Protect your tabs in Firefox with Don't Touch My Tabs! (rel=noopener)

The Firefox add-on Don’t Touch My Tabs! (rel=noopener) adds the link attribute rel=noopener to all links encountered in the web browser with the exception of same-domain links.

The extension addresses a long-standing issue that affects all modern web browser: when a linked resource is opened in  anew tab, it gets control over the page that it was loaded from.

That’s a problem, as it opens the door for manipulation, tracking or malicious attacks. Visit the About rel=noopener website and activate the first link that says “click me..”. It opens a new page in a new tab and while that in itself is not that exciting, going back to the originating page is because it has been manipulated by that site.

Websites may add the rel=noopener attribute to links to avoid this. Most should, considering that control is handed over to the linked resources. These could do all kinds of things, from changing form field destinations to loading tracking pixels or displaying advertisement.

Sites may implement rel=noopener to protect users and their own data from such attacks or manipulations. The problem is that this needs to be implemented by each site individually as browser makers have been reluctant to make the change. Mozilla did test rel=noopener for target=”_blank” links in 2018 but did not activate the change for users of the browser. Check out the linked article for instructions on enabling noopener for blank targets.

Note: The preference appears to have the same effect as the Firefox add-on. It may require further testing to be really sure about that but a quick check of a couple of sites suggests that it works equally well.

When you check external links here on Ghacks, you will notice that noopener is used for all of them.

noopener browser
Ghacks external links

The Firefox add-on Don’t touch my tabs! (rel=noopener) steps in by enabling noopener sitewide for any link you encounter after installation of the extension. The only exception to the rule applies to links that point to the same domain (as the site in question already has full control over its own pages).

The extension does the following, basically:

  1. Searches for hyperlinks on active pages and checks if they have the “target=”_blank” attribute. For any found
    1. It adds the rel=noopener attribute if no rel attribute is used already.
    2. It adds noopener to the attribute if rel is already used leaving any other attributes untouched.

Breakage should be minimal and the extension works automatically in the background once it is installed. The extension is open source; you can check out its GitHub webpage to check out its source. Chrome users can check out No Opener instead which does the same.

Now You: How do you handle this in your browser?

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Custom UserAgent String is a Firefox extension that lets you set a user-agent on a per-site basis

So, Mozilla removed the site specific user-agent override setting from Firefox 71. There is a workaround for this, which as mentioned in the previous article is to use a global user-agent. The main issue with the workaround is that the set user-agent is then used on every site that you visit in the Firefox web browser.

And while I did warn you there maybe some side effects, initially I didn’t notice many except for YouTube reverting to an older design.  A few days later, when I visited a banking website, I found that it displayed a message which read something like “Upgrade your browser to access the website”. Occasionally, one or two websites simply didn’t load at all. I ignored those because I thought it was a server issue, but my friends told me they could access the sites from their browser (also Firefox).

Custom UserAgent String is a Firefox extension that lets you set a user-agent on a per-site basis

That’s when it hit me, of course the user-agent setting is what’s messing with other websites. Sure enough, disabling the setting ensured that these websites worked as they normally do. Ironic, isn’t it? You set the option to access some websites, but it ends up breaking others.  I was looking for a fix and there is literally only one option, to use a user-agent switcher extension.

After some research and testing (and looking for alternatives to existing add-ons), I came across one which let me use user-agents on a per-site basis. The extension is called Custom UserAgent String.  It is written by the author of the User-Agent Switcher revived add-on (not to be confused with the one made by Alexander Schlarb). It’s amazing how many add-ons have the same name.

Functionally, both add-ons from Liner are quite similar, but the User-Agent Switcher extension only allows you to set a global user agent, which is what we wanted to fix here. Custom UserAgent String however lets you set a user-agent on a per-site basis. Perfect and it’s quite simple to use too.

How to use Custom UserAgent String

Install the extension, click on its icon and then on the Options button. This should take you to a settings screen.

Ignore section I and skip to section II, which is captioned “Predefined UserAgent Strings”. It has two drop-down menus, one for selecting the browser and Operating system, and the other for selecting the browser’s user-agent.

Step 1

custom user agent string - section ii

Click on the box listed under “Enter a desired URL”. You will see that it has an asterisk symbol * in it. Delete it and type the address of the website that you want to set the user-agent for in the box.  Here’s the weird part: Typing a partial address in the URL box like ghacks.net or www.ghacks.net doesn’t add the site correctly, i.e., it reverts to the asterisk (which makes it use the user-agent globally).

