Using manual search option to download from unsupported sites

If you prefer a video introduction, you can watch downloading from unsupported sites using manual link search although, you are advised to still read this article for more information.

WFDownloader App works great for sites that it supports. You put in a link and it grabs just the links you expect, sometimes even crawling many pages to download entire galleries of images or videos. However, it is possible you have a situation where the site you want to download from is not supported. You are greeted with the error message "Failed. Webpage is not supported. Try manual search below if it's not a typo error." instead.

wfdownloader app website not supported

In this case you will have to use the manual search option instead. Click "Manual Search" button highlighted in the image shown above. You will see a dialog like what is shown below.

wfdownloader app manual search box

You select the most appropriate option based on the type of links you want to download. While each option is explained below, you can click on their links to know more or see some illustrations.

  • Hyperlinks option: Use this to download all clickable links on the given url link. They can be any type of links whether they lead to images, docuiments, other pages, etc.
  • Images option: Use this option to download all images found on the page. It's quite powerful and can be configured to automatically grab embedded images from hosts like imgur, imagebam, etc. Also, it has a "smart image search" mode which uses best effort to grab only relevant images from the page.
  • Videos option: Use this option to download all videos found on the page. Depending on the complexity of the page and whether the site is hiding/obfuscating the videos, WFDownloader App may not be able to get the videos and will need to support the site natively at your request.
  • Forum thread option: Use this option to download various forum media such as images, videos, audio, documents, etc., from forum threads. It is highly customizable and can be set to automatically crawl and pull images from known file hosts like imgur, flickr etc. It is also able to handle multi-page threads by crawling each and downloading what you have chosen.
  • Open Directory option: Use this option to grab all sorts of files from open directories. It's allows various settings such as URL filters, maximum crawl depth, etc.
  • Crawler mode: This option is used when you want to crawl whole galleries for certain types of links. They may be documents, images, videos, audios, etc. You configure what pages to crawl and what type of links you want collected.
  • Programmable mode: This is an advanced feature for expert users only. The app can be programmed to download all sorts of links (such as images, videos, audio, etc.) from almost any site. It's useful when you want to reuse the same code/algorithm to download various galleries or collections from the same site.

Some of the options above such as the forum thread option, open directory option, crawler mode, and programmable mode allow you to save your configuration/code for easy reuse. When trying to save your configuration, they optionally allow you to attach the configuration/code to a website or URL pattern. Once done, next time all you will have to do is click the blue "Add" button from the main window and search and it will automatically apply your saved setting/configuration (i.e., it behaves as a supported site). You won't need to use the manual search option for that site again. For example, if you have a particular forum site where you keep finding threads you want to download from, this feature will be particularly useful.

They also allow exporting your settings/configurations so that you can share them with your friends. All they will have to do is drag and drop your exported file onto the main application window and they will also be able to download from the new sites thanks to you!

A manual link search example

In the example url (in the image) given above, there are hyperlinks to adobe pdf documents as shown in the image below.

sample books url

In the above case, I will select the hyperlinks option.

  1. After clicking confirm, the hyperlinks search box will be displayed.
    wfdownloader app hyperlinks search box
  2. Select the options you want and click search.
    wfdownloader app hyperlinks search pressed sectionIn the search results shown above, there were 141 results found. However, the first five results were irrelevant. This is where the filter option comes into play.
  3. Type ".pdf" into the filter box to allow only links containing the pdf extension. Note that you can also sort the search result by url, type or size by clicking their respective columns. The R* option when selected, puts the filter search box in regular expressions mode. If you don't know what regular expressions are, just ignore the option.
    wfdownloader app hyperlinks search filterNotice that the results have been reduced to 135. You can also manually remove links by clicking the "Remove links" button.
  4. Click "Confirm"to add the links as a batch for download.

That's it! You can now download the batch of items by clicking "Start". Note that the other options (images, videos, forum thread, crawler mode) all follow similar steps. Although with more work, it has been shown that WFDownloader App can also download from non-supported sites. If you would like a non-supported site to become supported natively by the application, you can request it.

Thanks for reading!

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