Remove annoying Facebook features

Facebook PurityOver the years, Facebook has added a lot of obnoxious features to their website (i.e. Top Stories, App Requests, Gifts, Ads, etc). Thankfully there is a free browser plugin for Safari/Firefox/Chrome that will allow you to customize and remove many of the things you don’t like.

  • Go to F.B. Purity and install the plugin for your browser of choice.
  • After you install the plugin, you will see a “F.B. Purity” link at the top of your Facebook feed. If you click on the link, it will open a window where you can make all sorts of customizations.
  • See the user guide for additional help.

Browse privately

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If you are browsing the internet on a public computer, you may not want others to see what you have searched for or what web pages you’ve looked at. Fortunately there are several browsers that let you look at the web without leaving a trail behind you.

Mac:

  • Safari: Go to Safari > Private Browsing
  • Chrome: Go to File > New Incognito Window
  • Firefox: Go to File > New Private Window

PC:

  • Chrome: Go to Settings (icon next to address bar) > New Incognito Window
  • Firefox: Go to the orange Firefox menu > New Private Window
  • Internet Explorer: Go to Settings (gear icon) Safety > InPrivate Browsing

What’s that font?

Need to know the name of a font on a website or in a particular image/photo? Here are two tools that I find handy for determining which font someone is using.

  • WhatTheFont – Upload an image and this service will try to match your font to one in their database, or find other similar fonts.
  • WhatFont Browser plugin – Install this plugin on Safari or Chrome and just click to find out what font a website is using.

Saving electronic receipts

Instead of printing out every confirmation or receipt I get on the web, I like to save mine electronically. It’s eco-friendly, saves space, and makes organization easier.

Mac: In Safari/Firefox, go to File > Print (or hit CMD-P). When you get to the Print dialog box, instead of clicking Print, click on the PDF button in the lower left corner. Choose “Save as PDF” and choose which folder you’d like to save a PDF version of your receipt in.

In Chrome, go to File > Print (or hit CMD-P). Change the Destination to “Save as PDF” and then hit the Save button.

PC: If you are using the Chrome browser, click on the tool icon in the top-right corner. Choose Print. Change the destination to “Print to PDF” and click Print.

If you don’t use Chrome, you can install the CutePDF Writer which will allow you to print to PDF from any browser. Instructions here.

Opt-out of behavioral advertising

Ad networks like DoubleClick, Quantcast and others track the websites you visit and target ads specifically to you. To opt out of these tracking networks, go to the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) website. It will check your system for tracking cookies from the participating ad networks and allow you to opt out of receiving them.

Visit the NAI website

If you want to block ads and ad tracking altogether, you can install an ad blocker plugin for your browser:

Adblock (Safari)
AdBlock Plus (Chrome/Firefox)
Ghostery (Firefox/Safari/Chrome/Opera/IE)

Using Apple’s Dictionary

If you need to look up the definition of a word quickly, here are two ways to do it (on a Mac):

  1. Pull up Spotlight (by clicking the magnifier in the top right of the screen or hit Command-Space) and type in your word. The definition will appear first. You can mouse-over it to see the full definition, or click on it to view in Apple’s Dictionary program.
  2. In Safari, Mail, and most other text-editing programs, select the text and hit Command-Control-D. A pop-up window should appear with the definition of the word.