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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
A seasoned developer's little discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

Search from over a hundred HOW TO articles, Tips and Tricks


Google Mobilizer Bookmarklet - view just text of web pages

You can use Google Mobilizer application, when you need a mobile-friendly version of webpage. If you are on a low-bandwith Internet connection, Google Mobilizer can be used on a PC or laptop to view just the text (and optionally images).

Before you read further, you can see how this page looks with and without images after being processed by Google Mobilizer. While you're there take a good look at the URL if you want to understand the bookmarklet code that I'm going to talk about next. A little context first...

When I'm on Twitter, I don't have a good feeling about clicking URL shortened links as they don't reveal the domain name and can lead you to spam. Ocassionally, I'm directed to web pages that have more ads than content. I also learnt the creepy fact that any site can find out if you are logged into social web sites.

http://datatransparency.wsj.com/

Considering these privacy, security & readability issues I faced, I wished there was a way to open all links in a web page with Mobilizer so that I can view a minimalist, text-only version of a web page. I wrote the Google Mobilizer Bookmarklet to scratch this itch.

This Gist shows the "prettified" bookmarklet code -

To use the bookmarklet, drag & drop the following link to your Bookmarklet/Favorites bar - Mobilizer

Once you're on a page that has a lot of links (like Twitter), click on the Mobilizer bookmarklet & it will then set a light grey background color to all hyperlinks on that page & prepend the Google Mobilizer URL to them.

As the Google Mobilizer application works by taking a querystring as an input, it can be adapted to work like a search provider in Chrome & Opera, to simplify its use.  The string to use for configuring it is -

http://www.google.com/gwt/x?noimg=1&btnGo=Go&source=wax&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&u=%s

If you assign a letter like M to this app, you can type M in the Chrome address bar/omnibox & then the type the URL you would like to see via Google Mobilizer.

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