Sunday, October 5, 2008

How to download flash with .swf extension

Trick: Downloading flash in terms of .swf extension

Problem: As you know, flash cannot be download by conventional way of right-clicking.

Note: Method given is a guide. It may not always work and it really depends how good the person who create the website is. Also note you need to bear copyright issue in downloading and to a greater extent using the flash.

1) First of all, you need a download program. I would recommend flashget (there are actually better ones but I should not mention them). It is a good program (and it's free) that allow you to download anything with a link. The main advantages are that it is fast and can be paused.
2) There is 3 levels in putting up a flash on website. I can give a rough guide to the first two levels but the last level is too difficult (even for me) and too diversified.
3) Download the flash from website

Level 1:
Go to the website. Go to View > Source. It will be a text file with .txt extension. Use Edit>Find... or Ctrl + F (Remember to start from top). Type .swf (under find what) and press ok. If you can find it, you are lucky. Usually, it will not be a complete link (unless it is referred to some other sites). So for instance, you want a flash in the site and you find .swf in the text file as "source/header.swf". You will need to replace "mainpage.htm" with "source/header.swf" to get as the link for the website. To double confirm, you should copy this link to a new window to see it is the flash you want.

Level 2:
In this case, you will not find any .swf under View>Source. This is because the person who create the site uses frame or something similar to that. You can see what is a frame at Frames. You will need to find the site that contain the flash by looking at the script which may be tedious to someone who do not know programming. It may be good to look for "clue text" in the site to give you some guide. For instance, the site may have the word "Introduction" and hence you can search for that word in the script and make out any sense where site of the frame is. Note that the word in the same frame as the flash, it may not be possible to find the word as well. Similarly, the site link of the frame will probably not be incomplete. Use the same idea as above. After you find site, you can use the same method as above to find .swf.

Level 3:
The last level is too diversified and complex (for me) and probably almost impossible to teach in few sentences. If you see such a site, chances are the person who create it really do not want you to take (or even borrow) his stuffs and you should probably respect him for his effort.

4) Once you got the link, you can copy and download with your download program.

Remark: There are other methods such as browsing through your "Temporary Internet Files" but it really depends.

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