How scripts can improve popular websites
User scripts can add features to your favourite websites, remove unwanted content and do much more besides. Darien Graham-Smith shows how it’s done.
If our introduction to user scripts has whetted your appetite, here are some examples of how simple scripts can improve popular websites.
Flickr: Show All Sizes
The Flickr: Show All Sizes user script adds a selection of quick links to the bottom of photo pages on Flickr, so you can jump straight to small, medium or large-sized copies of a photo without having to step through Flickr’s convoluted menu system.
YousableTubeFix lets you dynamically resize videos in YouTube, automatically expands the information view and adds a Download button, so you can save videos for offline viewing. You can also optionally disable adverts, watermarks and annotations.
Google Images Direct Links
There are many scripts that aim to enhance Google’s search services. As the name implies, Google Images Direct Links updates Google Images so that when you click on an image, instead of seeing a Google-hosted interstitial page, you’re taken straight to the source.
The Better Amazon script collapses many aspects of Amazon into expandable links, so you can browse quickly and jump straight to the information you want. It also gives a more precise average review rating, displayed in a big ugly font next to the item title.
A site as rich and complex as Facebook naturally inspires a good number of user scripts, including FFixer. It’s possible to hide unwanted links and adverts, monitor who’s unfriending you, bookmark specific pages and view images by rolling the mouse over them.
Twitter Short URL Expand
The Twitter Short URL Expand script expands abbreviated web links from your timeline, so you can see exactly where you’re being led. It doesn’t convert shortened URLs into their full-length equivalents, but there are other scripts that can do that.