Creating an offline copy of the Procreate Handbook

2023/01/26 - Procreate - David Frank
An example of procreate handbook image
Procreate® is a registered trademark of Savage Interactive Pty Ltd.

Procreate Handbook Offline (v5.3)#

Since Procreate 5 releases, the much downloaded offline handbook during v4 cycles is no longer available. Based on my search there isn’t one and official replies always refer to the live handbook as the only source for up-to-date documentation. Some replies even suggested screenshotting the pages manually.

TL;DR: here is an unofficial offline archive of all handbook pages for Procreate 5.3 for you. Note the archive size is about 64MB, search function and some menu won’t work because they rely on server response.

Creating your own archive#

But for the curious, let’s talk about how to create such an offline archive for any documentation sites, using Procreate Handbook as an example.

There is an automated yet often ignored way for this task: it is wget and its powerful recursive retrieval.

To mirror the procreate website I used following parameters

wget -r -l 1 -p -k -np -nH -E -H -D,,
  • -r for recursive retrieval mode;
  • -l 1 to limit maximum level (of depth);
  • -p to download all page resources such as images;
  • -k to convert all links to relative local links so you can navigate the archive;
  • -np to avoid downloading any pages above directory (but unfortunately it didn’t quite work with -H, so can be skipped here);
  • -nH ignore the website hostname when creating local folders;
  • -E add file extension automatically, this is important as page name without .html suffix can conflict with folder of the same name;
  • -H spanning hosts mode, basically it allows downloading content beyond domain;
  • -D, limits the remote domains wget will access;
  • then finally the URL you will like start download from.

wget will fatefully download the initial page, then analyze links for further access. By the end of this process we should have a folder of all localized content.

But we are not done yet, like most modern websites, Procreate Handbook are full of Javascript bundles that assume you are on, not file:///.

No worry, let’s use Visual Studio Code to batch replace these external resources, such as <script> tags.

Enable Use Regular Expression mode in search and use following regex expressions to Replace All instances.

// find and replace script tags

// find and replace preload content
<link rel="preload"[\r\s\S]+?>

At this point you should have an offline archive of Procreate Handbook. Using your browser’s developer tool, you can check if there are additional network requests needed to be replaced. (These are left an exercise for readers).

The same could be done with any documentation website, I hope this guide puts you onto the right track.


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