How do you parse an HTML string for image tags to get at the SRC information?


Currently I use .Net WebBrowser.Document.Images() to do this. It requires the Webrowser to load the document. It's messy and takes up resources.

According to this question XPath is better than a regex at this.

Anyone know how to do this in C#?

5/23/2017 12:17:29 PM

Accepted Answer

If your input string is valid XHTML you can treat is as xml, load it into an xmldocument, and do XPath magic :) But it's not always the case.

Otherwise you can try this function, that will return all image links from HtmlSource :

public List<Uri> FetchLinksFromSource(string htmlSource)
    List<Uri> links = new List<Uri>();
    string regexImgSrc = @"<img[^>]*?src\s*=\s*[""']?([^'"" >]+?)[ '""][^>]*?>";
    MatchCollection matchesImgSrc = Regex.Matches(htmlSource, regexImgSrc, RegexOptions.IgnoreCase | RegexOptions.Singleline);
    foreach (Match m in matchesImgSrc)
        string href = m.Groups[1].Value;
        links.Add(new Uri(href));
    return links;

And you can use it like this :

HttpWebRequest request = (HttpWebRequest)WebRequest.Create("");
request.Credentials = System.Net.CredentialCache.DefaultCredentials;
HttpWebResponse response = (HttpWebResponse)request.GetResponse();
if (response.StatusCode == HttpStatusCode.OK)
    using(StreamReader sr = new StreamReader(response.GetResponseStream()))
        List<Uri> links = FetchLinksFromSource(sr.ReadToEnd());
7/12/2016 4:47:40 PM

The big issue with any HTML parsing is the "well formed" part. You've seen the crap HTML out there - how much of it is really well formed? I needed to do something similar - parse out all links in a document (and in my case) update them with a rewritten link. I found the Html Agility Pack over on CodePlex. It rocks (and handles malformed HTML).

Here's a snippet for iterating over links in a document:

HtmlDocument doc = new HtmlDocument();
HtmlNodeCollection linkNodes = doc.DocumentNode.SelectNodes("//a/@href");

Content match = null;

// Run only if there are links in the document.
if (linkNodes != null)
    foreach (HtmlNode linkNode in linkNodes)
        HtmlAttribute attrib = linkNode.Attributes["href"];
        // Do whatever else you need here

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