Save Websites With Mozilla Archive Format

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 13, 2009
Updated • Feb 8, 2020
Firefox, Firefox add-ons

Internet users who want to save single webpages in their web browser can usually do so by going to the File menu of the browser to select Save As there, or by using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-S while on the page they want to save.

This will save the HTML file along with all the objects, images and styles for instance, of the website to an extra folder on the local computer system.

Many users who save websites regularly to their computer do not like the default option to save websites, as it quickly leads to a huge number of files and directories on the computer system which makes keeping an overview difficult.

There are other options to save a website into only one file. One of these options is to convert the website to a pdf document, another the Mozilla Archive Format add-on for Firefox.

Update: The Firefox extension is no longer available. We suggest you check out Single File, a comparable extension that saves webpages as single HTML files, or Save Page WE which does the same. End

Mozilla Archive Format add-on for Firefox

The Mozilla Archive Format add-on can be used to save websites either as MHTML (MHT) files supported by Microsoft's Internet Explorer, or MAFF multi-page archives.

The functionality is automatically integrated into the Firefox web browser after installation of the add-on. The fastest way to save a website is to use the Ctrl-S keyboard shortcut which will open the Save As dialog window. Among the available choices are both the MAFF and MHTML format after installation of the browser add-on.

The differences between the two formats are the following: MAFF uses zip compression to save one or multiple websites as an archive. This ensures better compatibility and accessibility even on computer systems that do not have access to the add-on as it is still possible to browse and extract the data with any compression software supporting zip files. In addition to all that, MAFF can include audio and video embedded on pages.

The MHTML format on the other hand is not compressed, can only save one website per file and works only with a limited number of web browsers. It is however better integrated into Internet Explorer, and could be the better choice if Internet Explorer is the target web browser.

The add-on saves the following additional information with each site:

  • The original location the page was saved from. This normally matches what is displayed in the address bar of the browser.
  • The date and time of the save operation.
  • The title of the page, if set.
  • The character set in effect at the time the page was saved. If the character set was changed manually using the View » Character Encoding menu item of Firefox, the custom choice is remembered. This allows the document to be displayed correctly when it is reopened from the archive, even if it contains internationalized characters.

The add-on can also be used to convert previously saved websites (e.g. with Firefox's default Save As function) so that they are better accessible from then on. You'd simply have to load those in Firefox again, and use the Save As functionality afterwards to convert it to one of the two supported formats.

The MAF extension for Firefox works well with other extensions available for Firefox. Two worth of note are Multiple Tab Handler, which allows you to select tabs to save, and UnMHT, which adds additional features to read and write MHTML files.

Mozilla Archive Format is available for download at the Mozilla Firefox website for all Firefox web browsers.

software image
Author Rating
2.5 based on 8 votes
Software Name
Mozilla Archive Format
Software Category

Tutorials & Tips

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  1. Kald said on February 3, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    Organize your maff’s files with ivepage, tag annotation, full text search, and more

  2. paulus said on November 15, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    Hoi Martin really nice find. But now something completely different, config in Firefox. I really like the configuration mania add-on for Firefox. This is really great for for novice and semi-advanced users

  3. Sérgio Dias said on November 13, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    You can also get the UnMHT add-on that works in a similar way but also makes Firefox able to open MHTML and has other capabilities.

  4. ArpitNext said on November 13, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    great discovery Martin! Still, I would like to mention popular add-on Scrapbook. I “capture” pages with selected page elements/images/etc only and hence, it helps me in archiving only useful content.

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