To avoid this, you must use the full address. For e.g https://www.ghacks.net/ will work.

custom user agent string - section ii how to use

Step 2

Use the box below the setting that reads “Enter a custom UserAgent string or select one from the above list”. This is where you can enter the custom user agents for specific websites. You can get the user agent from the drop-down menu mentioned above. Or, you can use your custom one (for older browser versions that maybe missing). Click on the + button on the right side to finish adding the site-specific user-agent; it should appear in the table at the end of the page.

Note: The custom string option is good for long term use, since even if the add-on hasn’t been updated, you can still get the latest user agent from elsewhere and use it.

Let’s look at another example:

Say you want to access Skype on the Web. The URL should be written like this https://web.skype.com/

The user-agent should be Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/65.0.3325.181 Safari/537.36

There are 2 other things that the Custom UserAgent String table is useful for. The checkbox next to each site listed, toggles the user-agent to be used for the entire website (top-level domain) or only for the given address. Clicking the blank gray button at the right end of the table acts as a switch for enabling/disabling the user-agent.

You can disable the Custom UserAgent String add-on completely by clicking on the icon and hitting the power button.

This method works perfectly fine in Firefox 71. Which extension are you using for setting site-specific user-agents?

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PocketTube offers better YouTube Subscriptions Management

YouTube’s subscription feature is a prime example of a feature that has been cut down to its very core to make it as simple as possible and at the same time almost entirely useless.

The Google-owned property removed the option to manage subscriptions in collections in 2015 and with it came the removal of nearly any subscription-related option such as sorting. It is nearly impossible to keep an eye on subscriptions if the count reaches two or even three digits using native functionality especially since subscriptions are barely highlighted anymore on YouTube’s homepage.

Extensions provide the only recourse to the dumbing down; we reviewed YouTube Subscription Manager for Chrome back in 2015 which restored management functionality.

PocketTube offers similar but more advanced functionality. The subscription manager is available for Chrome and Firefox, Apple iOS and Android, and as a web service.

Among the many features that it offers is native integration on YouTube, options to create groups and add subscriptions to groups, sort subscriptions or show last YouTube videos by group.

I looked at the browser extensions for this review.

youtube subscriptions manager groups

The extension adds a new entry to YouTube’s sidebar that is called Subscription Groups. The widget lists all available groups and may display the channels added to these groups. One of your first tasks is to create at least one group as you will notice otherwise that the “add to group” dialog displays nothing. The develop should consider adding info to the dialog if no group has been created to assist first-time users.

Once you have created your first group you may add channels to it. Just open any channel page on YouTube and click on the new “plus” icon next to the subscribe(d) and notifications options.

youtube groups

PocketTube displays all available groups and the selection of any adds the channel to that group. Groups can be sorted by date published, A-Z, subscriber count or custom sort order; the latter supports dragging and dropping channels to new positions.

The settings that PocketTube provides list an option to hide channels that you have added to groups from the general subscriptions listing. It is disabled by default though.

One of the best features of PocketTube is the ability to display all recent videos of a group on a new page on YouTube.  Instead of having to go through all subscriptions on YouTube, as the site offers no grouping option anymore, you can open videos from a specific group only; very useful. Videos are listed in order of publication starting with the most recent additions. A play all button is provided on the page to play all videos one after the other.

There is more on offer here though. You can add custom icons to collections to make them stand out more if you use multiple groups. Settings may be exported and imported for manual syncing but there is also an option to sync automatically using Google Drive.

Closing Words

PocketTube restores a much needed feature on YouTube and improves it significantly. It is ideal for users of the site who have a medium to large number of subscriptions and want better manageability of these channels. While it takes a moment to set everything up, it is relatively easy to do.

Now You: do you use Youtube’s subscription service?

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Mozilla removes site specific user-agent override option from Firefox 71

A few months we told you how to disable the Twitter redesign and get the old interface back. Yesterday I ran into the new UI in Firefox even though I kept the proposed modifications in the browser since the guide was published.

Mozilla removes site specific user-agent override option from Firefox 71

I was a bit puzzled, and thought that the social network is now forcing users to use the mobile-centric interface. In order to help other users, I tweeted a message about the GoodTwitter extension along with a link to the previous article.

