Mihov Picture Downloader

Help for version 1.4

Contents of this file:
  1. Using the program
    1. Setting language
    2. Setting download folder
    3. Setting proxy server
    4. Saving settings for the next run
    5. Setting download timeout
    6. Setting file size filter
    7. Setting referer URL
    8. Running another copy of the program
    9. Downloading from a single page
    10. Downloading embeded images
    11. Downloading from a list of pages
    12. Downloading pictures from a password protected site
    13. Saving the list of pictures to a file
    14. Loading a list of pictures from a file
    15. Creating a list of pictures
    16. Viewing downloaded pictures
    17. Displaying pictures as they are downloaded
    18. Command line parameters
    19. Error log
  2. Questions
  4. Updates
  5. How can I help?

Using the program

Setting language
Currently English and Slovenian languages are supported and English is the default language. If you would like to change the language, select the 'Settings' tab and click on the button in the 'Language / Jezik' region. Note that Slovenian language was not updated since version 1.1.
This setting is saved and it is loaded every time the program is started.  
Setting download folder
By default the pictures you download are saved to the program folder. If you want to change this, select the 'Settings' tab and click on the 'Select folder' button. A folder tree window is opened that lets you select the folder for the images. When you've found it, select a folder and click the 'OK' button.
You can always see the path of the current folder in the blue title region of the main program window.

Setting proxy server
If your computer is behind firewall or has to use proxy setting for another reason, you will have to turn the use of proxies on if you want the program to work.
Select the 'Settings' tab and enter the IP of the proxy computer and the port number that it uses. Then check the 'Use proxy' button.

Saving settings for the next run
If you want to save current settings for the next time you run the program, select the 'Settings' tab and click on the 'Save settings for the next run' button. Current settings will be saved to Windows registry and will be loaded every time the program starts. In this version these settings are saved:

Setting download timeout
Set the download timeout if the program gets stuck on one image and won't continue. by setting the timeout time the program skips to the next image after the time has elapsed (Settings tab -> Timeout).

Setting file size filter
If you want to download only files bigger than a specified amount of bytes, enable the Filter option in Settings tab. Enter the smallest file size in bytes for the images that won't get deleted. Any file smaller then specified size will be deleted after the download.

Setting referer URL
Some sites allow downloading the pictures only if  the user came there from their pages. Mihov Picture Downlaoder gives the original link that images were found on to the web site. If you want to change that URL, you can do so in 'Settings' tab -. Referer.

Running another copy of the program
If you want to run another copy of the program with the same settings as set in the original program (download folder, password settings, download page), select the 'Settings' tab and click on the 'Run another copy of the program' button.
This feature is useful when you would like to speed up the downloading process of the pictures from a long list. Instead of downloading 200 pictures at once run two instances of the program and download 100 pictures with each instance at the same time. The second case is in most cases faster than the first one.

Downloading from a single page
After you've set the desired download folder you can start downloading the pictures. The program helps you doing this by showing you the steps you have to take. You can download all the images from a web page in five steps.

