Extension TinyUrl Creator
Categories Miscellaneous, Navigation, Web Annoyances
Internet addresses are a pain. Apart from being complicated and hard to remember, they're often very long. For example, most MapQuest addresses, which are generated automatically, look like this:
http://www.mapquest.com/directions/main.adp?do=rev&mo=ma&2 si=navt&1gi=0&un=m&go=1&2gi=0&1a=1981%20Landings%20Dr&1c=M ountain%20View&1g=3Q1zpeLc748QB0HJgOtqNw%3d%3d&2a=1350%20V illa%20St&2tabval=address&11=8qe7XqKPT90%3d&2c=Mountain%20 View&1da=%2d1%2e000000&1rc=L1AAA&1n=SANTA%20CLARA%20 COUNTY&cl=EN&2g=VoxgHLbzR2uOhZ6dpT36JA%3d%3d&1s=CA&21=Sj1LyGkYzR 4%3d&ct=NA&1v=ADDRESS&2n=SANTA%20CLARA%20COUNTY&1y=US&1tab val=address&1z=94043%2d0801&1si=navt&2s=CA&2da=%2d1%2e0000 00&2rc=L1AAA&2v=ADDRESS&did=1129956842&2y=US&2z=94041%2d11 26&rsres=1
Long addresses aren't just an eyesore; they're difficult to share with others. When you send an address like the previous example by e-mail or instant message, it often gets broken down into multiple lines. When your friend receives it, only the first line is linked, and because that isn't the full address, the link fails. He has to copy and paste the address into his browser — line, by line, by line. And when the link is for directions to your house and he's already 10 minutes late, that's a real problem.
The TinyUrl Creator extension for Firefox offers a brilliant solution. It allows you to automatically generate a very short address (such as http://tinyur1.com/8f46) that redirects to the original page. Think of it like a nickname or a shortcut; it's another way to get to the same place. Because this address is very short, it's easy to share with others. (URL is a technical term for an address, in case you're wondering.)
How it works After installing TinyUrl Creator, you can generate a short address by visiting the offending page and choosing Tools TinyUrl Creator From Current URL. The short address is automatically copied to your Clipboard (and it overwrites whatever's already there!) so it's easy to share with others by pasting it into an e-mail or instant message. The extension shows a notification window each time you create a short address, as shown in Figure 22-10, but you can turn this off in the extension's Options window (Tools TinyUrl Creator Options).
Figure 22-10: Turn long addresses into very short ones with TinyUrl Creator.
Additional help is available at the TinyUrl Creator user support forum (http://forums.mozmonkey.com/index.php). You can find additional information about how the TinyURL service works at http://www.tinyur1.com. Note that the TinyUrl Creator extension is not produced by the makers of the TinyURL.com service.