5 Techniques To Copy Text From Protected Websites

This tutorial guides you on copying text from protected, disabled, and restricted websites. The tips are easy to follow, even for beginners.
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This tutorial will show you how to copy text from protected, disabled, and restricted websites. Using content protections like turning off right-click, hotlink protection, and server-side excludes isn’t a good user experience practice. Usually, websites don’t follow these rules because UX always comes first.

However, some sites try to protect their content from copycats and fraudsters. They take all the hard work and don’t give them any tribute.

Even some popular websites duplicate original content and rank well in search engines. You should refrain from engaging in these types of activities.

There are multiple ways to protect content and disable the right click. The WordPress platform has a lot of plugins for this, and web hosting and CDNs offer features like server-side exclusions and link protection.

Keep in mind:

If you copy content from a restricted website without permission, it’s probably a copyright violation. Don’t forget to respect the rights to digital property and adhere to the website’s and creator’s regulations.

For example, suppose you need to use text or content pieces from a website for a legitimate purpose; you should ask the content owner for permission. Plus, read the website’s T&C before using the content.

Steps For Copying Text From Restricted Websites

1. Extracting Text From Images

Access text from protected websites with optical text recognition tools

This strategy is my top pick since it’s beginner-friendly. You can easily convert images into text with optical text recognition. Simply take a screenshot of the text you want to copy from a protected website and convert it into text, PDF, DOC, and other formats using online optical text recognition tools.

Here’s a practical example: I took a screenshot of the text from a content-protected website. Here is a reliable website called “Onlineocr,” which offers an easy way to use OCR with a few steps. I’ve got a screenshot of it.

Onlineocr makes it easy to use OCR

OK, I’m going to upload my screenshot to this OCR tool. There are a few options and many languages to choose from, but you should pick the correct recognition language for optimum results.

There’s also an option to select the output format (Docs, Excel, or plain text). Anyway, I moved with plain text. It finished in 10 seconds, which was exactly what I wanted.

The result with onlineocr.net
This is the result with onlineocr.net

There are only four steps: upload, set the language, convert, and download. That’s why I said this is a beginner-friendly approach. Plus, online OCR is web-based.

Yeah, that’s it. Search Google or other search engines for “OCR tools.” You can find plenty of other OCR online tools. Many OCRs convert images to text with optical character recognition. They can extract characters from scanned PDFs and images without implementing any programs to convert photos to text. 

With a web browser, users can use the online OCR service on any device and the simplest ways to copy text from restricted websites.

2. Using Google Chrome Extensions

Access text from protected websites with extensions

Almost everyone uses a browser; even you are probably reading this in a web browser right now. The most popular web browser is Google Chrome; over 2 billion people use it. The thing is, users can copy text from a protected web page using Chrome in multiple ways, but easily with a Chrome extension.

I think you already know that many Chrome-based browsers have add-ons and default features that allow you to extract text from restricted sites.

The question is, is it possible to copy text from a secured website with a Chrome extension?

Yes. Some Chrome extensions allow you to copy text from copy-protected websites. I’ve tested a few extensions, and most of them work.

Enable right click” is a popular Chrome extension with over 100K users. It lets you enable context menus on restricted websites. You can enable the copy option for all pages when a website doesn’t allow right-click menus.

I’m going to test this addon, and this site doesn’t allow right clicks. Also, I can’t use shortcuts and can’t drag and drop images.

So, I’ve installed the “Enable right-click” Chrome extension, moved to the content-restricted website, and allowed the option “Enable Copy.” Yeah, that works; you can see it here:

Using a Chrome extension to copy text from a secured website
Copying text from a secured website with Chrome extension

The Chrome store has many other extensions that allow you to right-click, copy text, and save images on content-protected websites.

3. Using Reading Mode In Your Browser

Use Reading Mode to copy text from protected websites

In most browsers, you can enable Reading Mode, which is a handy feature that allows you to copy text from secured pages. However, Chrome has a weaker reading mode than Firefox, Edge, and Opera browsers.

1. Google Chrome

Use Chrome to copy text from restricted websites

Google Chrome’s latest version comes with Reading Mode by default. You can use it by right-clicking and selecting “read mode.”.

Google Chrome Reading Mode
Reading mode in Chrome

Yeah, this won’t work if a website turns off right-click. However, some sites just don’t let you copy text; if so, copy text from protected websites using “Chrome Reading Mode.” You can customize Chrome’s reading mode with fonts, colors, and more, but you can’t always count on this approach.

2. Mozilla Firefox

With Mozilla Firefox, you can copy text from blocked websites

It doesn’t feel comfortable for me to use Firefox as my main web browser. However, Firefox has a robust “reading mode” that makes it easy to navigate even content-protected websites. Anyone can open Firefox reading mode by pressing the “F9” shortcut key on the keyboard or from the address bar icon.

Here’s a screenshot:

Turn on reading mode in Firefox
Switch to reading mode in Firefox

I’ve copied text from several protected sites using this method. You can usually use this mode without an extension or another Firefox path. In WordPress, some security and cache plugins implement content protection strategies, so clearing the browser cache is a good idea before performing these tasks.

