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10 Essential Bookmarklets for Better Browsing

Bookmarklets Bookmarklets are an interesting and lightweight alternative to full-fledged browser extensions. Unlike regular bookmarks, bookmarklets don't take you to a website, but perform an action on the page you're currently viewing. They use bits of code, usually Javascript, to do things like send links, translate a page or mark a site for future reference. While they can't offer the deep functionality and integration of a proper extension, bookmarklets won't slow your browser down, are less likely to crash it, and, since they're treated the same as regular bookmarks, can be synced across browsers and computers without a problem. If you're ready to dive in, click past the break to explore our list of ten must-have bookmarklets.

Gmail This

gmail this
This little tool does exactly what it sounds like: opens a new "Compose Mail" window from Gmail. This automatically uses the page name as the subject of your message, and inserts a link into the body (curiously, a feature already standard in most modern smartphone browsers). Nothing fancy, but it's perfect for when you want to share a link with a specific person privately, instead of posting it for the world to see on Twitter or Facebook.

Click here to get Gmail This

Google Translate

Google Translate
Running across a page in another language is a huge bummer -- especially when you realize that, thanks to Google, translating it into your native tongue actually isn't terribly difficult. But copying the URL, navigating to Google Translate, pasting the copy into the target text box, selecting the original language and your preferred one, and then hitting translate is a huge pain in the era of instant connections. Google's official bookmarklet will skip all that, and do the translating for you -- all in one click. You'll never see the Google Translate page, and it will even auto-detect the original language for you.

Click here to get Google Translate.

Read It Later and Instapaper

read it later/instapaper
We're not going to make the judgment call here, and tell you which one to use. Both Read It Later and Instapaper do a top-notch job of saving articles for later reading. Capable of trimming much of the formatting fat for easier digestion, each has its perks. Instapaper's is its simple Google Reader integration (Read It Later requires a bit more tweaking), while the Read It Later bookmarklet recalls pages for offline viewing, and marks articles as read. So, give each a try, and see which works better for you.

Click here for Read It Later and InstaPaper.

Clippable and Readability

Clippable and Readability perform the same basic task: stripping unnecessary formatting and content from a website, and rendering it into an easier-to-read configuration. Readability offers more customization in terms of font, format and color choices, but Clippable is better at removing extraneous material, and makes switching from a light background to a dark background (for night reading) much simpler.

Click here for Readability and Clippable.

Clip to Evernote

Evernote, despite its flaws, is one of the best ways to quickly capture and annotate websites and online information. The 'Clip to Evernote' bookmarklet will save the entire content of the page, a link to its location, and any text you decide to add to the original. It's quite handy for gathering recipes, organizing research for school papers and identifying designs you like (either Web or interior).

Click here for Clip to Evernote.

TinyURL and Long URL Please

If you share a lot of links with others, especially via Twitter or Facebook, you probably want to shorten your URLs. Short URLs are cleaner looking, and also save precious characters on microblogging services like Twitter. While TinyURL is a must-have for share-a-holics, there's also plenty of need to ensure that the shrunken URLs littering the Web don't lead to malicious sites. Long URL Please scans the page you're currently visiting for shortened URLs, and then reveals their true destinations.

Click here for TinyURL and Long URL Please.


When it comes to Web-based bookmarking services, we're partial to Delicious. The Yahoo!-owned property has social and sharing features, but, unlike some of its so-called competitors, it is actually a capable bookmark manager, as well. Sure, the Firefox extension offers more powerful integration, but the bookmarket makes adding sites to your Delicious account quick and easy without the added overhead of a full-fledged extension.

Click here for Delicious.


Tumblr is like a giant meme factory. Existing somewhere between Twitter and a full-fledged blog in terms of functionality, the microblogging site is a lightweight outlet for posting links, images and other media, although it's just as capable of handling text. This bookmarklet lets you quickly create a Tumblr post from anything you find on the Web , and add content -- without having to copy the URL, embed code, and open Tumblr separately. If you're a frequent user, it's a life saver.

Click here for Tumblr.


Buzzfeed Bookmarklet
Buzzfeed tends towards distinctly less techy and geeky content than Digg, the former king of viral, and thereby sets itself up as the everyman and everywoman who might love a good 'Star Wars' reference now and then, but also enjoys some particularly juicy celebrity gossip. The bookmarklet lets you share links, photos and other media in hopes that you've discovered the latest viral trend.

Click here for Buzzfeed.

Download From YouTube

Download from YouTube
Speaking of viral, do you ever wish you could save the Double Rainbow Song for offline playback or mashups? Or snag those latest Scientology vids before they get yanked? Download From YouTube exposes a link for grabbing the videos of your choice. You can even choose the quality of the file you download. If you want a tiny file, there's the cell phone-friendly 3GP, and, for playback on bigger screens, you're offered full 1080p or 720p HD downloads. Sweet.

Click here for Download From YouTube.

Tags: bookmarklets, buzzfeed, clippable, delicious, download from youtube, DownloadFromYoutube, evernote, gmail, google translate, GoogleTranslate, instapaper, long url please, LongUrlPlease, read it later, readability, ReadItLater, tinyurl, top, tumblr, web, yahoo, youtube