The SWF extension designates a Flash Shockwave file, which is a small animation video file format. While many online video converters, including ClipNabber, Zamzar and Media-Convert, have the ability to extract Flash files from the Internet, these programs generally recognize only the newer FLV, or Flash Video, file extension. In order to extract an SWF from a URL and save a copy of the Flash video to your computer, you must have a special program that recognizes SWFs.
Download the Mozilla Firefox web browser for your computer if you do not already have it (see Resources). Mozilla Firefox works on both Windows and Mac computers, and contains a built-in tool for extracting SWF files from the Internet.
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Double-click the Firefox icon on your desktop if you created a desktop icon during setup. If you did not create a desktop icon, launch Mozilla from "Start"-->"All Programs"-->"Mozilla"-->"Mozilla Firefox."
Go to the URL that contains the SWF file you want to extract. Once the page loads, right-click in a blank area on the page and select "View Page Info" from the list of options that appear.
Switch to the "Media" tab in the "Page Info" window. Click the SWF file in the list of available media that comes up, then click "Save As." Choose the folder on your hard drive where you want the file to save in the window that opens, and click "Save" to extract the SWF file and save it to your computer.
Install Flash Favorite onto your computer. Flash Favorite works with Internet Explorer and is available to download free at the Pipisoft website (see Resources). If you do not have Internet Explorer on your computer, you must download and install the IE web browser as well.
Launch Internet Explorer by double-clicking the desktop icon, or from "Start"-->All "Programs"-->"Internet Explorer." When Internet Explorer opens, enter the URL for the page from which you want to extract the SWF file.
Open Flash Favorite from "Start"-->"All Programs." Go to the tab labeled "IE Instance" to view the Flash videos available on the web page you currently have open in Explorer. Click the SWF file you want to extract in the list.
Click the "Destination" folder, and choose the folder into which you want to save the file. Type a name for the file in the provided box, and click "Save."
Download SoThinkMedia's SWF Catcher from the SoThinkMedia website (see Resources). Install SWF Catcher to your computer.
Open either Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer. If you do not have Firefox or IE installed, download and install one of these two web browsers. These are the only two browsers that work with SWF Catcher.
Go to the URL that contains the SWF you want to extract in the web browser. Once the video has loaded on the page, click the "Tools" menu in the web browser and select "SoThink SWF Catcher." Click the box by the SWF video you want to extract, choose the folder where you wish to save the file, and click "Save."