Tech Tip: Enhance your browsing experience using bookmarklets

By on November 2, 2010, 4:30 AM
One of the reasons behind Firefox's sustained popularity is the availability of a vast library of extensions. But expanding functionality through these add-ons can have some downsides of their own. For example, most of them are not cross-platform, so if you decide to try another browser your favorite extensions might not be available.

Enter ‘bookmarklets’ -- small applets stored as an URL that are designed to add 1-click functionality to a browser or web page. They are JavaScript-enabled links you can pull into your bookmarks to interact with whatever page you find yourself on. Granted, they might not offer the level of functionality some of the more advanced browser extensions do, but they certainly come in handy and can sometimes be as simple as a single line of code.


From a simple “mail page to” script to a spelling checker to an HTML debugger, all you need to do to enable them is drag a link to your favorites – typically you bookmarks toolbar – and that’s that.

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User Comments: 17

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customcarvin customcarvin said:

The optimistic part of me says, "That sounds pretty cool, you could do some unique things with this."

The cynic in me says, "Great, that's just what we need... more code and stuffs that will slow down web traffic, and that could potentially be exploited."

Basically, i don't know what to think about this.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

customcarvin said:

The optimistic part of me says, "That sounds pretty cool, you could do some unique things with this."

The cynic in me says, "Great, that's just what we need... more code and stuffs that will slow down web traffic, and that could potentially be exploited."

Basically, i don't know what to think about this.

Well, if that's the case, then call me Mr. Cynic.

I think this is as useless as using your computer with your mouse upside down.

To be honest, after Speed Dial, bookmark(lets) are becoming pretty obsolete. Not to mention that, in Firefox, you can type anything related to the web page's URL or description, in the AwesomeBar, and it will instantly find it.

Also, there's Firefox add-on that practically puts the AwesomeBar on steroids. I forgot the name, but this add-on is able to find anything inside the web page, and it will instantly show it to you; right there in the AwesomeBar. So, say, I type "Enter 'bookmarklets' -- small applets stored as..." (Which is part of the starting sentence of this article), it will instantly show me this page of Techspot.

This totally demolishes the purpose of bookmark(lets). As long as you either know the name or anything that was written in that web page, you will instantly go back to it. Provided, of course, you use Firefox. Muahahaha...!

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

You've completely missed the point lawfer, bookmarklets ARE NOT bookmarks.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Julio said:

You've completely missed the point lawfer, bookmarklets ARE NOT bookmarks.

I see now. I researched a bit more about what bookmarklets are. It seems quite easy to confuse both, hence my earlier post; which I apologize for.

I guess I was inherently cynic, after all.

Serag said:

I've been using some of those bookmarklets for a while now and I find them to be extremly useful, like instapaper which made my bookmarks less cluttered with stuff i just want to read.

You should update the list to include Quix which does a load of stuff.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Mmm there are a bunch of other addons that will do this and more, or are specific for one of them at least, can't see the use for them (And its not like they consume a lot of memory, if any at all to complain about them).

RebelFlag said:

These are interesting. I like the marklets one which gives me the bookmarklets, with having to clutter up the bookmark bar.

JMMD JMMD, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Never knew about any of these before reading the article, thanks for the info.

bakape said:

Sounds promising, but having an extra bar in Chromium seems a waste of browsing space. Still worth a peek.

Technochicken Technochicken, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Best bookmarklet ever:

[link]

I found this one a few weeks ago, and it is really entertaining.

TJGeezer said:

serag said:

I've been using some of those bookmarklets for a while now and I find them to be extremly useful, like instapaper which made my bookmarks less cluttered with stuff i just want to read.

So - once you've saved some "read later" URLs to instapaper, how do you access them? If it means remembering to to log into yet another URL every day... hmmm...

Guest said:

Download YouTube Etc interesting but I'm used http://www.download-youtube.us/

it is much easier and more convenient can download videos

hitech0101 said:

Nice article Thanks

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

Good article, but that picture of Ballmer drives me nuts...Jesus he is an ugly man...

rizalp said:

I highly recommend readability bookmarklet. It removes the clutter when you want to focus reading Check it out:

http://lab.arc90.com/experiments/readability/

jazboy said:

very good article.

ZipZpZowie said:

I wouldn't mind trying a few, but it appears not to work with IE8.

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