3. Microsoft Edge

Copy text from restricted websites with Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge is another popular browser that has seen a lot of progress over the past few years. You can think of it as just another version of Chrome, and you can add extensions to copy content from any website you want.

However, like Mozilla Firefox, it has a practical reading mode. With this feature, you can copy text from any restricted website. Press the “F9” shortcut on the keyboard to open Microsoft Edge reading mode. In addition, you can access it by clicking on the icon in the address bar that indicates read mode.

Open Microsoft Edge's Reading mode
Open Microsoft Edge’s Reading mode

Here’s an example image showing how I open reading mode with Microsoft Edge when the website is right-click disabled

A screenshot of Microsoft Edge's Reading mode
Microsoft Edge’s Reading mode screenshot

Yes, this is a practical feature, and you don’t need to use an extension to copy text. Moreover, in my experience, this method works well for all kinds of websites that have the right-click functionality disabled.

4. Opera

Opera's text copying feature

Opera Browser has a smaller user base than Chrome and Safari. Still, it is smooth and customizable, making it an attractive alternative to them. It’s got many features, and Opera’s “Read Mode” is as good as Firefox/Edge. It is easy to copy text from any website, regardless of how restricted the content is.

Once you are on the website from which you want to copy the content, you should see the reader mode icon in Opera’s address bar. Click on it. Plus, you can customize it.

Opera Reader mode
Switch to reader mode in Opera

I can’t list all of the web browsers with information on how to copy text from protected web pages because there are so many. Most web browsers are equipped with a reader mode or extension that allows you to do this.

There are a lot of people using Safari, but I’m not familiar with it. You can read more about Reader View in this Safari user guide.

4. Using The Page Source Code

Extract text from protected websites using the source code

I recommend this only if you’re familiar with HTML. In many web browsers, you can view the source code of a page. If you use Google Chrome, visit the webpage where you want to copy the text. To view the page source, right-click on that page and tap “View Page Source or press Ctrl + U.

Here's how to open Chrome to see the source code
How to view the source code in Chrome

You’ll see something like this:

Using Chrome to view the page source code
Using Chrome to view the page source code

Users can scroll down and navigate the content with that HTML web page and perhaps right-side on some websites. When you peer at the source code of a page, recognize content with “P” for paragraphs and “H” for headings.

See this image for an example:

However, some plugins and add-ons now disable source code views; this won’t work if the content utilizes those approaches.

Here’s how to open Page Source Code in other browsers:

  • Firefox: this is an open-source web browser, press the Ctrl + U key on your keyboard or right-click on the page and opt for ” View Source. “
  • Edge: The approach is the same with Microsoft Edge. Select Inspect Element by right-clicking on the page; Ctrl + U also works.
  • Opera: Press “Ctrl + U” on your device to open the selected page source code. Or click on the right-click menu and choose “page source.”
  • Safari: I don’t use Safari, but you can open the page source code this way. Click “Develop” in the menu bar, then select Show Page Source – Web Inspector from the options menu.
  • Brave/Vivaldi/Tor: Ctrl + U shortcut or right-click view page source works with most web browsers.

The above strategies will open the source code of the webpage within the browser, allowing you to view the SC, scripts, content, and JavaScript elements. You can copy text from shielded sites with the page source, but that’s not always the most suitable approach. It’s also barred on some sites.

5. Using The Browser’s Print Feature

The Print feature in the browser provides access to text from protected websites

Usually, browsers have a feature for printing; otherwise, you can convert a page into a PDF file. Also, this method can be used to grab text from secured web pages, but there are addons for restricting the Print-PDF feature. However, I’ve noticed good results with this approach with Firefox and Microsoft Edge.

Most of the time, Chrome’s Print/PDF feature works well, but not all websites support it. Also, you can download the PDF file to your PC with this method.

What are the steps involved?

  • For websites that don’t disable the right-click function, press right-click, then click Print.
  • If right-clicking isn’t working, use the shortcut key “Ctrl+P” to open the PDF printing feature with any web browser.

Okay, here’s a practical example:

This website blocked content copying using a WordPress plugin.

Blocks content copying with a WordPress plugin

So, I’m gonna convert this page to a PDF document with Chrome.

Google Chrome: Turn a web page into a PDF
Converting a web page to PDF

That works. It’s an ideal approach to grabbing all the content on a web page. You can save it as a PDF, but I’d recommend previous methods for copying a specific text part. This is a simple method of grabbing content from locked web pages, but you must respect the author’s rights and content policies.

Wrap It Up

I may have omitted other tricks to extract text from protected sites. Despite this, most of the abovementioned strategies are practical and straightforward. You can use these tips without much hassle, even as a beginner.

Trying to copy text from restricted websites is like trying to sneak a peek at your birthday presents before the day. Remember, some websites have their content under lock for a reason.

So, if you find yourself in a copy-paste pickle, it’s time to get innovative with your words. Despite this, I hope these approaches to copying text from restricted websites may be helpful for legitimate reasons.

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Madushan Bandara
Madushan Bandara

I'm Madushan, a WordPress developer, and it has been over a decade since I became an online entrepreneur. On this website, I write about WordPress, web hosting, web tools, and digital marketing: Get to Know Me

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