Citebite: Link Directly to Specific Quotes in Web Pages

I have introduced some link shorteners and simplifiers before.  They allow you to shorten long URLs and make web pages easier to read.  Citebite, the web app I’m going to introduce, works in a similar way but produce different results.  Instead of an easy to remember URL, it generates a new URL with a (seemingly) random string of characters.  It probably does not make URLs easier to remember or enter, but it helps you to quote a specific part of a web page for sharing and sending to friends.  It is very useful when you want to share a web site to others but want to highlight only a specific part of it.

 

Citebite: Link Directly to Specific Quotes in Web Pages

Citebite is very easy to use.  Just copy the URL of the site and the text you want to highlight, paste into Citebite, it will generate an URL for sharing.  I used a blog post in this blog as an example.

Citebite - Link directly to specific quotes in web pages

 

If your friends follow this link, they will see the web site with the specific part highlighted.  I found this very useful for sharing long web pages.

Citebite - Specific Quote Created

By default, Delicious, StumbleUpon and Digg icons are provided for fast sharing to these sites.  You can also manually copy the link and attach to email, tweets and updates in Google+ and Facebook.

Citebite has a Firefox extension (sorry, not for Chrome).  Users of other web browsers could use a bookmarklet instead.  Both of them are provided on the official site.

 

Official Site: http://www.citebite.com/

Firefox Extension: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/2567

Bookmarklet (see inside for how to use): http://www.citebite.com/bookmarklet

[Google Chrome Tutorial] How To Enhance Web Site Readability in Chrome

Every Friday I’ll publish a Google Chrome tutorial article.   Want to learn more and master this state of the art browser?  SUBSCRIBE to RSS feed or email updates to get more!

Modern web sites are getting more complex and readability decreases accordingly.  Many flash animations, lots of ad blocks, eye-catching graphics… there are just too many things that distracts you from reading the content of a web site.

In this Google Chrome Tutorial, we shall see how we could improve the readability of web sites in Chrome.  We shall use Chrome settings, Chrome extensions, bookmarklets and web apps to make web pages easier to read.

 

Chrome Settings

The easiest way to “purify” web pages is to block everything that may get you distracted.  Most of these things re multimedia contents.  You can click the wrench icon on the top right corner, choose “Settings” / “Preferences” (depending on your operation system), then choose “Under the Hood” and click the “Content Settings” button.  Here you can choose to block all images.  Besides, if you click “Disable individual plug-ins…” under “Plug-ins”, you can see a page where you can disable individual plug-ins including Flash, Java, RealPlayer, etc.

Google Chrome Tutorial - Chrome Settings

To make web pages easier to read, you can adjust the zooming and font size by clicking the wrench icon on the top right corner, choosing “Settings” / “Preferences”, then choosing “Under the Hood”.  There you can set the default page zooming and font size.

Google Chrome Tutorial - Web Content Settings

This is a universal setting that affects all web pages in all tabs.  If you only need to fine-tune a specific tab, click the wrench icon and click the + and – sign beside “Zoom”.

 

Chrome Extensions

There are a few Chrome extensions you can use to purify web pages.  AdBlock and Adblock Plus are two popular extensions that block ads on web pages.  For the purpose of blocking ads these two extensions are similar, you can choose whichever you like.

Google Chrome Tutorial - AdBlock

Zoomy is a Chrome extension that maximize the use of the window size.  Sometimes web designers limit the column size of web pages, the space on two sides are unused.  This Chrome extension automatically enlarge the column width and thus the size of the content.  You can see its effect in this video:

 

iReader is a great Chrome extension that purifies web pages.  It automatically removes unnecessary stuff on web pages.  What you get is the main text and associated images only.  This is the purified version of an article on the Guardian newspaper web site:

Google Chrome Tutorial - iReader

There is another Chrome extension, Readability that works in the same way but it has richer features.  You can select the font size, reading pane color and width.  Links could be converted to footnotes to further eliminate distractions.  A killer feature of Readability is that it can send the simplified web page to your kindle for reading.  Isn’t it great?

Google Chrome Tutorial - Readability

Bookmarklet

Notforest is a bookmarklet.  It is a bookmark stored in the bookmarks of your Chrome.  Installation is pretty easy, just drag it to the bookmarks bar in Chrome.  Whenever you want to simplify a web page, just click the bookmark and the page would be turned into a reading pane with pure text.

Google Chrome Tutorial - Notforest

 

Web App

My last recommendation is rdd.me, a convenient web app that not only simplifies web pages but also shorten the URLs for easy sharing.  It is a service that Readability provides, so their rendering engine are probably the same.

Google Chrome Tutorial - rdd.me

The best thing is you get a shortened URL.  You can copy it and send to your friends.  What they’ll see when opening the URL is the simplified page.  Mobile users will see a further simplified page specially for mobile browsers.

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