25 brilliant bookmarklets to boost your browsing

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Most modern browsers have been around for years, so you might think the developers would have perfected them by now.

Yet every time you go online you'll probably run into a host of browsing problems, from navigation issues, to pages you can't read clearly, and disorganised sites where it's difficult to find the information you need.

But you don't have to live with these hassles - most can be fixed with the right browsing bookmarklet. Here's an example. You're browsing a web page, and need to find a contact email address. Normally you'll scroll up and down, looking for links, and eventually you might spot one. Tedious, isn't it?

To try something simpler, first create a favourite to hold the bookmarklet applet (click Favorites > Add to Favorites in IE, Bookmarks > Bookmark this Page in Firefox).

Right-click it, and select Properties.

Change the description to "Find email".

Then replace its URL with the following JavaScript code.


(Source: subsimple.com)

Save the changes and you're done.

(Alternatively, open this HTML file. It contains direct links to the bookmarklets - something we can't do on this site for security reasons - which you can simply drag and drop onto your favourites bar.)

Now just click the bookmarklet to list all the email links on this page. This won't work everywhere, but then it only takes a single click to find out, and in the long run it'll definitely save you time.

Give the "find email" applet a try, then, but don't spend too long on it - we've 24 other productivity-boosting bookmarklets for you to try, and they start right here.

Accessibility bookmarklets

It's fun to explore your friends' personal web pages. Unless, that is, they're utterly clueless about web design, and use a mix of coloured text and intrusive background images that makes the page almost impossible to read.

Set background to black

Set background to white

Remove background image

Fortunately there are some very easy solutions. These accessibility bookmarklets, for instance, can change the background colour or remove images in a single click (though they may not all work if the page uses frames). Paste the JavaScript code into a favourite to give them a try.

Zap images
(Source: omnigroup.com)

This bookmarklet removes all embedded content from a page: Flash ads, media players, Java applets and more. Refresh the page to bring them back.

Zap plugins
(Source: omnigroup.com)

If you find yourself squinting at a spidery font then use the following bookmarklets to change to something more readable.

Change font to Verdana

Change font to Arial

Tidy Read

(Source: labnol.org)

This bookmarklet uses the TidyRead site to rework a poorly formatted web page to make it easier to follow. It's drastic and occasionally makes things worse, but is worth a try as a last resort.


READABLE MYSPACE: Zap flash ads, remove pictures, change background colours - and even the worst MySpace page becomes readable

Mike Williams
Lead security reviewer

Mike is a lead security reviewer at Future, where he stress-tests VPNs, antivirus and more to find out which services are sure to keep you safe, and which are best avoided. Mike began his career as a lead software developer in the engineering world, where his creations were used by big-name companies from Rolls Royce to British Nuclear Fuels and British Aerospace. The early PC viruses caught Mike's attention, and he developed an interest in analyzing malware, and learning the low-level technical details of how Windows and network security work under the hood.