I can't remember how many times I saved an image from a Web page. I'm sure you know the drill. Mouse over the image, right-click, click Save Image As or Save Picture As (depending on your browse), choose and appropriate file location, and click Save. It's a fairly simple process that takes less than 10 seconds. Now, image you have to repeat the process 10, 20, 50 times. Factor in the repetitive mouse movements, Web page scrolling, and the potential to download the same image twice or mistakenly skip images, and you have a real head- (and hand) ache. I'd been looking for solution for several years, when I finally found soon after I started using Mozilla Firefox.
Created by Federico Parodi and Stefano Verna, DownThemAll (or dTa as it is also known) is a Firefox extension that lets you download the links or images contained on a Web page. You can download all links and images, manually choose individual or multiple items, or select links and images through a variety of preset and customizable filters. DownThemAll also contains a download manager and download accelerator that the creators claim "increases speed up to 400%".
To use DownThemAll, simply open a Web page in Firefox, click Tools from the toolbar, select DownThemAll from the Tools dropdown menu, and choose either DownThemAll!, dTaOneClick!, or dTa! Manager. I usually open the DownThemAll! main window seen in the image above. Once dTa starts, it automatically analyzes the open Web page and creates a list of links, images, and embedded objects. Rarely do I want to download all images on a Web page-most contain header, button images, clear gif tracking images, and the like.
From the main window, I can quickly select the images or links I want to download, specify the target location, customize the downloaded file's name, and start the process. The program's intuitive UI and well configured default settings allow me to make all these choices with only a few mouse clicks. Once download process starts, the dTa! Manager opens and tracks the download progress of each file. You can pause and restart the download process, reorder individual downloads, or cancel the retrieval of some or all files. Once the download process finishes, DownThemAll alerts you with sound and popup. You can then browse to your newly-downloaded files and use them as you please. dTaOneClick! downloads all the links and images of the current Web page using the filters, target location, and file rename settings of the last DownThemAll session.
You can see more of DownThemAll in this screenshot gallery.
Right Tool for the Job?
DownThemAll is one of the best Firefox extensions that I've used. And judging from its placement on the list of Top 10 Firefox extensions, I'd say many others agree. DownThemAll is easy to install, use, and works as described. Better yet, it's free. My only suggestion for the next version of DownThemAll is a way to download the root image from an image gallery. Many photo sharing sites, such as Webshots and Flickr, even TechRepublic's own Galleries, link thumbnails to larger images. I personally think this design is a great UI experience for browsing a gallery. Unfortunately, the layout also makes downloading the gallery's individual images difficult. I'll be sure to let you know if I find another tool that accomplishes this task or DownThemAll adds this feature.
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Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. He was most recently Managing Editor for TechRepublic Pro. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.