How To Add Greasemoney and Other Scripts To Opera 11

When I recently made the switch from Firefox to Opera, there were a couple of things I had to work out with my new web browser of choice.  One of my favorite add-ons for Firefox was Greasemonkey, which allows for the installation of scripts that modify and enhance web pages on-the-fly.  There is no version of Greasemonkey for Opera available since custom user scripts are supported out-of-the-box with just a little setup by the user.

In this guide I am going to show you how to enable, install, and use custom user scripts in Opera 11.

Adding User JavaScript to Opera

Step 1: Open Opera and enter about:opera into the address bar.

Step 2: If User JavaScript is enabled, a User JavaScript folder entry appears under the Paths heading.  If it does not, you need to enable User JavaScript in the next step.

Step 3: Navigate to Menu > Settings > Preferences… in Opera.

Step 4: Select the Advanced tab.

Step 5: Click Content in the left menu and press the JavaScript Options button.

Step 6: Select the folder where you wish to store your new user JavaScript files and click OK on the next two windows.  If you enter about:opera into the address bar like in Step 2 you can now see the User JavaScript folder under the Paths heading.

Next, we need to download and install some JavaScript.  Navigate to Userscripts.org and find the JavaScript enhancement you wish to install.  Once you find the script, right-click the Install button and select Save Linked Content As… and save the JavaScript file into the folder you specified in Step 6.  I would recommend giving the JavaScript a name other than the default provided so you can easily distinguish between JavaScript files.

What are your favorite user scripts for Opera or any other web browser?  Let us know by commenting below!

Optimize Your iGoogle Personalized Homepage with Super iGoogle

I use iGoogle as my browser start page which allows me to quickly view things like the news, weather, movie showtimes, my to do list, and email when I open my browser.  iGoogle is completely customizable and supports a great variety of themes.  I only have one problem: the search header and sidebar take up a lot of valuable space that could be used for content.

A simple way to condense the extra space in iGoogle is to use the Super iGoogle Greasemonkey script.  Super iGoogle lets you toggle the search header, footer, and sidebar and replace them with a mini menu and shortcut keys.

Here’s how to use it in Firefox:

  1. Install the Greasemonkey add-on for Firefox.
  2. Click the green Install button on the Super iGoogle Userscripts page.
  3. That’s it – open iGoogle!

Not using Firefox?  That’s alright, Super iGoogle also supports Chrome and Opera.

You will notice the search bar is still visible in the top right corner of the screen, and all controls and original options are available under Menu.

Be sure to check out our coverage of other great Greasemonkey scripts.

Browse Safer: Expand Shortened URLs

expand_urls_featURL shorteners are everywhere, and have exploded in popularity with sites like Twitter that have a character limit per message.  While URL shortening services provide a great way to share links quickly with friends – there is also a significant security risk of being sent to a malicious website.  For example, check out this great link: http://is.gd/2dPpA.

This risk can be mitigated by using a URL expanding service called LongURL, which can help you avoid viruses, phishing, and malware by expanding a shortened URL before you click it.  LongURL supports nearly every popular URL shortener, such as tinyurl.com, is.gd, ping.fm, ur1.ca, bit.ly, snipurl.com, tweetburner.com, metamark.net, url.ie, x.se, 6url.com, yep.it, piurl.com, and more.

Using LongURL via LongURL.org

LongURL can be used in any browser through LongURL.org.  Simply copy and paste (or type) your shortened URL into the box and click expand to be presented with a screenshot of the website, its title, and any details that can be discovered.

expand_urls_expandedUsing the LongURL Add-on in Firefox

LongURL provides a useful add-on for Firefox that seamlessly integrates the service with your browser.  Simply install the LongURL Mobile Expander add-on and you can expand any shortened URL by hovering your mouse over it.  To view additional information about the link, click the ‘More’ button and you will be taken to the LongURL website.

expand_urls_ffaddon1

Using LongURL in Greasemonkey

If you prefer to use Greasemonkey (a Firefox add-on that allows you to run user-created scripts to modify websites), check out the LongURL Mobile Expander Greasemonkey script.  After installing the script, any shortened URLs will automatically be expanded when you hover your mouse over them.  To view additional information about the link, click the ‘More’ button and you will be taken to the LongURL website.

expand_urls_greasemonkey
Have any tips for safer browsing?  Share them with us in the comments!

