Save Web Pages Compressed and Properly using ‘MAFF’ Format (Mozilla Firefox)

‘MAFF’ or ‘Mozilla Archive Format’ is a fully open-source web page saving format for the Firefox web browser (created by the Mozilla foundation itself) that has many advantages over the usual web page saving format that involves creating a folder and a HTML file when saving a single web page.

For example, whenever you save a web page in any web browser, the browser creates a folder and a HTML file. So if you save 10 web pages, then you will have 20 files (10 folders and 10 HTML files) and thus if you have a like 30/40 saved web pages, well, that folder can look really messy :).

Not only that, in some operating systems (such as in GNU/Linux), whenever you want to delete a web page, you’ll also have to delete its folder manually, although Windows does that automatically for you. Plus, sometimes when you open a saved web page from disk (without a having an internet connection at that time) the browser might fail to load the page correctly, and you’ll have the layout messed up, fonts not displayed correctly (specially if you use web fonts) etc.

Windows 8 showing few saved web pages using the 'MAFF' format

This blog for example, is also having the same issue with almost all the web browsers. I’m not entirely sure who’s to blame here, whether if it is the web page’s theme or the web browser. But by using the ‘Mozilla Archive Format’ has fixed that issue as well.

The other main benefits of using ‘MAFF’ is that it saves a web page as a single file (without creating an additional folder etc), you can also save multiple tabs inside a single ‘MAFF’ file and it automatically compresses while saving which reduces the disk space needed.

By default this format is not being given when you try to save web pages in Firefox, but we can easily enable it by using an add-on. It’s also worth noting that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer cannot open the ‘MAFF’ format natively. So please keep that in mind too.

This add-on comes with a wizard type tool that you can use to convert existing web pages into ‘MAFF’ and a settings page where you can adjust few settings as well.

'MAFF' converter

If interested, then please install the add-on from this page, and then restart your web browser.

After that, whenever you need to save a web page into ‘MAFF’, from the ‘Save as type’ option, choose ‘Web Archive, MAFF zipped (*.maff). You can get additional information from this official Mozilladev page as well. Good luck.

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