Sometime later, a Firefox user reached out to me on Twitter, and said he couldn’t install add-ons at work. What’s interesting here was that he mentioned that the User Agent setting no longer worked for him.

Then I remembered that I had been using the very setting he was talking about, and not the add-on (which I had disabled). After a bit of Google-fu, I discovered what caused the problem. It turns out that it wasn’t Twitter that was playing foul, but none other than our beloved browser, Firefox.

About a week ago, Mozilla released Firefox 71 to the stable channel. It brought with it an important change, a new about:config interface. What some users (including myself) weren’t aware, was that the new version removed the site specific user-agent override option from about:config. And quite surprisingly, this isn’t a bug, but actually appears to be done by design.

Valentin Goșu, who works at Mozilla has confirmed this on the Bugzilla forums, in a reply to a complaint from a user, nearly 2 months ago. Digging further revealed that this change had been planned by Mozilla last year.

So, what is the issue?

You can no longer set site specific overrides using the UserAgent string. You will need to set the User Agent override globally (affects the rendering of all websites). Since this is a global override, it could make some websites look odd, for e.g. YouTube uses an older design in this user agent, and if you use a non-Firefox user agent you won’t be able to download extensions from the add-ons repository.

There are two workarounds for this:

Non-extension method

Open a new tab to enter the about:config page, and paste the following text in the search box that appears.

general.useragent.override

A new setting should be displayed in the tab, select the “String” option, click on the plus button on the right side.

Mozilla Firefox user-agent override option

Now, copy the following value and paste it in the setting’s field, and click on the checkmark button to finish the process.

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 9.0; WOW64; Trident/7.0; rv:11.0) like Gecko

This should bring the old Twitter interface back. You can find other user agents from this website.

If you want to access Skype for Web, use the Chrome User Agent instead.

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/78.0.3904.108 Safari/537.36

Firefox user agent for skype

Add-on method

The only other way is to use an add-on like User-Agent Switcher and Manager (White-list mode) and set the user-agent for each site manually.

This may not be a big deal for many users, but priceless to many. Personally, I had been using it on 2 websites, Twitter and Skype Web (which requires Chrome or Edge). When my bank’s internet banking website stopped working in Firefox (had to use Chrome), other users and I voiced our concerns and they re-added support for Firefox.

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Use these extensions to delete your Firefox browsing history automatically and to clear the cache with a single button

While we browse the internet every day, there’s one thing many of us tend to forget: to clear the browsing history and the cache regularly.

Clearing the cache and the browsing history can be beneficial for a number of reasons. The most important ones are that it frees up disk space and improves suggestions that Firefox displays when you type in the browser’s address bar.

History Cleaner by Rayquaza01 is an extension for Firefox that can automate the task of deleting the browser history.

History Cleaner

Install the add-on and you’ll find that there is no button to click on the toolbar, and there are no options to toggle from the context-menu. How do you interact with the extension?

Open the about:addons page in Firefox and select History Cleaner. You will see three tabs here: Details, Options and Permissions. The only setting of the extension can be accessed from the Options page; it lets you set the number of days to keep the browsing history. Don’t set it to zero though, because that disables the add-on. You could set it to any number of days that you want. Once the set time is over, History Cleaner will delete the browsing history on its own. Just enter the number in the field and you’re good to go. It’s an install-and-forget add-on.

Remember, this extension only clears the history and not the browser cookies. So, your logins on websites should remain unaffected. If you need to clear the cookies, you should take a look at the Cookie AutoDelete extension. History Cleaner is an open source WebExtension, and a port of the Expire history by days add-on.

Clear Cache

Now what about your browser cache? It is not deleted by History Cleaner; this is what tends to fill up your storage, visit a few pages and it’ll gobble up a few Megabytes. Firefox’s cache is limited by design so that it won’t use all of a system’s hard drive for cached files. Deleting cached files may increase the time it takes to reload a resource as well.

Clear Cache extension by TenSoja can be used to clear the browser’s cache automatically. It allows you to clear the browser’s cache from the drive and the RAM with the press of a button. Once you have installed the extension, you just have to hit the F9 key and poof, your browser cache is deleted. macOS users should use the fn + F9 keyboard combo for clearing the cache. Or you could use the button that the extension adds to the toolbar to perform the same action.

