Tuesday, October 19, 2010

5 Must Have Bookmarklets

Extensions and add-ons enrich your overall browsing experience, but installing, maintaining and updating them can be very difficult. This is where the bookmarklets come into the scene, if you haven’t used bookmarklets before, the following definition from Wikipedia will enlighten you.

A bookmarklet is an applet, a small computer application, stored as the URL of a bookmark in a web browser or as a hyperlink on a web page.
Below are five of my favorite bookmarklets which I feel that everyone must have. 

Short URLs are very convenient to share, but, they lack the much-needed credibility since you don’t know where you will be taken once you click them. ‘Long URL Please’ bookmarklet shows you the real destination of the short URLs without necessarily having to visit them.

If you find it difficult to type passwords on your computer since they are not displayed in letters, this bookmarklet is for you. ‘View passwords’ shows the password you have typed on a page so that you can verify the same before you submit it. 

This bookmarklet will be very useful for users of IE who do not have a lot of URL shortening extensions like the other browsers. Clicking on the bookmarklet takes you to tinyurl’s page where you can find the URL shortened and ready to consume.

If you are a frequent user of Yahoo Answers, you would have noticed that many people ask questions for which answers can be very easily found by just doing an internet search. ‘Let me Google That for You’ helps you in this case, all you need to do is highlight the search text in a  website and hit the bookmarklet, it takes you to the letmegooglethatforyou website (copy the link to it to share) where there’s a demo showing how to do a Google search and then it shows the result for the query you had highlighted.

This bookmarklet can be used when you are looking to download videos from YouTube. All you need to do is click on it when you are on the video’s page and it takes care of the rest.

Bookmarklets are very useful since they are platform-independent and do not bloat your browser, but they can grow quickly and clutter your collection of bookmarks thus making it difficult for you to use the Bookmarklets you need. In this case, you can rename the bookmarklets by making it shorter and easier to remember. You can also organize your bookmarklets into folders. But then if you have a LOT of bookmarklets it will still be a chaos. Thankfully, Ashutosh Mishra has written a helpful article on reducing the cluttering of bookmarklets by combining them, you can read it here.

To install a bookmarklet just drag it's name in the bigger font to your browser's toolbar.

The author of this article can be contacted at gouthaman@pcgeekblog.com