New software added – Download Link Generator

01-Nov-2006

If I'm trying to view a large PDF document, or a video file, I'd much rather download the file to my hard drive first, rather than have Adobe Acrobat Reader or Windows Media Player try and open/download the file for me, with clumsy caching, and in some cases the inability to save a local copy to my hard drive should I want to.

So it's annoying when you have the URL of a file, but no actual link, so you can't right-click "Save as..." in the browser. This can happen when you've been emailed a link in plain text, or if you're trying to browse to a link from another application (in my case I was trying to browse to a PDF from within Microsoft Visual Studio). In such cases you copy and paste the URL into your browser's address bar, only to have the associated application try and open the file, as described above. It's not the end of the world, but it annoys me approximately once a month, and that's once too often for my tastes!

Today I wrote a simple tool, the Download Link Generator. This tool will allow you to copy and paste the URL of the file you'd like to download, and generate a regular HTML hyperlink, which you can then right-click and "Save as..." as usual.

It's not exactly rocket science, but it saves me getting annoyed now and then - I hope some of you find it useful too.