Manage Multiple Gmail Accounts with Google Account Multi-Login

gmail_logoFirefox only:  If you’re like me, you have multiple Gmail accounts and wish there was a quicker way to switch between them in the Gmail web interface.  With the Google Account Multi-Login script for Greasemonkey, you can do just that.

Step One – Prerequisites: To enable this feature, you’ll first need to be using Firefox with the Greasemonkey add-on installed.  Greasemonkey lets you to install user-generated scripts that can customize the way a webpage is displayed.  [New to Greasemonkey? Check out our guide.]

Step Two – Install Google Multi-Login: Head over to the Google Multi-Login script page and click the ‘Install’ button.  You’ll then have to click ‘Install’ again to add the script to Greasemonkey.

gmail_greasemonkey_multiaccounts_installOnce you’ve installed the script, it will automatically be activated (but if you already had Gmail open, you will need to refresh the page).  A new ‘Change User…’ menu will now appear in the top right of your inbox.

gmail_greasemonkey_multiaccounts_changeuserStep Three – Adding and Switching Accounts: To add a new account, click the ‘Change User…’ menu at the top of your screen and select ‘Add Account’.  Enter the account’s username followed by the password.

gmail_greasemonkey_multiaccounts_addaccountsFor increased security, you can leave the password blank and you will be prompted to enter it each time you switch to that account.  You will also have the option to enable autologin for your new account.

gmail_greasemonkey_multiaccounts_password

The next time you want to switch accounts, it can quickly be done by selecting that account in the ‘Change User…’ menu!

gmail_greasemonkey_multiaccounts_switchThe Google Multi-Login script isn’t just limited to Gmail; it also works in Google Search, iGoogle, Docs, Reader, Calendar, and several others.  For more information, check out the script homepage.

Become a Facebook Power User with Facebook Fixer

facebook-logoSure,  you know how to use Facebook pretty well – but there are dozens of features you can add to the popular social networking site with Firefox and Greasemonkey scripts.  Greasemonkey is an add-on for Firefox that lets you enhance webpages with user generated scripts, and can enable features in Facebook like:

  • Enlarging profile pictures and photos when you hover your mouse over them
  • Enhanced viewing of  photo albums
  • Links to download videos
  • Google Calendar integration

To get started, download and install Greasemonkey.  After a browser restart, head to the Facebook Fixer script page and click the Install button.  Click the install button in the resulting dialog box.  The Facebook Fixer script will be enabled as soon as it’s installed (but if you already had Facebook open, you’ll have to refresh the page).  Now let’s cover some of the features!

Bigger Photos with Less Clicking: My favorite feature of Facebook Fixer is the ability to enlarge profile images or photo album images just by hovering your mouse over the thumbnail.  You’ll even see a user’s bigger profile picture if you aren’t their friend on Facebook.

facebook_poweruser_imageenlargeImproved Photo Albums: Aside from enlarging images with a mouseover, you can also view the album’s full-sized images on one page.  In a photo album, click the ‘Show Big Pictures’ link at the top of the page.

facebook_poweruser_bigpictures

You can also view all photos in an album on a single page by going to Settings (located at the top right in Facebook) –> Facebook Fixer and checking the “Automatically load thumbnails for all images in an album on a single page” button.

facebook_poweruser_fullalbum

Download Facebook Videos with a Single Click: You’ll now be able to download any videos your friends uploaded to Facebook by clicking the ‘Download Video’ button on a video page.

facebook_poweruser_downloadvideoAdd Friends’ Birthdays to Google Calendar: If you’re an avid Google Calendar user, you’ll appreciate the ability to add your friends’ birthdays to your calendar with a convenient link.  Facebook Fixer also provides several other birthday enhancements, like age and astrological sign.

facebook_poweruser_birthdaysDozens of Additional Options: Check out the Facebook Fixer options screen by clicking Settings –> Facebook Fixer.  You’ll be able to change how images are displayed, adjust the transparency of Facebook menus, and enable all kinds of goodies in that window.  For more information about other features Facebook Fixer offers, check out the author’s script page.

facebook_poweruser_settingsA Few Broken Things: Due to changes in Facebook’s code and design, Facebook Fixer can break occasionally.  If you find yourself having problems with this script, check out the script’s homepage to download the most recent version.

