CyberNotes
Web Browser Wednesday




There is so much information all over the web that keeping up with it all can become a tedious task. Most sites have feeds that can be subscribed to so that all of your news is aggregated into one location, but sometimes it is nice to actually visit your favorite sites.

If you’re like me then you probably have some a handful of sites that you actually like to view each day. In the morning when I wake up I typically visit a few sites like Slashdot, Google News (Technology), Yahoo! News, and of course our own Site/Forum. This gets the ball rolling for me and gets my news juices flowing. :)

GMarksThere are actually several different ways that I use to keep up on my favorite sites. Three of the ways that I know of I’m going to mention here, and the last one is probably going to be the one that a majority of you don’t already know about.

The first way is with the GMarks Firefox extension. It allows me to create a group of bookmarks by assigning labels, and then lets me right-click on that group to open the sites in new tabs. This is really convenient, but is not something unique to this extension. Many other bookmarking extensions also have this feature, and even the built-in Firefox bookmark system will let you do this.

Another way that you can open multiple sites simultaneously in tabs is by setting your homepage to be more than one site. You can easily do this by specifying multiple sites in the Options like this:

http://www.searchmash.com/|http://cybernetnews.com

Firefox Homepage

Notice the “|” that divides the two sites, which is what makes Firefox recognize that there are multiple sites tied to the homepage. Then every time you click on the homepage button it will pull up all of the sites that you have set as your homepage. You can also Ctrl+Click on the homepage button to open all of the sites in new tabs instead of overwriting your existing ones.

Okay, now for the last way that many of you were probably waiting for. You can actually create a desktop shortcut that will open a new window with all of your favorite sites. The easiest thing to do would be to copy your existing Firefox shortcut and just append a string similar to this onto the end of the “Target” field:

-new-window google.com|cybernetnews.com

which means the entire Target field would look something like this:

"C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -new-window google.com|cybernetnews.com

This is a screenshot of what it should look like when editing the shortcut:

Firefox Shortcut

Then each time you click on that shortcut it will open a new window and each of the sites listed will be open in new tabs. I find myself using these shortcuts a little more than the other two methods mentioned above because I want the sites open in a new window. This keeps my current window a little more tidy and prevents unneeded clutter. Heck, I have a whole folder of Firefox shortcuts that I use depending on what kind of news I’m looking to read. :)

More command line arguments for Firefox can be found here.