How to Save Flash Animation on Web Sites

How can you save flash animation online? Did you find a wonderful shockwave flash animation on the web and wanted to save it. But how to save Flash? Do not buy expensive flash capturing software.. Here is the tip.

Why is saving flash content difficult?

flash playerWhen you right click on a flash animation, you usually get two options – Settings & About Macromedia Flash player. So there is no way to just right click and save a flash animation. Though such a right click and save option is in the works.

Then you may try View>Source and try to locate the flash file and get the source code if you are lucky. But that will also not help, because even if you run it in the web browser again, how will you save it.

There are professional tools and plugins which will help you view and save flash in one go, but for a price. There are several free flash viewers which will only enable you to see flash files located on your computer, but not allow saving flash.

How to Save Flash

Here is the quick fix for Internet explorer in Windows XP I have been using for some time.

Finding the flash file
Open the Internet explorer
Go to Tools > Internet Options
Look for “Temporary internet Files” – click on Settings
Then in the Pop Window, look for “Temporary Internet Files Folder”

Click “View Files”.  This will open the “Temporary Internet Files Folder”. You can sort files by Type by clicking on it. Or by date to see the latest files of you have a large cache. Under the type, you will see several files labelled as “Shockwave Flash Object”. You can right click on file you want, then “Copy”.

Unable to locate the file?
If you have a large number of files and are unable to locate the flash file you want, sort by date such that the latest date is on top. If there are still huge number of files, empty the temporary internet folder (Internet Explorer> Tools> Internet Options> Temporary Internet Files Folder> Delete Files>Delete all Offline content).

Now that your folder is clean, revisit the site and the flash file will be recached into this folder. If your file is lost amongst multiple flash files, then you can click these flash files, but that is best avoided. If you do click, an alert box will pop up. Click on Yes and the flash file will open in your default web browser.

Unable to locate the temporary internet folder?
In Win98-ME – “c:\windows”Win2000-XP
In Win XP-2000 – “c:\documents and settings\user_name\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files”
You can also search for *.swf files from same or higher levels depending on your computer.

See the source…
You can also find the source url of the flash movie easily. Right click the flash file in the temporary internet folder, select properties and it will reveal the full url. Similarly, once you click the file and ok the alert box above, the flash file url will appear in the location box.

Saving the flash file.
Now that you have the .swf shockwave file copied, you need a place to save it. Lets save it on the desktop, the easiest location to find on the computer. Right click on the desktop, and select “Paste”. The .swf flash file will be saved on the computer.

How to see if this file works?
Right click on the file and click > Open with > Internet explorer
and your flash file runs.

NOTE: Please note this is a quick way of saving flash files. Many of these flash files may be copyrighted and its usage may not be allowed by the site owners from which you got the file. So do not go about publishing or embedding these files on your websites.