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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
An architect's notes, experiments, discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

The Joy of Bookmarklets

A Bookmarklet is a small JavaScript program that can be hosted on the browser's bookmarks bar and used to simplify a multi-step or repetitive activity by automating it. For instance, upon clicking the Snipshot bookmarklet, it will extract all the images in a web page that you have opened, display them for you to select & open them directly with the Snipshot image editing site. This feature can be helpful when you want to quickly edit images you find online.

There are quite a lot of such bookmarklets that can enhance your browsing experience.

As they are cross-browser, they work in all popular browsers unlike Extensions (in Firefox & Chrome) and Accelerators & Web Slices (in IE8).

WPO (Web Performance Optimization) guru Steve Souders says:  I use bookmarklets frequently to enhance web sites. I build tools as bookmarklets as a first choice - that way they can run on all browsers. If I can't do what I want using a bookmarklet, I'll next try Greasemonkey, and finally as a browser plug-in, typically a Firefox add-on. 

I've developed a fascination for Bookmarklets. My bookmarks bar is now full. To add new ones and view them all directly, I'll probably have to buy a bigger monitor.

After getting to know that commenting on "dofollow" blogs/sites can have some value, I wondered if there was an easy way of identifying such sites. I though writing a bookmarklet to highlight "nofollow" links could be one way. I was thrilled to find that such a bookmarklet has already been written a couple of years ago by a Googler. I tweaked it a little to make it work in IE8 as well.

Some bookmarklets from around the web that I've found useful over the years (drag & drop links to your Bookmarks bar to use) -
- Get Image Links
View Passwords
- Enable Copy Paste

Also see:
Bookmarklet Construction Set
Bookmarklet to continuously refresh any web-page
Google Docs Viewer bookmarklet
HOW TO create your own IE8 Accelerator

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