File Juicer

File Juicer for Mac OS X


  1. Feeding File Juicer
  2. The Preferences
  3. File Formats
  4. Flash Cards and Disk Images
  5. Text recovery/extraction
  6. Other uses for File Juicer
  7. Getting overview of many images
  8. Limitations & Troubleshooting
  9. Technical Details
  10. Contact

File Juicer: Byte by Byte search, find and extract

File Juicer searches the files byte by byte for the formats it knows.
The only requirement for this to work, is that the file to recover is stored in exactly one of the above formats.

To see how this works, you can try to download and extract images from a Windows screensaver. The screensaver in this example contains 20 JPEG images from Tetons National Park inside an .EXE file.

File Juicer does not decode and reencode data. For example: dropping an MP3 file on File Juicer will not make it into a WAV or AAC file. It will however extract album cover art, because MP3 files can contain images.
For conversion of from one video file format to another, I recommend looking at ffmpegX and QuickTime Pro
A new piece of software for WMV conversion I have not tried is WMV studio.

Text is slightly different. Here the requirement is "fuzzy": there should not be too much binary data close by. More about text below.

1) Feeding File Juicer

You can tell File Juicer which files to search with drag and drop or point out the files/folders via the File menu.

Drag files or folders into the File Juicer window.

If you have many windows open, you can still do this. Start the drag from Finder (or an other application) and while holding down the mouse button, switch applications with Command-Tab.

Drag and Drop 1
Drag the files onto File Juicer's Dock icon.

Or onto the File Juicer application icon in Finder.
Drag into the Dock
Select the files and folders from the File -> Open... menu.

Here I have selected Safari's cache folder which usually contain 1000 images - mostly ads. You can select more files and folders at once by holding shift down while selecting the file or folder.
File Menu & Sheet
From the Menu

There are shortcuts for juicing the caches of web browsers, and for the temporary images different applications save.
Menu showing browser caches
From Finder

You can "juice" .EXT, .PPS, .PPT and .PDF files from Finder, by holding down the Control key while clicking on the file.
Open From Finder

2) The Preferences


File Juicer can search for several file formats, and it takes more time to search for all formats. Decoding email attachments is roughly twice the work of searching for the other file formats.

Email attachments are a special case, as it requires File Juicer to do base64 decoding, which is used for sending any kind of file as email. File Juicer just decodes the attachment and tries to figure out what kind of file it has found, in case the file name or file type is not immediately available.

File Juicer has one requirement of the files it searches: that the images should be stored in their original format inside the files. In Flash, QuickTime and Windows Media Files, the original files are sometimes converted into an internal format, which File Juicer does not understand.


File Juicer can squeeze a lot of files from browser caches or if you feed it fit folders containing a lot of images. The results are normally saved in a folder on the Desktop, but you can configure File Juicer to save the results next to the juiced files (as Stuffit Expander), or choose a place somewhere else.

Crating thumbnails can take some time, but for an overview of the images, this is convenient. You can enable this check box, and skip the process manually if it takes too long.

Don't save duplicates, compare the contents of the images it finds, and if it find the same image twice, it will not save the copies, even if they have different names of dates.

The checkbox "Organize files in folders for each format" is helpful when extracting many files of different formats. If you are generating icons to test which files may be corrupt, File Juicer will place files where it could not generate icons inside yet another folder.

If (when!) I learn about bugs, I will fix them and update the web site.

3 File Formats

File Juicer Format linkUp to date information is in the File Formats List. I have added information about more than 100 common and not so common file formats, what they may contain, and hints to other applications which are relevant.

Here is a short list of the formats File Juicer handles:

