How To Download Scribd Documents For Free

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Scribd is a massive online repository of documents both commercial and otherwise. There are literally millions of PDF documents covering everything from textbooks to sheet music and everything in-between. For a relatively low cost of $8.99 a month, members of the site can download these files for their own use. There are also ways to download them without having to pay for them.

I’m not going to get into the morals of downloading other people’s hard work without paying fairly for it, I’ll leave that to your conscience. What I will do is show you how to download Scribd documents for free.

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Download Scribd documents for free

There are a couple of ways to download Scribd documents without paying for them. I prefer the first way as it is the easiest. I have had mixed results with it though. The majority of the time I get the document no problem but occasionally I see ‘error: invalid key’ errors or the page hangs while loading. Your mileage may vary.

  1. Navigate to Scribd and find a document you want to download.
  2. Right click an empty space within the document and select Show Source. (Google Chrome).
  3. Hit Ctrl + F and search that source code for ‘access_key’. Copy it somewhere. It should look something like ‘key-xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx’.
  4. Go back to the document and check the document ID in the URL. It should look sometime like ‘https://www.scribd.com/read/NUMBER/DOCUMENT TITLE’. You want the NUMBER.
  5. Create a new URL using the access key, document ID and this partial URL. ‘http://d1.scribdassets.com/ScribdViewer.swf?document_id=NUMBER&access_key=key-ACCESS_KEY’
  6. Paste the URL into a new tab and wait for the page to load. Depending on the book and how busy the Scribd servers are, this could take a while.
  7. Once loaded, print to PDF and you have your document.

Like I said, I have had mixed results with this method but it is simple so I always use it first. There is another way if that one doesn’t work for you either.

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  1. Go to Scribd.com
  2. Login or sign up for a new account.
  3. Find a document you want to download or view and copy the URL somewhere.
  4. Click on the download option on the right of the screen.
  5. You should then be redirected to the subscription page.
  6. Just above subscription, you should see ‘Select files to upload’. Click that.
  7. Upload any kind of document. It must have some content, even if its gibberish.
  8. Provide a title for the document and hit Save.
  9. Paste the URL from step 3 into the address bar. You should now see a download button. Use it.

Those two methods of downloading Scribd documents for free are the most reliable as far as I can tell. There is another method using a Greasemokey script but I prefer to keep my browser as clean as possible.

Know any other ways to download Scribd documents for free? Let us know below.

Posted by Jamie on December 20, 2016

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