Hello again! In yesterday’s newsletter, we worked with changing the layout and color scheme of your favorite Web sites. And today, we are going to change and add functionality to them as well! To do that, we’ll once again be using Firefox, but this time with a different extension. We’ll be working with an extension called Greasemonkey. So, without further ado, let’s begin!
1.) You’ll first need to add the Greasemonkey attachment to your Mozilla Firefox. Click here to begin the installation process.
2.) Once again, click the Install Now button when it becomes active. Then click the Restart Firefox button to complete the Greasemonkey installation.
3.) When you restart Firefox, you will see this monkey icon in the lower right hand corner. (Isn’t he cute?!)
4.) Now, Greasemonkey itself doesn’t change the functionality of Web sites. To do that, you need to use Greasemonkey scripts. Scripts are like the styles we used with the Stylish extension yesterday.
In this tip, I will show you how to install scripts and toward the end, I will even show you some of my favorites I think you will enjoy as well!
To add scripts:
1.) There are many sites to download scripts from. Just a search with your favorite search engine for “greasemonkey scripts” should suffice. My personal favorite though is http://userscripts.org/.
2.) When you log on to the site, you will be greeted by a page similar to the image above.
3.) You can surf the pages and look for scripts that may catch your eye. Or, you can use the search box to search for a Web site that you would like to tweak.
4.) After you’ve found one, click on it and a detailed page will appear. You can read about it first and then, if you want to install it, just click the black Install This Script button.
5.) A dialogue box will then appear. Click the Install button.
6.) After the script has been installed, you will see a message in the lower right section of your window. That means that the script is ready to go and be used!
As promised, below you will find a list of my favorite scripts. Feel free to try them and see if you like them too!
1.) Invisibility Cloak – We’ve talked before about how to block programs that prevent you from doing your work with Temptation Blocker. You just select the program (such as a Web browser) and set the time limit, but what if it’s just one Web site that does you in? To block specific Web sites until after lunchtime, etc., just use Invisibility Cloak. After you install it, right click the Greasemonkey icon and click Manage User Scripts. Then click on Invisibility Cloak and then finally, click Add. Now, you can add Web sites to be blocked for you before a certain time of the day. You can install this script for yourself here.
2.) Extra Exclamation Point Remover – If you read blogs or you are a MySpace user, you may have seen users who use way too many exclamation points. You know, like this!!!!!!!!! At times, this can be very annoying. But with this simple Greasemonkey script, you can fix that right quick. It automatically changes excessive exclamation points into just one. Install this script and try it on this sentence now!!!!!! You can install the script for this right here.
3.) Greased Lightbox – If you are a fan of the Google Image or Flikr search, this is a much faster way to view your results. When the results page appears, the large thumbnails are automatically shown. You can scroll through the large thumbnails with your arrow keys and the URL will show up right below. This is a speedy and useful tweak. You can install this script here.
4.) Inline MP3 Player – Many Web sites link to MP3s, but it can be a big hassle just to play a music file. There’s no purpose in opening Windows Media Player or iTunes when you just need to listen to the one simple file. This script makes a small player appear when you need to play an MP3 file. Install the script and try it out with this link. You can get the script you need for this here.
5.) Profanity Filter – This Greasemonkey script is pretty self-explanatory. It blocks vulgar words and turns them into harmless asterisks (*). You can even customize which words to block and which ones to keep. If you have kids who surf the Web a lot, this script is a must have. Go ahead and install it right here.
6.) Textarea Backup – We’ve all done it. You’ve been typing into a text box on a Web page and then, for some reason, your computer crashes or you close the window by accident. You’ve lost the text, haven’t you? Well, this script continually saves the message after every key stroke, so you’ll never have to worry about losing your data again. You can install this script here.
7.) LookItUp – I have one last script for you and it is no doubt, my favorite of all time. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it too! It is called LookItUp and it allows you to look up information on the fly, without leaving the page you are on. You just highlight the word, click a special button on your keyboard and a window appears with all the information you need for the word. You can program different keys for different sites. For example, W could be for Wikipedia and D for Dictionary. This script is amazingly powerful! Try it for yourself by installing the script here.
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about Greasemonkey and some of my favorite scripts. Now, go out and make your own favorites list!
~ Neil Patel