[guispeak] Tutorial on downloading a list of URLs with TextPal

  • From: Jamal Mazrui <empower@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: guispeak@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 14 Nov 2006 18:46:33 -0500 (EST)

For some time I've been wanting to make batch downloading of files more
convenient and efficient.  I've tried various spider programs and
registered a few of them.  Usually, more work is involved than what I'd
prefer for accomplishing common tasks, and their user interfaces have some
accessibility challenges.

I've now been able to add functionality to TextPal that does much of what
I typically want in a few keystrokes.  The download directive is simply a
list of URLs in the current editing window, one per line.  You can
manually type the URLs, copy and paste them from elsewhere, or retrieve
them as a file previously saved on disk.

TextPal also helps you create a list of URls via the Grab URLs command on
the File menu, Alt+Shift+G, which extracts the link references from the
HTML of a web page.  The command prompts you for the address of a web page
to analyze.  The default is the current value in the AddressBar of
Internet Explorer if that program is open.  So, you can browse to a web
page to analyze by whatever means, then press Alt+Shift+G in TextPal,
accept the address it gets from Internet Explorer, and generate a list of
URLs.  These URLs often refer to files on the same web site, but not
necessarily so -- TextPal lists whatever URLs it found in a new editing

Once you have a list of URLs, you can use the Web Download command,
Alt+Shift+W, to download the referenced files onto your computer.  TextPal
gives you a chance to narrow the download by presenting an edit box with
the file extensions it finds in the list.  For example, you might be

Extensions: doc htm pdf

To accept all file extensions, just press Enter.  Otherwise, delete any
you want to skip before pressing Enter.

TextPal counts how many files match the extensions you chose, informs you
of this number, and gives you a last chance to cancel the process by
pressing Escape.  If you press Enter to confirm, TextPal downloads the
files to a "download" subfolder of the TextPal program folder.  The
location in the default TextPal installation is
C:\Program Files\TextPal\download

TextPal announces each file it downloads, or indicates if there was a
problem.  When done, TextPal opens Windows Explorer in the download folder
so you can examine or move the files you retrieved.

Here is an example to illustrate this capability.  With Internet Explorer,
browse to the web site

Activate TextPal and press Alt+Shift+G to Grab URLs.  Press Enter to
accept the default address of that web site.  After the list of URLs is
generated, press Alt+Shift+W for Web Download.  Press Enter to accept all
file extensions.  Several free and quality guides to using software
applications from the keyboard will be downloaded to your computer!


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  • » [guispeak] Tutorial on downloading a list of URLs with TextPal