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Saving flash animations from websites

1 May 2008 No Comment

Flash animations can be found all over the web, and several can be very useful in the classroom-especially with interactive white boards. But what would happen if the site that offers it were to go offline, get blocked, or delete the video?? For these moments, it would be great to have a copy of it saved locally on your own computer, and with a little elbow grease it can happen. Here’s how.

Step 1 – Navigate to the page containing the animation that you want to save.

Step 2 – Locate the full address for the video by selecting View>Page Source from your web browser’s File menu. A text file will appear with a whole lot code, much of which is useless to you right now. What you need is the file for the animation. This file will have a .swf extension. The best way to find it is by going to Edit>Search in your browser and typing swf. You should then be able to scroll through anything on the page with those letters. Stop when you find the file name of the animation you want. It should look like src=”nameoftheanimation.swf”. Highlight the filename- in my example it would be nameoftheanimation.swf.

Step 3 Test to make sure it is the right animation by pasting it into your browser. Keep in mind that the file name refers to the page that the animation is located on, so if your animation is located at genericwebsite.com/page1 you would paste it at the end the address. It should look like genericwebsite.com/page1/nameoftheanimation.swf. If your animation pops up without the rest of the page, then you got it.

Step 4 – To make the video downloadable, you have to turn it into a link. Open a text editor like notepad and type <a href=paste the adress you just tested here>download</a>. Save it as download.html and select “all files” or html as the file type.

Step 5 Open the file you just created, it should open in your web browser and appear as a link titled download. Right click the link and select save. You can now save the animation on to your computer and use whenever you want.

Other tips? Leave them in the comments.

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