  • Microsoft PowerPoint, Word & Excel. This is also where most WMF and EMF files are found, as they are the native clipboard types for images on Windows.
  • RAW files (from Canon digital cameras) can contain a JPEG version of the image taken. File Juicer makes it easy to extract them.
  • Web browser cache files from Safari, Mozilla and Internet Explorer. You find those in the "Library" folder (see above on the screen shot of the "Open" sheet).
  • Applications can be dropped on File Juicer, and the images known to File Juicer will be extracted. You can do that by using the "Contextual Menu" in Finder too.
  • Apple Keynote
  • Email attachments from Apple Mail. You can extract those by using Mail too, and that is the preferred way, but this is not practical for mailboxes not in use or mail boxes which are damaged or stored on CD's.
  • QuickTime and Flash files are examples of file formats which do contain images, but they are not stored in any of the formats File Juicer currently support.
  • PDF files can contain bitmap images in JPEG format and in losslessly compressed formats. File Juicer can find the JPEG images, as they are, but also as PDFs. This is because PDF files has color management, and the JPEGs can get additional color information. When File Juicer extract PDF images form a PDF (!), it will also copy the color information. The lossless images are saved only as PDF images.
  • EXE files. Flash animations can be saved as self playing Windows applications, so Windows users who don't have a Flash player, can play them anyway. This makes them unusable on Mac OS. No longer! Check the Flash and the Inflate check boxes in the preferences and Juice them. There is a good chance you will get to the Flash animation. On occasion, the result of  first juicing, is not Flash files, but files ending in ".inflated". Juice (the largest) of these to see if the Flash file is in there.
  • Some applications (.prc files) for the Palm handheld, are distributed as .exe files, even if Mac users can not use them. If these exe files have been made with WinZip, File Juicer can extract them.
File Juicer can find text in most files. Use the preferences in TextEdit to set the encoding, if you extract from files coming from Windows.

For more info about which formats File Juicer have extracted files from, see the File Juicer Formats page.

4 Flash Cards and Disk Images

File Juicer can extract files from disk images. This is useful for un-erasing files deleted by accident.
The situation where I have needed this mostly, is to recover photos on the flash card from my digital camera.

You can try this on your flash card now, when you have read the images in your normal preferred way. That way you get an idea of what to expect the day you need it. File juicer uses Apples's "Disk Utility" tool to make a disk image of your flash card.

To make a disk image from a flash card, choose "Flash Card..." from the File menu, and File Juicer will read the flash card, and extract the files from the result, and keep the disk image.

If you use Mac OS X 10.2.8, you can use Apple's Disk Copy to make a disk image, which you then drag into File Juicer. Screen shot.

When you recover images from flash cards, you may get many tiny JPG files which are remainders of images. To sort out which are good and which are not, you can set File Juicer's preferences to generate thumbnail icons, or just sort by size.

If you have erased single images, shot new ones, and erased again on the flash card, the results may be worse as the images gets broken up and the parts stored different places on the card. I usually empty my flash card completely when I connect to my Mac, so I have found one year old images on my cards.

You can make disk images of any type of disk, and try on those. It may be very slow if you try to juice disk images larger than the amount of RAM in your Mac.

More about flash card recovery

5 Text recovery/extraction

Text can get stuck in unreadable files mixed together with binary data. File Juicer can search any file for data which might be text, and extract it to a text file readable with any text editing application.

On this screen shot, I have filtered an mp3 file, and the tiny amounts of text inside gets extracted. File Juicer names the file with a percentage in the name, this percentage tells you how large a part of the file is text. For the mp3 file it was about 1%. Even with files made by word processors this may be well below 50%.

Ascii Dirt

If you filter files from Microsoft Office, or files of Windows origin, you may benefit from using the Preferences in TextEdit which lets you interpret those files better.
When File Juicer extract text from PDF and Word documents, its encoding is UTF-8 which TextEdit handles nicely even if it is not the default.

Text encoding in TextEdit

6 Other Uses for File Juicer

  1. If image files lose their extension and file type, and you do not know what it was, they can not be opened. File Juicer will figure out the correct file type, and append an extension.
  2. If files are stored in deeply nested folders, File Juicer can make an unnested copy of all the images. iPhoto stores images in nested folders, and this can be used to extract images there. Finders search function can be used for the same purpose.
  3. Recovering albums from a damaged iPhoto library. If the iPhoto library gets damaged, and iPhoto can not repair it, the files are still inside the folders, but they are organized in folders by date. Version 4 of iPhoto (but not the newer versions) also makes album folders with aliases to the original images. If you take one of these folders and drop on File Juicer, it will create copies of the original files - not the aliases.
  4. Stripping icons from images. This may be useful in some cases, perhaps saving a bit of disk space, or stripping the icons because they do not work well outside Mac OS. This is a limited use feature, as in most cases, the icons are ignored by the software which does not understand them.