  1. Enter the URL address of the web page where the links to the pictures are. If the URL address is in the clipboard, you can click on the icon right to the URL box and it will paste into the field.. From the drop-down menu select the file type for the files that you want to download. You can choose from gif, jpg, htm, html, mp3, avi, mpg, rm, ram, or *.*
  2. Click on the 'Load page' button and wait for the page to be loaded. You will know that the page has loaded when you see a list of selectable picture files. This step is very important, so here are some explanations if something goes wrong:
    • No files found
    • Perhaps the page does not contain links to the picture files.You should choose another page for downloading.
      The files could be in a different format (have different extension) than you chose in the drop-down menu. Widen your selection of allowed extensions.
      It is also possible, that a page, that you are trying to reach, is password protected. In that case see the section 'Downloading pictures from a password protected site'.
      Some of the web publishers are 'hiding' their content and don't want to display the pictures unless you view them on their pages (and with their adds and pop-up windows). Mihov Picture Downloader has many mechanisms to trick such web sites. However, it is not perfect and some pictures may still be unreachable.
      Maybe the URL that you gave to the program contains frames - in that case give the program URL of the frame, that contains the links to the pictures.
    • Page not found
    • The URL you gave to the program does not exist. See if you've made a typing error and try again.
      Maybe the server is currently down. In that case try again after some time.
      You are not connected to the internet. Check the connection.
      If your computer is behind firewall, you will have to set up proxy settings. To read more about this see the section Setting proxy server
    • Other errors
    • If you have still trouble after checking all of the above, you should look for help in the online forum. If no such topic or problem solution is found you should ask the question yourself.
  3. When the page is loaded you will see links to all the images that can be downloaded. Select the images that you want to download. By holding down 'CTRL' key and clicking on image list you can select more images that are not listed together. By holding down the 'Shift' key and clicking you can select more images that are listed together. You can also select multiple images by clicking on one file and dragging it forward along the list. If you want to select all files in the list click on on efile and press CTRL-A keys.
    Buttons on the right side of the list can help you:
  4. If you want to add a prefix to each file name on your local computer, enter the text in the box above the 'Save pictures' button.
    Under the list there is a small counter, that tells you how many downloadable file were found.
  5. Click on the 'Save pictures' button to start downloading images. You can observe the process in the 'Message window' on the lower side of the program window, where you can see the name of the file currently downloaded, percentage complete of the current file, file size of the current file, and the number of files already downloaded.
    If the program tries to download a picture with a file name that already exists it will not overwrite
      it; instead it will add numbers to the name. If the file name is not a valid file name under Windows OS, then it will be changed to a new name that will have the forbidden characters replaced by underscore (_).
  6. When the download is complete click on the 'Disconnect' button to disconnect from the download site and allow the program to start from step 1 again.

If the site that you're downloading images from is inactive for more than 60 seconds a 'timeout' occurs - the image automatically starts to load again. If the image is not available four times the program continues to download the next image. Note that the time to timeout can be set on the 'Settings' tab.

The files that have file size equal to zero (empty files) will be deleted after download.

The links, that have been used for downlaoding, are saved to a drop down list (history) and can be accessed even the next time the program is run. To clear the list click the 'Clear history' button in 'Downlaod zone'.

Downloading embeded images
If you don't want the program to look for LINKS to images, but download just the images instead, check the 'Download embeded images (not with links)' check box that can be found on 'Download zone' tab. This way the program will not look for 'A HREF' attribute in HTML, but for 'IMG SRC' attribute.

Downloading from a list of pages
You can download images from several pages at one site at once. Supply the URL to the index page that has links to other pages and click the 'Load list' button. When the list is loaded you can click on 'Start!' button and every page will be downloaded as it would be if downloaded from the Download zone (see Downloading from a single page).

On the right side under the list the number of all links found on the page is shown. If you want to find out the number of a single line, just move the mouse cursor over that line. If you want to continue downloading from a specified line in the list just input the line number in the 'start with item' field. The download will begin from the line number specified.

If you want to populate the list with the links to subfolders (for example when the link shows directory listing) you should click the 'Load list of subfolders' instead.

The images saved from the 'List download' zone will have automatically a number prefixed; the number will increase by one for each new link the program downloads.

The lists can be saved to file or loaded from file by using the 'Save list to file' and 'Load list from file' buttons.

Downloading pictures from a password protected site
It is also possible to download pictures from a password protected web site in you have a valid username and password. Select the 'Settings' tab and enter the username/password details in the appropriate fields in 'Page' region of the window. Press the 'Use this password' button and continue to use the program as you would if the page hasn't been protected.
Important: if you want to download pictures from a non-protected page, you have to reset the password. Select the 'Settings' tab, clear the 'user' and 'pass' fields and click the 'Use this password' button. Now the password is cleared and the program will not use it to download pictures.

Saving the list of pictures to a file
You might want to save the image list for future use or for sharing the list with your friends.
After you have already loaded the images from a page (after steps 1, 2, and 3 in the 'Download zone' tab) you can save the list to file by selecting the 'Save list to file' item from the 'Lists...' button in the 'Download zone' tab. The standard Save dialog will appear, where you can select a folder of your choice and enter the file name you want to use. The list will be saved with the .txt extension.

Loading a list of pictures from a file
You can open a web page with links to pictures locally from your hard disk. In 'Download zone' tab click on the 'Lists...' button and select the item 'Load from file'. An Open file dialog is displayed and you can select any file with .html extension. Found links are loaded into the picture list and from here on you can continue with step 3 of normal download process.

