GreaseMonkey: Browser fun

For various reasons, Firefox has been my favourite browser for a long time. Everyone is entitled to have their personal favourites (please don’t tell me IE6 is your favourite). In case you are one of those who likes Firefox, you would already be acquainted with GreaseMonkey . Chrome recently added support for GreaseMonkey. In case you don’t use Firefox/Chrome or you are not aware of GreaseMonkey, read on and you will like (may be)  the flexibility this add-on gives to your browsing experience.

Let me first tell you how to add GreaseMonkey.

1. Install Firefox

2. Open your browser, click on Tools -> Options -> General -> Manage add-ons

3. Search for GreaseMonkey, select the first search result and click on Add to Firefox (May require restarting the browser)

4. Now you can see a small smiling monkey at the right bottom corner of your browser

Once you are done with above steps, your browser is ready to tweak any website you want. Hang on, don’t get too excited, your browser  is still the same old browser it was before adding GreaseMonkey. It will not magically add new cool things to all websites. You can make improvements to already existing websites to suit your taste. Having said that, you should be really good at writing javascripts to modify any website. But the good news is, there are plenty of scripts already available that you can just add to your browser and be done. You will never have to write a line of code.

So, these scripts are called userscripts, which anyone can write to customize any website.

Where are all these scripts available and what do they do? You can find thousands of scripts here. Read the description and pick the ones you like the most. You can find plenty of user scripts related to online shopping, online ticket reservation, news, sports, music, videos, images and many more. Most of the scripts available are tested, stable and safe. So, pick your favourites.

One of the scripts I have on my browser is written to customize Youtube. I am sure everyone who visits Youtube frequently would have noticed how annoying those ads  are at the beginning of your video. Those irritating annotations that cover up your video with weird text messages. Also, your favourite songs can never be played in repeat mode. You should always pick the quality of the video depending on your bandwidth.  Searching lyrics for the song you are watching is extra work.  Downloading audio of the song playing on youtube is not always straighforward. What if all these features are at your disposable with just one click of a button? Yes, you can just do that by using GreaseMonkey.

The image below shows how your youtube video looks like without greasemonkey

Youtube player without GreaseMonkey

Now, let’s see what GreaseMonkey can do for us.

Youtube player with GreaseMonkey

It is very easy to disable or enable GreaseMonkey. Just click on the smiling monkey at the bottom of your page and this add-on will be enabled/disabled. To uninstall a particular script, go to Tools->GreaseMonkey->Manage User Scripts, select the script you want to uninstall and click on uninstall.

If you wish to write your own scripts, this tutorial is a good place to start.

Happy browsing!

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