7 Getting Overview of Many Images

With File Juicer you can collect many images, in just one juicing. File Juicer can put icons on images of the types: JPG, GIF, TIFF, PNG and PDF, so getting an overview in Finder is easy.

Two options from the preferences are:
  • Preserve Dates - this will copy the date from the files searched to the files extracted. This will help getting a overview in Finder when sorting by date.
  • Organize found files after format - this will sort the images in subfolders after format. Files for which no icon could be generated are placed in yet another subfolder within. Those files may be corrupt or have very small icons.

Other options for handling lots of images are:
  • iPhoto. This is best for photographs, or larger images. It is not suited for small graphics.
  • Preview. Preview is fast for opening many images in one go.
  • Use the icon generation feature of File Juicer. This adds to the time of extraction, and adds a resource to each file. This has been the traditional way of making custom icons since long before Mac OS X.
Screen shot of how Preview is showing the files
selected in Finder in the background
(click image to enlarge)

Many images shown in Preview
Google search: illusions.pps

If you followed the above Google link, and tried to download
the illusions.pps file, you may get gibberish like this:

Image showing gibberish in Safari

Solution: control-click on the link and chose to save the file.

Save the linked file via the context menu

Choose "Don't append" if Safari asks about adding ".txt" to the file name.

8 Limitations & Troubleshooting

File Juicer comes with no warranty, expressed or implied. It may or may not work as intended, and I am not responsible for any damages, special, indirect, consequential, or whatsoever caused by using the software.

File Juicer does not decrypt PDF files which are encrypted. This will result in white images.

Before Mac OS X 10.4, extracting text from PDF files is not practical, although it can work. On Mac OS X 10.4, PDF Text extraction use the same converter as copy and paste from Preview.

File Juicer recognize .ZIP, ,bz2, .rar and "deflate" compressed data and will extract it so you can decompress it with Finder, but not other compression algorithms. It does not decrypt encrypted data.

If File Juicer should crash and you wish to tell me about it, I would appreciate if you send me the file:
~/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/File Juicer.crash.log

A few tips about: reporting bugs.

9 Technical Details

Log Files

File Juicer saves two log files in your Library > Logs folder. "FileJuicerLog.txt" and "FileJuicerResultsLog.txt". They are created for every "juicing", and contain the names of the files juiced and the files found. The log files are emptied every time you juice a new set of files, so you don't need to delete them as they don't grow.

Special Names on found files

Some files get special names. If they contain "[1346]", it means that compressed data was found 1346 bytes from the beginning of the file.

If the end is ".inflated" or ".bz2 extracted", it refers to the name of decompression algorithm used when extracting the file, and that the extracted data was not one of the formats File Juicer can identify. See .inflated for more info.

Text files can have something like "(6%)" in the file name. It means that only 6% of the juiced file was text.

Show images while extracting files

Display of Images while Juicing

You can turn this off by the little checkbox. This makes File Juicer a bit faster, but what is more important, is that it becomes more stable under very large "juicings". An example is if you have a disk image of a PC hard disk, a lot of remainders of deleted files can be found, and Mac OS 10.3.9 has rare issues when trying to display damaged PDF or TIFF files.

Camera RAW Files

If have Mac OS 10.4 and you wish to turn off conversion of NEF,CRW,CR2 to JPEG and TIFF you can quit File Jucier and use this command in the Terminal:
defaults write com.echoone.FileJuicer skipRawConversion -boolean yes
If you wish to extract only the largest JPEG inside use this command
defaults write com.echoone.FileJuicer returnOnlyLargestFile -boolean yes
This will also apply if you extract images from PDF files only the largest image will get extracted (and you may like them all).

Turn off WMV to MOV conversion

defaults write com.echoone.FileJuicer skipWMVConversion -boolean yes
This will turn off conversion of WMV to MOV conversion which you may now wish if you use File Juicer as a forensics tool where the search anf extract function is all you need.


File Juicer understands a bit of AppleScript which can be useful if you wish to do a folder action setup.

10 Contact

Bug Reports Feedback and bug reports are welcome.

Echo One
Henrik Dalgaard