Clear Cache has just two options that accessed from the extension’s listing on the about:addons page. The options are Reload active tab and Show Notification. Both of these work after the add-on has been used, i.e., the web page you were on will be reloaded, and a small pop-up notification appears to tell you that the cache has been cleared.

This add-on isn’t automated, so you should remember to clear the cache manually from time to time. Clear Cache is also an open source extension.

Closing Words

History Cleaner is fully automated, Clear Cache requires that you activate it. The latter may be useful for developers who want to make sure that files are loaded from a server and not from the cache.

Now You: do you use browser extensions that automate the clearing of data in your browser?

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Free Firefox and Chrome memory with Auto Tab Discard

Auto Tab Discard is an add-on for the Firefox and Chrome web browsers that frees up memory that the web browsers uses by discarding inactive tabs. Discarding in this context means that the tabs are unloaded but kept open in the browser.

Web browser users who keep multiple tabs open in the browser of choice may notice that memory use increases with each tab that gets opened.

Both Google and Mozilla have developed systems to unload tabs in low memory situations, but these solutions are not as efficient as those provided be extensions.

We reviewed numerous in the past including Sleep Mode for Firefox or Lazy Load Tabs for Chrome. Most Firefox extensions that used to work in the browser were not updated when Firefox 57 was released.

Auto Tab Discard

discarded tabs firefox

Auto Tab Discard runs automatically in the background. The default setting unloads tabs after 600 seconds of inactivity if the number of inactive tabs exceeds six tabs.

Tabs are not discarded when they meet certain criteria, e.g. when media is playing or form changes have not been submitted. Additional discarding conditions are listed in the options. The following conditions need to be enabled manually:

  • When a tab is pinned.
  • When there is no Internet connection and tabs have not been cached.
  • When it is allowed to display desktop notifications.
  • When computer is not in idle state.

One of the strengths of the extension is that it provides lots of customization options. You can change the unloading interval or number of inactive tabs required as well as criteria that prevent or allow tabs and sites to be discarded by the extension.

Sites that match criteria are not discarded but there is also an option to add sites to the whitelist to prevent that they are unloaded by the extension. Discarded tabs are retained even across sessions; they remain discarded until activated by the user.

Information such as the scroll position or text inside text fields is retained by the extension and loaded when a site becomes activate again. JavaScript and other code is not run anymore when tabs are discarded.

auto tab discard

The automatic discarding of tabs is a useful feature but the developer has added options to run the processes manually as well. A left-click on the extension icon displays options to discard the active tab, all other tabs of the browser window, all tabs in other windows, or all other tabs.

The menu has options to whitelist the active site permanently or for the browsing session.

Note: Extensions are not permitted to run on internal pages and some other pages (e.g. https://addons.mozilla.org/). Firefox users may disable the restrictions for non-local-sites on about:config by manipulating the preference extensions.webextensions.restrictedDomains.

Other options provided by the settings include changing the default action of a left-click on the extension icon, or to disable the opening of the FAQ page when the extension has been updated.

Closing Words

Auto Tab Discard is a useful extension for Firefox and Chrome that may be used to free up memory automatically or manually by discarding tabs.  The extension may be useful in situations where the browser starts to feel sluggish, even if enough memory us available

Now You: do you use extensions that help you free memory?

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HTTPZ is an advanced HTTP connection upgrader for Firefox

Most sites on today’s Internet support HTTPS and are configured to use HTTPS when a user connects to the site without specifying a protocol (e.g. only typing ghacks.net in the address bar and not https://www.ghacks.net/).

Web browsers, with a few notable exceptions such as Tor Browser, don’t try to upgrade connections from HTTP to HTTPS automatically. If you click on a HTTP link in an old article, probably published before the migration to HTTPS began, you may end up loading the resource using HTTP; this won’t happen if the site migrated to HTTPS fully, but will happen if it has not migrated at all or supports both HTTP and HTTPS.

Extensions like HTTPS Everywhere upgrade connection requests automatically if the site is in a database of sites that support HTTPS. Search engine DuckDuckGo launched a new feature called Smarter Encryption in its applications and extensions recently that upgrades connections to HTTPS automatically based on search engine data.

HTTPZ for Firefox

httpz firefox

HTTPZ is a Firefox extension that upgrades HTTP connections as well. It does not rely on a database of sites that support HTTPS though; the extension tries to upgrade the connection to HTTPS automatically and will revert back to HTTP if the HTTPS connection throws an error.

