SAVING IMAGES (OR ANYTHING ELSE) FROM THE INTERNET:
There's so much great free stuff available on the Internet, I'm always a little surprised when people tell me they don't make use of it. In addition to things like free patterns, there are great software programs, entire books, art, music, maps - you name it. If it exists and can be put into digital form, it's probably available on the World Wide Web.
There's nothing tricky about downloading a file. In fact, every time you visit a web page, your computer automatically downloads and stores every file it needs in order to display the page properly. The most complicated part, for many people, is finding the thing you've just downloaded after the download is finished.
On a Mac, saving an image is easy: just drag the image from your browser to your desktop. Downloading files is only slightly more complicated: simply go to your browser's Preferences settings and select the folder where you'd like to download files. Now, whenever you click a link to download a file, it will be saved to that folder. It's that easy.
If you're a Windows user, you'll need to specify the download location each time you download a file. It's very simple to do, however. If it's an image you want to save, first use your right mouse button to click on the image. This will pop up what's called a " context-sensitive menu" . One of the options in the menu will be to " Save Picture As..." or " Save Image As..." . Select this option with your left mouse button. A dialog box will pop up. This part of the process is where you can make things much easier for yourself, so I've illustrated the box below. The main thing to keep in mind is that if you specify where you want the file to be saved, you'll be able to find it later with no trouble at all. If you allow Windows to specify the download location, however, it may store it just about anywhere on your hard drive, which will make it much more difficult to find once the download is complete.
As you can see, the process is really very straightforward: you simply tell your computer where to save the file and what to call it, and then click " Save" . Nothing to it. The process is basically the same whether you're downloading an image or a program, except that when you download a program you don't need to right-click. Just click the link once. A box will pop up informing you that you have chosen to download a file and asking you what you want to do with it. Your choices will be to open it or save it:
Generally, you'll want to download the file and save it on your computer, so select " Save this file to disk" . Note that this doesn't mean you need to save it on a floppy disk. The disk you'll be saving it to is the hard disk on your computer. Once you click " OK" , you'll specify a name and download location, and click " Save" .
A word about downloading programs:
I've downloaded and tested literally hundreds of programs. Some of them (such as the ones I've recommended on our " Tools" page) have been great. Many of them, although free, have been as good or better than anything I could have paid money for. On the other hand, I've downloaded some that were awful. Some were buggy, some didn't work at all, some came with no documentation or documentation that was so poorly written that I couldn't figure out how to get them work. One thing I have never done, however, is download a program that contained a virus. I say this because I think it's one of the fears that keeps people from trying some of the great things that are available on the Internet. To me, that's sort of like avoiding restaurants because you're afraid you might get sick: it may be prudent, but it's not much fun. It's my opinion that if you're downloading tried-and-true programs from reputable sources--like Download.com or ZDNet, for instance (see our " Tools" page for links to these sites)--or from the developer's own website, you shouldn't run into problems. It's probably not a bad idea to scan them with an anti-virus program before you install them, although I've never had one come up " positive" in all the years I've been downloading (I wish I could say the same for some of the e-mail attachments I've received).
The programs I've recommended are programs I've used for years. I've never had a problem with any of them. In fact, they've all worked flawlessly. Of course, I can't guarantee they'll work flawlessly for you. I also don't offer tech support for any of them, although I'll be happy to answer basic questions if I can. If any of the programs listed seem like they'd be useful, why not give them a try? And if you find anything that you think we should know about, send us a link - we'll be happy to post links to any good programs that we think will be useful for other quilters.
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