down menu, select “Print.” An easier way to do this is to use the CTRL + P shortcut on Windows and + P on Mac.
Print Webpage Chrome
  1. A pop-up window will appear on the screen asking your printing preferences. You can copy the text of that article directly from this pop-up window.
Copy From Pdf View
  1. If you want to download the PDF file and access it offline, click on the “Save” button, and the file will be downloaded for offline viewing.
Save Pdf Chrome

6. Browser Extensions

If you’ve recently stumbled upon a website that doesn’t allow you to right-click, you can install an extension in your browser to bring that functionality back. We are using the “Enable Right-Click for Google Chrome” extension for this example.

  1. Head to the Chrome store and add the Enable Right-Click extension to your browser.
Download Right Click Extension Chrome
  1. Click the Extension button below the navigation buttons on your browser. Select the “Enable Right Click for Google Chrome” extension to activate it.
Enable Right Click By Clicking On The Extension
  1. You should be able to right-click on websites that don’t allow it without disabling the JavaScript.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why do websites prevent copying from them?

If a person can simply copy the content of a website and paste it on their own, it will hurt the original creator of that content. Aside from that, this practice also discourages the creation of original content on the Internet. For this reason, website creators prohibit you from copying content from their websites.

2. Is it legal to copy-paste from websites that ban it?

Until and unless the person who is trying to copy the content has been specifically allowed by the original creator, they cannot copy it. Any original piece of content uploaded on the Internet is protected by the DMCA copyright laws.

Reposting someone else’s content as your own violates this law. The person misrepresenting the data can be charged for any damages that their action has caused to the original creator of the content.

3. How do I copy and paste content from websites without plagiarizing?

Although it’s best to write original content, sometimes we all need some. There are many ways to avoid plagiarism. Here are a few:

  • Credit the original source
  • Paraphrase content in your own words
  • Elaborate on the original content and add more value from your end
  • Use online plagiarism checking tools to make sure your content is original
  • Use a different writing tone.

Image Credit: Flickr

Ojash Yadav
Ojash Yadav

Ojash has been writing about tech back since Symbian-based Nokia was the closest thing to a smartphone. He spends most of his time writing, researching, or ranting about bitcoin.

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