How this one small browser quirk turned into a tool used by countless people for decades.
In general, you can put any statements or function calls after the
And, crucially, easily shareable as links.
Even in the first few months, Kangas had a list of over a hundred bookmarklets to share, that he had compiled and created. Some could be used to search a page for specific links or text. Others could alter the appearance of a page, removing images, changing the color or making things more readable. Some were fun (a bookmarklet that could make a Valentine’s Day heart dance across the page) and some were unadorned and simple (turn text underlines on or off).
Browsers have also typically featured another way to change and manipulate a page. They’ve been called add-ons, plugins, and extensions, but they are an officially supported way of interacting with a browser and extending its functionality. For a long time, however, they were difficult to manage and install. You had to find what you were looking for, download it, and find the right place to put it on your computer. They were useful cases, but not necessarily a viable alternative to Bookmarklets, which were easily shareable and dead simple.
In 2007, Moziilla Firefox released its Add-ons Gallery, a much simpler way to discover and install official Firefox add-ons. It was a searchable and categorized index of add-ons that any developer could add to. Add-ons were officially supported, were reviewed for security, and could be installed with one click. In 2009, Chrome added an extension gallery with similar features.
As those browsers rose in market share, extensions began to overtake bookmarklets in popularity. The Bookmarks bar faded to the background more. Bookmarklets are still in use, and still quite useful, but they are ….