Note that it is designed to do so only for non-manual HTTP sites. When you type an address and use HTTP, it is ignored by the extension to ensure that the connection is established.

One of the great strengths of HTTPZ is the extension’s rich feature set. You may want to check the options that it provides right after installation to adjust them according to your needs.

Here is a quick overview of what is provided:

  • Disable fallback mode to HTTP if the HTTPS upgrade does not work.
  • Show a warning if a site redirects from HTTPS to HTTP.
  • Enable proxy-compatible mode.
  • Set a timeout for HTTPS connection attempts (default: wait for browser to act).
  • Disable a cache that remembers successful HTTPS upgrades to speed up future connections.
  • Configure ignore behavior for sites that don’t support HTTPs (default 7 days).
  • Whitelist hostnames that should be ignored by the extension.

You find import and export options in the settings as well; useful to export settings and import then into other Firefox profiles.

HTTPZ has two limitations currently. The main one limits upgrades to the site that is accessed by the user, e.g. through links. The extension does not attempt to upgrade sub-resources, e.g. elements loaded by a HTTPS site.

The second issue is purely cosmetic; If an upgrade to HTTPS fails, Firefox wants to display an error message that describes what happened. HTTPZ does not wait for the error message to load but will retry the request using HTTP (which you can disable in the settings).

Closing Words

HTTPZ is a powerful extension for Firefox that upgrades HTTP site requests to HTTPS automatically. It features a whitelist and ignore list, and options to make rules more or less tight.

One downside is that it ignores sub-resources which may lead to mixed content warnings in Firefox.

Now You: how do you handle sites that still use HTTP?

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Use the LeechBlock NG extension for Firefox, Chrome to block distracting websites while you work

Have you ever found yourself browsing social networks or video streaming sites when you were supposed to do something else?

It happens to the best of us. I always find such websites distracting and avoid them for a good part of my day. If you have a hard time ignoring videos of cute cats or discussions on Twitter / Facebook, you may need a bit of help to get things done and avoid wasting time.

Use LeechBlock NG for Firefox, Chrome to block distracting websites while you work

There are some measures that people take to become more productive. I’ve seen a couple of my friends going offline for days at a time from social platforms to concentrate on their projects. While I think it is a bit drastic, I can understand that they want to devote their efforts in something that’s actually worth it. But just like when you’re on a diet and are tempted to snack, the temptation to chat with your mates, or binge watch some shows is quite difficult to overcome. You need to have a bit of control.

Recently, I came across an add-on for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, which might help in such situations. It’s called LeechBlock NG. Now don’t mistake it for some internet filtering software that blocks inappropriate content. It’s a productivity tool and works quite well.

Tip: take a look at Undistracted for Chrome as well as it offers similar functionality.

Its primary purpose is to block websites of your choice. Click on the shield icon of the extension, to open its menu. There are 4 buttons here: Options, Lockdown, Override and Statistics. What do these do?

Options

There are six block sets here, each of which act as individual rule sets. So, you can block some websites in Block Set 1 with custom settings and use Block Set 2 with different websites and settings and so on.

You can optionally give each block set a name, like Social or Multimedia, or Gaming. The large text box is used for entering the domain names of the websites that you wish to block. I recommend blocking the top level domain of the website, e.g. Facebook.com or Twitter.com.

LeechBlock NG for Firefox

The timer boxes allow you to set the time when the sites should be blocked, for example 0900-1700 (9AM to 5PM). Optionally, you can set a time limit to block the sites, like once every few minutes for every hour/day.

LeechBlock NG also lets you customize the days when it should block the websites. The default setting is set to weekdays but you can modify these. If you need to get homework or a project done on the weekend, you may want to include the days in the blocking of sites.

The How to Block section basically lets you configure what should happen when a blocked website is accessed. The options are fairly simple:

So, what happens when you try to access a blocked URL? That depends on what you chose in the “How to Block” section. The default page shows you a warning that “The page you’re trying to access has been blocked by LeechBlock.” It also mentions the URL you tried to access, and displays the time when the page will be unblocked.

LeechBlock NG in effect

There are three optional color filters that you can use instead of the blocking page: grayscale, invert and sepia. There are a lot of other options that you can configure in the General Tab (including an override option).

