October 4, 2009

Use Address bar effectively - Easy address bar commands

You are already familiar with quite a few browser address bar shortcuts. For instance, type some text in the address bar of your browser (e.g. apple), press Ctrl + Enter and the browser will automatically send you to the corresponding .com website (in this case, www.apple.com) Or type in some complex search query (e.g., site:firefox.com internet explorer) in the address bar, hit go and the browser will show results from your default search engine*. The address bar of Google Chrome is even smarter as it can offer live suggestions while you are typing the search query.
Other than these built-in shortcuts, you may also want to know about a couple of URL hacks (a better term would be "address bar commands") that let you do stuff from the address bar itself  – they are pretty easy to remember and don't require you to install any bookmarklets or add-ons (so you can use them on any computer and even some mobile phones).

1. Download videos from Youtube with URL Change easily – If you are like to download a YouTube video, just add deturl.com/ before www to the URL or just add pwn in front of youtube … see examples (http://deturl.com/https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSfdAiHTUMU or http://pwnyoutube.com/watch?v=zSfdAiHTUMU ) and you'll be able to save the video in either Flash or Quicktime format. This is a pretty useful option for mobile phones that don't support the flash player but can play Quicktime.

2. Shrink the address – There are about a million URL shortening services out there but if you want to quickly shrink the URL from the address bar itself try this – just type bitly.com before the URL and it gives you the short form on the next screen. Example (http://site4sites.co.in change it to http://bitly.com/site4sites)

3. Email a web page – If you want to email a link to the current web page to a contact or to your own self, here's a trick. Just type the mailto command in the address bar and this will compose a new message in your default email program – you can have the URL of the page in either the body of the message or in the subject line itself.
mailto:test@site4sites.co.in?body=http://google.com/ (change to your email id at my email ID)

4. Share or bookmark a web page - If you find the above email command a bit scary, here's something simpler. Go the address bar of your browser and type smub.it/ just before the URL as in this example. You can then share that page on any social site or even send the link to your friends via email. A perfect option for mobile phones.

5. Who owns that website – If you want to know the email address and other contact details of the owner of a site, the whois record of that site can sometimes help. To view the whois details of the current site, type whois.domaintools.com/ in the address bar (just before the http:// part) and there you have all the information – see an example.

6. Send yourself notesFutz.me is a free service that lets you email text notes, hyperlinks and even images from the right the address bar of your browser.
Go to the address bar, type futz.me/xyz followed by a space (xyz is your unique username) and anything that's after space will be sent to your email address. If you use Futz.me with a URL that points to an image, the image will be sent you via an email attachment or even through MMS (if you are in the US).

7. Find URL Redirection - Bitly, URL Shortner etc., are great tools when you need to shorten a link, but as a user, sometimes you are afraid to open these links because you are not sure where it goes and if the site is safe. I found a tool that helped me out a few times and makes me more confident clicking on these links: http://www.websiteplanet.com/webtools/redirected/ 

3 comments:

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