Facebook Fixer is a great example of how users can dramatically enhance a website with Greasemonkey scripts.  The Greasemonkey script community at userscripts.org is very active, so check it out and let us know if you find some other interesting scripts!

How To: Automatically View YouTube Videos in HD and Resized to 720p

youtubehq

Firefox Only:  Now that YouTube has a high quality / high definition option available for almost all videos, you may have found yourself wishing it would be enabled by default.  Realistically, YouTube has the higher quality mode disabled by default to save bandwidth on users who don’t mind lower quality videos, but this guide will show you how to automatically view all YouTube videos in the highest quality available (and also automatically resize certain videos to a higher resolution).

To accomplish this, you will need Firefox with the Greasemonkey add-on installed [New to Greasemonkey? Check out our guide].  Once you’re running Firefox with Greasemonkey, simply install the YouTube HQ + 720p Ultimate Greasemonkey script by clicking the Install button on the script’s information page.  Now when you view a YouTube video which is available in high quality, the high quality option will automatically be enabled.

YouTube videos have varying degrees of quality, so certain high quality videos will be automatically resized to a larger resolution, with many videos displaying at a full 720p.  720p-resized videos are too large for users with a display resolution of less than 1440×900, so if that is the case you can disable the resizing feature by following the instructions provided in the Options section of the script’s information page.

A YouTube video resized for 720p playback.
A YouTube video resized for 720p playback.

This script also contains several additional features which can be enabled or disabled:

  • Autoplay – YouTube videos begin playing automatically by default, but with this option the video will be paused and will buffer until you click the play button.
  • Jump To Player – This option automatically jumps your browser’s view to the video’s location.
  • Adjust Player Colors – Users can customize the foreground and background colors of the YouTube player.
  • Hide Annotations – YouTube allows video authors to add annotations to videos which can many times be spam or just plain annoying.  This option disables them from showing up over your video.
  • Loop – Just as you’d guess, it loops the video.

One important thing to note about Greasemonkey scripts is that if YouTube changes their code, layout, or player, the script could potentially stop working.  If this happens, be sure to check the script’s information page to see if an update is available, and if no updates are available you can contact the script author via that page.

Have a Greasemonkey script for YouTube you’d like to share?  Tell us about it in the comments!

How To: Automatically Hide Labels in Gmail

Hide Gmail LabelsFirefox Only:  Although Gmail’s labels can be extremely useful for organizing and increasing your email productivity, they can become quite a nuisance if you have several labels applied to a message.  When this happens, the labels take over the space that usually displays the message preview, and makes your inbox start to look cluttered and disorganized.

You can automatically hide Gmail’s labels (until you move your mouse over the message) by adding installing the Hide Labels in Message Row script for Greasemonkey. [What’s Greasemonkey? Check out our guide.]

Have any Greasemonkey scripts for Gmail you enjoy?  Share them in the comments.

UPDATE 04/23/09: The Better Gmail 2 add-on for Firefox now has built-in support for the Hide Labels in Message Row script.

Enhance Websites in Firefox with Greasemonkey

Greasemonkey is an extremely versatile add-on for Mozilla Firefox which allows users to install scripts that can make modifications to most HTML-based websites.  Greasemonkey can greatly enhance a website by changing the layout, adding new features, or increasing ease-of-use.

To install Greasemonkey, head on over to the Firefox Add-On Greasemonkey page and click “Add to Firefox”.  After restarting your browser, Greasemonkey will be active and ready to accept scripts (it should be noted that Greasemonkey will have no installed scripts by default). Continue reading “Enhance Websites in Firefox with Greasemonkey”