20 Top Bookmarklets to Get the Most from Your Browser

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.

Blog Posting

Many blogging platforms now allow you to post easily via email or bookmarklet. Here are three of the best.

Tumblr

The Tumblr bookmarklet detects what you want to share on any page.

The Tumblr bookmarklet detects what you want to share on any page.

Posterous

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.

Press This

And the last in this category, WordPress has its own easy posting tool titled, “Press This”.

Web Development

XRAY

XRAY allows developers to examine elements on a page.

XRAY allows developers to examine elements on a page.

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.

Firebug Lite

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.

Layout Grid

If want to check out your site on a grid, use this great bookmarklet from Andy Budd.

Another slick tool, it places a grid in the background of any page.

Another slick tool, it places a grid in the background of any page.

Google

Note in Reader

This entry allows users to create notes in Google Reader straight from the current web site.

Subscribe in Google Reader

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.

Gmail this

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.

URL Shortners

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.

trim

From here, you can copy and paste your shortened link.

From here, you can copy and paste your shortened link.

bit.ly

The version for bit.ly works much the same. Both are good options — choose the one for the service you prefer.

Bookmarks

Delicious

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.

Once you've saved the page, the bookmarklet redirects the browser back to the page you were on.

Once you've saved the page, the bookmarklet redirects the browser back to the page you were on.

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.

Readability

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:

Before — filled with extra elements and obnoxious advertising.

Before — filled with extra elements and obnoxious advertising.

And after:

After — nothing but the article you want to read.

After — nothing but the article you want to read.

That’s a whole lot easier on the eye and a more enjoyable reading experience overall.

TidyRead

Another entrant in this category, Tidy Read is similar to Readability.

Miscellaneous

BugMeNot

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.

Evernote web clipper

For Evernote users, this one is an essential tool in your toolbox. Add items to your Evernote library straight from the browser.

Rollyo

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:

Sometimes the Rollbar gives better results than the search built in to a site.

Sometimes the Rollbar gives better results than the search built in to a site.

Instapaper Read Later

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.

LongURLPlease

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.

pdfdownload

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?


  • http://1manit.posterous.com/ Michael Ramm

    Great article, Chris. I mentioned it on my site as well [http://bit.ly/ONSqf]

    • http://web.appstorm.net Chris Bowler

      Thanks bro!

  • http://jasonlarose.com Jason LaRose

    PageZipper is a great tool: http://www.printwhatyoulike.com/pagezipper

    I loads the “next” link when you reach the bottom of the page, so you just keep scrolling.

    • http://web.appstorm.net Chris Bowler

      Great suggestion Jason. That fits in nicely with Readability for those nasty sites who break up their articles into 10 different pages.

  • http://www.ademaweb.nl Jeroen

    Wow, really lovely bookmark tools! I didn’t know developement was this far :) Although, I dislike pdfdownload. I used it a couple of times, but it renders like a IE6 browser. No png transparency etc.

  • Dante

    great article really, one of the most usefull… congrats and keep up ^-^

  • xnt14

    You have a typo on the Posterous section. “Posterous also allows has a nice bookmarklet”

    Anyways, nice post, firebug lite and xray will be handy when I’m on a public computer. ;)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003407041622 Lasha

      NOTE: We are aware that there may be some issues using the Cheezburger Bookmarklet in Google Chrome. We are curetnrly working on getting this fixed as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.

  • Barron

    Wow. Readability just changed my life. Thanks!

    • http://web.appstorm.net Chris Bowler

      Well, that’s what we’re all about here at Web.AppStorm … changing lives :)

  • Nite

    Read It Later is similar to Instapaper. I prefer Read It Later though. And for security, there are LastPass bookmarklets. To share items, there is the ShareThis bookmarklet.

  • http://mhdbadi.com Mohammad Badi Irshid

    The greatest list ever.. I loved Xray and Posterous.. the most brilliant one is “Readability”.
    Thanks guys

  • http://daftviking.com/ daftviking

    I realize I’m getting in a little late here, but I’m a fan of Delicious’ Playtagger bookmarklet – adds a tiny flash audio player to any MP3 download link on the page. Really handy for browsing a musician’s site, where they’ve got a dozen or so MP3 samples on the page – hit playtagger and start listening.

    http://delicious.com/help/playtagger

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  • http://devongovett.wordpress.com/ Devon Govett

    Check out the Printliminator. Makes it easy to remove all the crap from a page before printing. http://css-tricks.com/examples/ThePrintliminator/

  • http://www.rxgs.com Rxgs

    Wow, really lovely bookmark tools! I didn’t know developement was this far :) Although, I dislike pdfdownload. I used it a couple of times, but it renders like a IE8 browser. No png transparency etc.

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