Lockdown

This is similar to the regular blocking, but instead of waiting for the schedule to begin, it locks down the block set immediately. You can set how long to block the sites by specifying hours and minutes, e.g. you could input 2 hours if you want to block the sites for 120 minutes while you buckle down and work.

The extension lets you lockdown all block sets or just the ones you wish to. Hit activate Lockdown and you are good to go.

Override

To use this, you have to first define the Temporary Override settings from the General tab under the Options screen.

Statistics

This is just for your reference, and you can use it to view the start date and time, time spent since start, time spent per week/day, time left in limit period, and the lockdown end time. You can reset one or all block set statistics by hitting the restart button.

Closing Words

Sometimes I get carried away when I come across interesting devices, games, deals, etc, and end up spending more time than I should reading about those. Maybe this add-on will help me to become more efficient. I think it could be useful for students who’re preparing for exams or office workers working on projects/meetings.

Remember this, don’t blame the add-on if you end up bypassing the blocks that you set. It’s more of a reminder for you to concentrate on the task that you wanted to focus on as you can easily bypass its protections, e.g. by using a different browser.

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Search for webpages in your history and bookmarks efficiently with the Memex extension for Firefox and Chrome

Memex is an interesting web browser add-on that is designed specifically for powerusers. Before you ask, no it’s not a meme generator.

It is a Vannevar Bush inspired bookmarking/local search engine of sorts that you can use to quickly find webpages that you visited in the past. The extension is available for Firefox and Chrome.

Search for webpages in your history and bookmarks efficiently with the Memex extension for Firefox and Chrome

When you install the add-on, it may appear to be requesting a scary amount of permissions. But they are required for Memex to work. The extension has a visual tutorial which explains how it works; the GIFs that it uses are a bit too speedy for my liking.

Once you have installed the add-on, click on its icon (the brain) to bring up a menu and get a few options here. The go to dashboard takes you to the main interface of the extension and the main way you make use of its functionality.

Memex extension for Firefox and Chrome

Memex indexes pages to make search more powerful in the browser. You need to remember that it saves only the content of individual pages; it is not enough to bookmark the homepage of a site, e.g. Ghacks, to get all articles indexed.

The add-on comes with a handy import feature to import pages from the browsing history.

For now let’s go back to the menu. The “Star this page” option is similar to bookmarking but adds the page to Memex’s database, and tags are used to identify starred pages quickly. Just select a page and tag it with a relevant word and it will become usable, or should I say searchable by Memex. You can add multiple tags for a page and collections are like folders to improve organization of webpages.

Another way to use these options

By default, Memex should add a sidebar and it should be visible when you mouse over to the right edge of the screen. There are buttons here that let you open Memex’s dashboard, perform a search, star pages, add tags and perform other actions.

Memex sidebar

There is one important feature which is present in the sidebar which is not in the menu: Notes. The name is a bit misleading as it is an annotation tool. Memex allows you to annotate on any web page. To do so, click the notes icon and type something. For e.g. If you’re an Amazon page, you could type something like “This could be an interesting gift for Max’s birthday.” So, you’ll remember why you saved the page and why.

You can also highlight text content like you would do with a marker. If you have used Microsoft Edge you may be familiar with these options. When you select text on a web-page, a tooltip should appear and you can use it to link to the highlighted text for reference. When you click on it in the dashboard, you will be taken to the page with the highlighted content visible.

Memex also supports keyboard shortcuts.

  • Sidebar – r
  • Star Page  – c
  • Add tag – t
  • Add to collections – u

Let’s star a page, tag it and add it to a collection to demonstrate how this all works and how it benefits you. Say, you want to add the Ghacks homepage to the database. You can visit the page and click on the star icon to bookmark it in Memex. Click on the tag button to add a tag, like Windows Software, Linux apps, or technology. The collection button can be used to add the page to a folder like Tech or Blogs.

Note: I found the sidebar to be buggy at times, and used the menu options instead.

Now, back to the dashboard. To the left you have your collections, which are sort of like folders for your bookmarks.  In the center you have the search box.

How does the search work?

The add-on can search for the keyword in various ways. Basically it can find any page you have bookmarked or tagged or added to a collection. In addition to this, it can also find pages which you annotated or highlighted text on.

