dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
[personal profile] dmarley
Because I was stupid and managed to give myself the same cold/fever again with my own toothbrush (don't ask), I decided to make productive use of my lying-in-bed time by making a post to share some of my favorite fanfic-reading Firefox utilities (plus a couple of random things). Unless otherwise indicated, everything works on both Mac OSX 10.14 and Windows XP running Firefox 3.5 or 3.6 (some of the add-ons need to be the latest version to run on Firefox 3.6).

Firefox Add-ons

Multi-Links. This lets you select multiple links at a time and open them all in new tabs. It's terrific for opening all the links of a multi-part story at one time from a master post or tag page, or a group of links in a newsletter or archive. You have to get the hang of learning to click and drag with the right mouse button and deal with the context menu occasionally popping up, but it doesn't take long and it's well worth it.

Text2Link. This takes an un-linked, plain-text URL, with or without the "http" prefix, and lets you right-click on it to bring up a menu of options, including opening the location in a new window or a new tab.

Text Link. A less-frills variation of Text2Link that just opens the link in a new tab when you double-click on it.

Word Count Plus. What it says on the tin. You select a block of text, click the Word Count Plus icon, and it will count the words you've selected. You can also set it to add up totals for multiple posts.

Delicious Add-ons. These make Delicious about a billion times easier to use. If you haven't yet tried out Delicious, consider giving it--or another bookmarking site, like Diigo--a whirl. They can be really useful for marking and tagging stories and keeping them organized without overwhelming your browser's bookmarks, and have the advantage of being available even when you're not using your primary computer. If you're leery about the social aspect, don't worry; both Delicious and Diigo have the option of making your bookmarks private by default.

Greasemonkey Scripts

Greasemonkey is an add-on that runs little bits of Java to change the appearance of webpages. Once you install it, there are a lot of useful scripts available on

My LJ Style. Yes, you can use Livejournal Addons and your Livejournal preferences to do this on Livejournal, but this script can be used for other LJ-based platforms as well, including Journalfen, Insanejournal and Dreamwidth. The script automatically adds the appropriate "style=mine" suffix to the URL any time you open a page on one of those sites. Story Export. isn't my primary reading venue, but when I get linked there or know that I can find a story there, this script is a great way to avoid having to download a story in pieces. It adds a couple of extra buttons to the controls on the top of the page that allow you to get the story in a single file, and also in a text-only file.

Other Stuff

Readability. This is a bookmarklet that will transform any web page into the style you prefer to read. To be honest, I don't actually use this much because I do almost all my reading offline, but it comes in handy when I want to read something that's been coded in an eyewatering color scheme, but I don't want to have to bother with downloading it.

(Mac OS only) Text Wrangler, (formerly known as BBEdit Lite), from Bare Bones Software. I've been using this freeware text editor for about fifteen years now. Even though I utilize maybe 5% of its awesomeness, I really can't live without it. I use it to write everything I post. It was designed to compose electronically shared files, and I can be absolutely assured that it will never toss random invisible crap into my posts. It's great for cleaning up internet text, both for posting and after downloading.

The best feature is the multi-file search and replace. I rarely lose track of a story because I can search through thousands of stories in just a couple of minutes for specific words or phrases, and get back results with a line for context, with the full file available in just a click. It's also great for me as a writer because I can change a bit of code or the wording of my headers or disclaimers across multiple files in just a few seconds. There's also a command that combines multiple files into a single file (great for multi-part stories), and a "Straighten Quotes" command that nukes Smart Quotes so I can transfer files from Mac OS to Windows without the quotes turning into garbage. If you've got a Mac and want a good way to compose or clean up text for the internet, give Text Wrangler a try.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-03-30 10:54 pm (UTC)
xtricks: color snail picture w/ xtricks (Default)
From: [personal profile] xtricks
Oooh, text wrangler sounds interesting ... working shared google docs then trying to upload them anywhere else results in weird extra paragraph breaks.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-03-31 01:25 pm (UTC)
onceamy: Writing mathematics. Actualy looks like vector work. (Math-1)
From: [personal profile] onceamy
I wholeheartedly recommend Scrapbook for saving groups of fic - I have thousands saved in a way that is easily moved from computer to computer, searchable, and plain awesome.
Edited Date: 2010-03-31 01:25 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-02 06:06 am (UTC)
onceamy: Nothing special; just a pixelated rainbow. (Sterret-1)
From: [personal profile] onceamy
Haha, yes, 7 GB of stories is hard to justify - my fic collection rivals my music collection in size!

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