Math Open Reference


How to use the site offline

Many times you may want to use pages from this site when not connected to the Internet. For example when a teacher wants to use animations from the site, but there is poor or no Internet available in the classroom.

In order to do this, you use the Google Chrome browser, which contains a mechanism to use web pages when offline. I have tested it on version 40. If you already have Chrome, make sure it is up to date:

  • Start Chrome
  • Go to the settings by clicking on the three bars in the top right corner
  • Click on "About Google Chrome". It will show the version you have and also check to see if updates are available.

If you do not have Chrome, download it here Chrome download page.

Using the site offline

When the computer is connected to the Internet, simply visit to the pages on the site that you want to use offline later.

Chrome makes a copy of each page you visit. If later on it senses you are offline and try to go to a page, it looks to see if it has a copy from a previous time. If it does, it displays it.

What can go wrong

The main problem with this technique is that Chrome uses the same cache to save all pages you visit, not just those from this site. So as you browse, the cache will eventually fill up. At that point older files will be evicted from the cache to make room, so it is possible the Math Open Reference pages you want may get thrown out too.

In addition, if you clear the browsing history, the cache will be completely cleared. You will lose the saved pages. Some anti-virus software also clears the cache after each browser session.

So it is not a perfect solution

But with care it can solve a vexing problem for many users. To mitigate the shortcomings of the technique:

  • Minimize the use of Chrome from when you visit a wanted page to when you later use it offline. This way the pages you want will stay in the cache for weeks or months.
  • Don't clear browsing history.