It supports full-text search of the web history and bookmarks, and supports filters next to that. You can use the filter option to narrow down the search further by

  • Date – Select a date range (say, October 27, 2019 – October 28, 2019)
  • Tags – Remember how we added tags? Use the same keyword here.
  • Domains- narrow down search by URL (example: ghacks.net)

Don’t have any of these at hand? Memex can still find the page by the text from titles and URLs.

Assuming you added a few pages to the database, perform a search using a relevant word and you should be able to find the page instantly. The best part is that the extension is meant to be an “offline-first” one. It is also open source, and has a good privacy policy. The add-on stores the data on your computer, so your data is yours. You can optionally backup your data on your computer, or to the cloud service of your choice from the settings menu.

Memex has a pro version that is completely optional. All it does is automatically backup the data every 15 minutes and supports cross-device sync.

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Find tabs quickly with the Tabhunter extension for Firefox and Chrome

Recently we told you about FoxyTab, which is an amazing way to manage tabs in your web browser. Want something to complement it?

Try Tabhunter. It is an open source add-on that offers a few features which makes it an incredible tool.

Find tabs quickly with the Tabhunter extension for Firefox and Chrome

Let’s say you opened a web page and forgot all about it. It happens, but to search for it manually might take a while since you have to check each and every tab. This is where Tabhunter comes into play; just click on the add-on’s icon enter the name of the website in the “Pattern” box,  e.g. “ghacks”. If you don’t remember the website’s name, try entering a term which was part of the webpage/article’s title, e.g. “Firefox” or “Spotify” or something that you can recall.

You can use either search term and Tabhunter will display a list of tabs which match it. A click on a result highlights the selection in the browser.

Note: The URL box isn’t a text field. It displays the URL of a selected tab.

Now you can perform a few actions. Look at the bottom of the add-on’s interface, it has the following options

  • Go
  • Close tab
  • Copy URL
  • Copy Title URL
  • Copy URL + Title
  • Audio Only
  • More
  • Search Text in Tabs

Let’s take a look at what each of these does.

Go

This option will switch to the selected tab instantly. That’s a real time-saver, isn’t it? You don’t have to scroll through the tabs anymore to find the one you want to jump to.

Close tab

Guess what this one does? Obviously it closes the selected tab. What if you want to close multiple tabs? Tabhunter supports multi-select, i.e. you can highlight one tab or more and click on the close tab button to close them all. This multi-select works with other options as well (except the Go option).

Tabhunter extension for Firefox and Chrome multi-select tabs

Tip: You can bring up the add-on’s interface by using the keyboard shortcut Shift + Ctrl + S on Windows (Shift + Ctrl + T on macOS, and Ctrl + 5 on Linux).

Copy URL, Copy Title URL and Copy URL + Title

All three options are similar and perform the action they are named after. Say you select 5 tabs, you can use one of the options to copy their address, title or both. This will copy the data to the clipboard, and you can paste it into any program. It also makes it easy to share a bunch of links at the same time.

Audio Only

I came across Tabhunter while looking for a way to locate noisy tabs, and have been using it ever since. So please refer to my previous coverage about this feature to learn more about it.

More

This section expands the interface of the extension to display a few additional options.

Tabhunter extension for Firefox and Chrome

The Bookmark Tabs option will save the currently selected tab(s) to the folder that you choose. That can be handy if you want to bookmark multiple tabs at once.  The Discard Tabs will unload the selected tabs from memory, while Activate Tabs reloads them. You can optionally choose to hide discarded tabs from the list. You can also change the keyboard shortcut, sorting options, the font size of the text used by the add-on and the behavior of the Go button (closes the addon’s interface when used) from the More section.

Search Text in Tabs

If you want to find something specific from one of the tabs, you can try searching for a word or a phrase by using the “Search Text in Tabs” option. Make sure that the “Pattern” field is cleared when you want to use the search text in tabs option to search in all tabs, else the add-on will only search for the term in the tabs that match the “Pattern” keyword.

Closing Words

Tabhunter has been incredibly useful for me, and has actually helped me reduce my tab hoarding habit considerably. (I’m down from hundreds to a couple of dozens)

Read the description of Tabhunter on the add-ons page, it may amuse you. And one of the screenshots on that pays tribute to Tab Hunter, a 1960s icon.

Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Find tabs quickly with the Tabhunter extension for Firefox and Chrome appeared first on gHacks Technology News.