Tag Archives: bookmarklet

Changing Your Browser’s Homepage

One of the most frequent questions I get when setting up a computer for somebody is how to change the home page. Usually it starts on something silly like MSN or the website of the manufacturer, and so you want to change it. Here’s how.

 

This tip was tested on Firefox and Chrome; it is probably mostly applicable to Internet Explorer as well, but the exact steps will be different.

 

The Quick Method
This works on both Firefox and Chrome.
  1. Browse to the website you want to make your home page.
  2. Look to the left of the web address. Depending on whether the site is secure or not, there will be either a little icon or a company name of some sort.
  3. Drag this icon or name onto the home button (it looks like a home, and is on the toolbar, often next to the back and forward buttons). Firefox will ask you for confirmation, while Chrome will just go ahead and make the change. Here’s a screenshot if you’re confused.
For some strange reason, Chrome doesn’t display the home button by default, but adding it is no problem: click the wrench in the upper-right-hand corner, then Preferences, then check “Show Home Button.”

 

The More Involved Method
If you want some more options, like having multiple tabs as your home page, you need to head over to your browser’s options dialog box. This will usually be in Tools -> Options or Edit -> Preferences, though many recent browsers have one or two big buttons instead of multiple menus, so click the button and then Options or Preferences.

 

To set multiple tabs in Firefox, browse to all the pages you want, then open the options and select Use Current Pages. In Chrome, under the “On Startup” section in Preferences, select “Open the Following Pages,” then type or paste the addresses you want.

 

SorenscorchgeekBjornstad
http://www.thetechnicalgeekery.com

 

If you have found an error or notable omission in this tip, please leave a comment or email me: webmaster@thetechnicalgeekery.com.

 

Copyright 2012 Soren Bjornstad.
Verbatim copying and redistribution of part or all of this article
is permitted, provided this notice is preserved.

 

Finding the Date a Page was Last Updated

Ever visited a page and been unable to find a publish date anywhere on the page? It can get really annoying when you’re afraid the information might be old or you need to cite it. Here’s how to find the date even when nobody bothered to put it on.

Note: This method doesn’t work every time. If the page updates dynamically (for example, Facebook, or some news sites), you’ll just get the current date and time. If you do get the current date and time, you’ll just need to try some other method of determining the date. It’s still usually worth a shot, though.

1: Getting Started
The simplest version of this trick is just to type the following into the address bar of your browser (while you’re at the site you want to get the date of):
javascript:alert(document.lastModified)
(Note: This is case sensitive.) This will bring up a small dialog box containing the update date:
2: Simplifying
That’s all well and good, but you’re probably not going to remember that code. So you can create a very simple bookmarklet that brings up this dialog box. (If you don’t know, a bookmarklet is simply a small snippet of JavaScript or a link to a JavaScript file that can be saved as a bookmark. They can do almost anything–for instance, I have one that converts the current page to a PDF.)

 

To create it, just drag and drop the following link to your bookmarks bar: Date Last Modified. If you don’t have a bookmarks bar showing, you can also drag it into your bookmarks menu (tested on Firefox, and no reason why it wouldn’t work on another browser).

 

When you’re done, anytime you can’t find a date, simply click on the bookmark.

 

Note: For no apparent reason, the latest version of Firefox won’t seem to work when I just type in the code into the address bar. (Earlier versions have always worked.) However, the bookmark still works fine.