Creating a list of pictures
If you click on the button 'Lists...' in the 'Download zone' tab and select 'Create list' a poweful tool will open. It is used to create custom lists of pictures. This can be very useful when the images have increasing names (i.e. 001.jpg, 002.jpg, 003.jpg or pic1.jpg, pic2.jpg, pic3.jpg or even img01big.jpg, img02big.jpg, img03big.jpg) and the index page doesn't exist so there is no way of getting the whole list from one page. With this tool you can create a list of pictures that can later be downloaded.

How to create a list
Let's say that you have found a web site that hosts images that you would like to download but the images are embedded in html files. You try to list the folder index to see all image files but you can not. You discover, that the images have similar file names, let's say pic01.jpg, pic02.jpg,... The URLs of the images would be something like

In the first field in the opened window you have to write the address without the http:// and without the file name. In this case you would input only the part shown in red:


Now you have to build the file names for all the files. We will do that with concatenating three parts of the file name: the first and the third parts, that are not changing, and the second part, which is a number and is different for each file name.
In the field 'Start' you would write pic and in the field 'End' would go .jpg. Now all we need is the middle part. We have images from 01 to 20, so you input 1 in the field 'From' and 20 in the field 'To'. Set the number of decimal places to 2 so that the right file names will be generated. Click the 'Create list' button and this is what you should get:
If you set the number of decimal places to 5 you would get this (and this is wrong, so you would probably get a 404 error or no files found):
When you have the list like it should be you can check a single link by clicking the 'Test selected link in browser' button. If the link opens successfully then you can continue downloading the files. Click the 'Download' button and the tool will close, populating the Download list with the addresses of the files that you want to download. Now you can select and download the files like you normally would (see Downloading from a single page), starting with step 4.

Viewing downloaded pictures
After you hit the Download button a new button apears right to it. By clicking on 'View images' the download folder is opened where you can view the images that you have downloaded.

Displaying pictures as they are downloaded
If you want to see the pictures as they get downloaded make sure that you check the 'View as you download' check box in th e'Download Zone'. A new window will open that will show the image just after its downlaod will be finished. The window will stay on top of other windows and the picture will change when a new one is downloaded. You can turn this feature off by closing the 'View image' window or by unchecking the 'View as you download' check button. The location of the 'View image' window is rememebered for the next run of the program.

Command line parameters
The program supports four different ways of being run from the command prompt. You can pass to it between two and five parameters. The first one and the second one are always URL and Local Path. You can also supply username and password if a site that you're downloading images from is password protected. Third (or fifth, if you're downloading from protected site) argument can be word 'start' thates makes the program to start downloading images right away. If you specify the parameter 'exit', then the program will exit after it has finished downloading.
Below you will find a list of available combinations of command line parameters:

PictDL.exe URL LocalPath
PictDL.exe URL LocalPath User Pass
PictDL.exe URL LocalPath start
PictDL.exe URL LocalPath start exit
PictDL.exe URL LocalPath User Pass start
PictDL.exe URL LocalPath User Pass start exit

Example of a command line:

PictDL.exe http://www.humerca.com/miha/pdtest/test.html c:\test start exit

Note that when running the program with command line parameters the program window will not be displayed (only a program icon in the taskbar).

Error log
The program saves the links to files that weren't successfully downloaded to a file error.log that can be found in the application folder (usually c:\Program Files\Mihov Picture Downloader\error.log).

You can find answers to your questions in the on-line forum located at http://forum.mihov.com.

You can download the latest version of the program from the programs web page located at http://www.picturedownloader.net . If you would like to try other freeware programs written by me, check my freeware web page at http://freeware.mihov.com .

I have a list of users e-mail addresses and when a new version or update comes out I send everyone a short note. If you want to subscribe to the list go to http://www.picturedownloader.net and enter your real e-mail address.
If you want to check if you are using the latest version of the program check the programs web page or visit the update center at http://update.mihov.com.

How can I help?

  1. Spread the word about the program.
  2. To save my time, more experienced users can help users who encounter problems. Log into the forum at http://forum.mihov.com and try to answer some questions. This way you will be known as an 'expert' and you will feel good that you can help someone who needs help.
  3. Send me a postcard and tell me that you appreciate what I do (you can get my address here ). You can also send me a real letter and add your picture in there! But please don't send me e-cards or e-mails since my mailbox is already full all the time - if you want to say thanks on-line, use the forum.
  4. Try to persuade me that developing freeware will help me buy my own appartment and donate a few Dollars for a beer.

© Miha Pšenica 2002 - 2011
Updated: 19.10.2005