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Definition

bookmarklet

What is a bookmarklet?

A bookmarklet is a JavaScript applet that runs directly in the browser. 

Unlike a traditional browser plug-in, a bookmarklet is not downloaded or installed, nor does it require time to load each time the browser is launched. To the end user, bookmarklets look like regular bookmarks that go across their browser toolbar. When selected, the bookmarklet opens a pop-up window instead of taking the user to a website to access the application.

There are bookmarklets for a wide variety of uses including:

  • Sending annotated URLs to social networking or microblogging sites from any other site.
  • URL shortening.
  • Customizing the appearance of websites.
  • Creating user-defined hyperlinks in text.
  • Extracting data from online content.
  • Generating passwords.
  • Downloading YouTube videos in MP4 format.

The idea behind bookmarklets was originally proposed in the Netscape JavaScript Guide. Steve Kangas coined the term itself as a portmanteau (a word created from two other words) of bookmark and applet. Kangas is identified as the "Chief of Rocket Science" at bookmarklets.com.

Learn More About IT:
> Bookmarklets.com explains what bookmarklets are and offers a free selection of them.
> Wikipedia has more information in its entry about bookmarklets.
> Squarefree.com also offers bookmarklets and a FAQ list.
.> Serdar Yegulalp explains how to use bookmarklets to create secure passwords you don't have to remember.

This was last updated in October 2009

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