As we looked at yesterday, there are a lot of great options when choosing which web browser to use. Each of the major browsers available today offer a lot of functionality by default.
But there are a lot of ways to extend the functionality of your browser with the use of bookmarklets.
What are bookmarklets? Wikipedia defines them so:
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.
Basically, they look just like the other bookmarks in your browser, but, when clicked, they perform a specific bit of functionality. And many are designed to work with a specific web application, making the tasks users perform easier and more efficient to complete.
Here are 20 of the best from the past few years.
Many blogging platforms now allow you to post easily via email or bookmarklet. Here are three of the best.
Posterous also has a nice bookmarklet — similar to Tumblr, it detects the various items on a page. But it simply displays them in a list to choose from where Tumblr breaks them down by type and sorts them in a tabbed interface.
Both are good, but the Tumblr bookmarklet is slightly more user friendly.
And the last in this category, WordPress has its own easy posting tool titled, “Press This”.
XRAY is a really effective tool for measuring elements on a page as well as viewing the hierarchy and settings of the element itself. A great tool for those who work with the web.
Another tool for developers, Firebug Lite is the bookmarklet from the makers of Firebug, an extension for Firefox. Firebug lite brings some of the functionality of Firebug to Safari, Opera and Internet Explorer.
If want to check out your site on a grid, use this great bookmarklet from Andy Budd.
This entry allows users to create notes in Google Reader straight from the current web site.
Another one from the Google team, this one will move you straight to Google Reader to subscribe to a site rather than the usual 2-3 clicks it takes using a sites RSS button.
And the last Google entry allows you to select text and create an email in one click. The email will include the link to the current page as well as the text you have selected.
As you would expect, these two bookmarklets will take the URL of the current page, or one you have selected in a page, and create a shortened version.
The version for bit.ly works much the same. Both are good options — choose the one for the service you prefer.
Of all the bookmarking services out there, I still like Delicious the best. Part of the reason is the great bookmarklet — it’s simple to save the page you’re on and then get back to surfing.
Clean the Web
An newer brand of tools have showed up recently that focus on the reading experience. Reading on the web is not always a pleasure — many sites feature garish ads that take up most of the space on the page. These bookmarklets attempt to resolve this issue.
From the team at Arc90 comes Readability, a great tool that allows you to choose a few preferences for how you want to see the text of the article you’re reading. Here’s an example of the tool in action.
I don’t watch a lot of sports, but I do enjoy football and the NFL. However, these types of sites seem to be the worst and are insulting to the intelligence of the reader.
Here’s an artice from my favourite sports writer, Peter King, in its original state:
That’s a whole lot easier on the eye and a more enjoyable reading experience overall.
Another entrant in this category, Tidy Read is similar to Readability.
BugMeNot is an interesting tool that allows you to check out web tools that require a log-in, without going through the hassle of signing up. The bookmarklet makes it easier to use by selecting a dummy login straight from the site itself.
For Evernote users, this one is an essential tool in your toolbox. Add items to your Evernote library straight from the browser.
This is another handy addition. Ever want to search within a site, but there is no search box to be found? Rollyo to the rescue — their bookmarklet allows you to search easily right on the page, as shown here:
Instapaper users are familiar with the Read Later bookmarklet — it’s the easiest way to get your items into the application. Too busy to read it now? Read it later.
Sometimes you want to see what’s behind that shortened URL before clicking. This bookmarklet will decode any shortened link and let you decide first and click later.
And the last entry of the day, this nice bookmarklet downloads the page you’re on in PDF form. It takes a few seconds, but the service creates a PDF and then downloads it for you. Perfect for reading later or emailing to others.
Tell Us Your Favourites
This is just the beginning — there are hundreds of bookmarklets out there. These are my faves. What are yours?