Recently I’ve seen a bunch of articles on the Firefox extension, Greasemonkey (Slashdot, Wired, misc. blogs) lately and thought I’d join in with my own praise of this really neat tool. I’ve been using GreaseMonkey for a while now, and it is kind of one of those tiny novelty things that just makes life a little bit easier while you’re surfing the web.
Greasemonkey is a Firefox extension that allows you to change how a webpage is laid out in your browser with simple DHTML scripts. It works similar to the CSS model where you can change little things or add little things to a page with and external script. I’ve found a few that I use regularly. One of the most handy is the “delte button for Gmail” script, which does just as it says and adds a delete button to the Gmail interface (why they don’t have one there by default is beyond me). This handy Greasemonkey script is just one of hundreds available to change how the sites you visit are presented. A few more that I have found really helpful are scripts that turn off ads in weather.com, and one that turns off the big full-screen ads on ucomics. Another fun one, called Book Burro, will bring up a little price comparison window when you view a book at several online bookseller sites.
If you want to give Greasemonkey a try, it’s really simple to get up and running (you must be running Firefox):
- Download and install the Greasemonkey extension.
- Restart Firefox
- Find some scripts to install – GreaseMonkey User Scripts.
- Select “Install User Script” under the Tools menu in Firefox.
- Visit the site that the script you just installed is supposed to modify.
- Rinse… Repeat!