Monday, September 1, 2008

Firefox 3 adds "mailto:" hack

I'm sure that I'm not the only one who's ever had this problem. You're cruising the internet, looking for something. Even you're not quite sure what you were looking for anymore. But you come across a website, and there's a bloody error on the page. Maybe the flash is broken, or the words-on-background are so abysmally horrible they make you want to tear your eyes out. So you do what any good web surfer should do. You click the little "email the webmaster" link hovering around the bottom of the page.

You all know what comes next, I'm sure. You spend about 10 minutes waiting for Microsoft Outlook to pop open so you can type your message, spend 1 minute typing the message, 4 minutes trying to figure out how to send the message, 30 minutes figuring out why outlook keeps encountering a problem, and then you finally give up and copy/paste the address to gmail. And, of course, the whole time you were wondering "Now wouldn't this have been easier if I could just use my Gmail account in the first place?" Good news! Firefox will now let you do just that!

In order to make Firefox use gmail as the default mailto service is quite simple, and takes virtually no time at all. First, open up your Firefox browser and in the address bar type:

A screen will open up warning you that continuing could void your warranty. Click "I'll be careful, I promise". You won't be voiding your warranty this time 'round.

Next, in the 'filter' bar, type:
This will show a smaller list of choices to pick from. Double click the option:
When you double click on this, the boolean value will become 'true'. This is exactly what you want it to do, as it will allow you to access a different email service from a mailto link. Lastly, copy the following javascript code into your browser's address bar and hit enter (I would copy and paste the code- you don't want to accidentally put the wrong javascript in):
javascript:window.navigator.registerProtocolHandler("mailto", "","GMail")

Now just click "add application" on the bar that appears below your address bar, and voila! The next time you click a mailto link, you can choose gmail, and if you tick the "remember my choice" box, then in the future Firefox will always use gmail.

Good bye outlook mailto nuisances!

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