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How to Download Information or Graphics from the Internet

by Ken Fermoyle

This month I’m trying something a little different in Ken’s Korner: a tutorial aim at helping Web newbies acquire information from the Internet.  

Following that, and to provide something of interest for more advanced surfers, I’ve included a mini-review of Hot Off The Web. This program makes it easy to capture, annotate and even create scrapbooks of material from the Web; you can then send to others as e-mail. It’s quite a handy program, as we’ll see later. Meanwhile, on to the... 

Download Tutorial

If you want to save the information you find on a Web site, you can either print it and have a copy on paper, copy the file and paste it into WordPad or your processor, or you can download the file and save it on your hard drive or to a floppy. 

To Print:

When you find a page you want to save, click on the FILE menu, then on Print. If you use Netscape Navigator you can get a preview of how the printed material will look. Click on FILE, then PRINT PREVIEW. 

To Copy:

Use your cursor to highlight the text you want to save by clicking & holding down the left button at the beginning of the text; drag the cursor to the end of the text and release the mouse button. All text will now be highlighted. Click on the EDIT menu, then on COPY (or simply press the Ctrl & C keys simultaneously, a faster, easier shortcut). Minimize your browser window (click on the dash or minus sign in the upper right-hand corner) temporarily and open WordPad or your word processor. Click on EDIT menu, then PASTE (or use the Ctrl & V keys shortcut). Now you can save the file as you would any other you created.  

To Download & Save A File:

Click on the FILE menu, then SAVE AS. A dialog box will appear that allows you to select the drive and folder where you want to save the file (at the top). At the bottom will be spaces for you to type in the same you want to give the file. Sometimes a filename is shown; you can either accept that or erase it and type in your own name. There will also be a line that says something like "Save as file type," followed by a space (which might say "HTML") and a down-pointing arrow. Click on the arrow and select "Plain Text," unless you have a special reason to save it as an HTML file. 

To Download & Save A Photo Or Other Graphic:

Simply place your cursor on the graphic and click the RIGHT button on your mouse. When a pop-up menu appears, click on "Save Image As..." A dialog box that looks the same as the one mentioned in the paragraph above appearS NEXT. Do not try to change the file type, but you can change the file name and location where you want to save the image file. 

For example, I have a “GIF&JPEG” folder in drive D on my system. So if I want to save a Web graphics file to that folder, I would select drive D in the dialog box, then clink on the GIF&JPEG folder (make sure it shows in the “Save At” box) and finally click on SAVE. 

To Download Programs:

This is a bit more complicated, but usually the site contains detailed instructions. You simply click on the DOWNLOAD or CLICK TO DOWNLOAD words or button, and follow the instructions. Usually there will be a dialog box, like the one mentioned in the above two paragraphs, which allows you to select the location (drive & folder) where you want the file to be saved. Sometimes the files will be in compressed Zip form and you have to use a Zip program to unzip (uncompress) them. Usually, however, they are in what is called self-extracting files -- which means you simply have to click on them and they will uncompress themselves. Such files have an .exe extension. 

Note File Name & Location

It’s always a good idea to make a note of the file name and location as insurance against forgetting either (or both!) when you look for the file a week or two after downloading it. Another suggestion: create a DOWNLOAD folder on your hard drive and place all your download in it. You can always move them later.  

Download Time

Some large files can take a long time to download. Depending on your modem speed, file size and the amount of Net traffic, it might take from a few minutes to almost an hour, or even more,  to download very big files. Many download sites give you the file size, sometimes an estimated download time, to give you some idea of how long the process will take.  

Hot Off The Press

I discovered this neat in April, 1998 find increasing uses for it. It’s great for capturing all or part of Web pages. You can use it to attach virtual “sticky notes,” highlight text or even add hand-written comments using the Graffiti Pen – in different colors, yet! 

My favorite Hot Off The Web (HOTW) feature, however, is Scrapbook. I do a lot of research on the Web, collecting bits and pieces of information for many sites. I used to print copies of all this stuff and keep it in a manila folder. Now, if I’m accumulating data on hard drives, for instance, I create a Hard Drive scrapbook in HOTW and send material I find to that scrapbook. A time stamp and source URL is included with each item, which tells you when and where you got the information.  

You can share scrapbooks, Web pages and individual items captured by HOTW (and annotated as you wish) with others via e-mail. The program attaches selected material to  e-mail, which you prepare within the program in a message composition form, as self-extracting ZIP files. If the recipient does not have HOTW also, no problem. The message will be opened in the recipient’s default browser. 

One caution note: HOTW is optimized to work with Microsoft Internet Explorer, so some images and text may appear differently in other browsers. 

Space limits me to this bare-bones review, but I’ve included basic information below (remember these are minimums; HOTW works better with faster computers with more RAM). For more detailed information visit www.hotofftheweb.com.  

PRICE: $29.95

MINIMUM System Requirements

·           IBM PC or compatible computer with a 486/66 or better CPU

·           Windows® 95/98 or NT 4.0

·           8 MB RAM

·           5 MB Disk Space

·           Pointing device (mouse, tablet, etc.)

·           28.8K modem

·           Internet connection (modem, LAN, etc.)

·           CD-ROM drive

Copyright 1999 by Ken Fermoyle, Fermoyle Publications. Ken has written some 2,500 articles for publications ranging from Playboy and Popular Science to MacWeek, Microtimes & PC Laptop. Ken's Korner, a syndicated monthly column, is available free to User Groups. For information or permission to reprint this article, kfermoyle@earthlink.net.

Last Update:06/26/2007


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