file-open-dialog How do you bring an image from the the web into some desktop image editor like Photoshop or MS Paint for editing ? Or how do you import a text file from the internet into Microsoft Excel for data analysis ?

A common approach would be that you first download that image or text file from the internet onto your desktop, start the corresponding desktop application and then do a File -> Open.

Here’s a a slightly more efficient approach where you can effectively skip the first step – open Photoshop (or any other software) and do a File -> Open. Now instead of browsing for the file in your local folders, type the web address (URL) of that file and press Enter.

open-internet-files

Adobe Photoshop will fetch that file from web and open it just like any other local file. You could use the same trick to view the HTML source of a web page in a text editor like notepad.

You should also try opening a web page in Microsoft Word – it renders the page with all the formatting and give you features of a WYSIWYG editor. Here’s the Google home page inside Microsoft Word.

google-microsoft-word

Other than files on regular web servers, you can also use the File -> Open dialog of your favorite application to view files residing on FTP servers. The syntax will be ftp://user:password@ftpserver/foldername/filename.extension