How to shorten URLs from the Opera address bar
Sunday, October 4, 2009 7:24:38 PM
Shortening URLs is a popular thing these days, especially for use in Tweeting. You've only got 140 characters to work with, so you can't be linking URLs that use up all your space. Some Twitter clients will shorten URLs for you, but sometimes the client won't do it if your tweet is already over the maximum 140 characters, which is pretty dumb.
The route for a lot of people is to manually visit a URL shortening web site like tinyurl.com or bit.ly, paste the address, then get the shortened URL. But there's a much easier way. Do it directly from the address bar in Opera.
One of the most underrated features of Opera is the ability to create custom searches. In this case, we want to create a custom search that doesn't search at all. First, go to Tools --> Preferences and click on the Search tab. Here you can see some of my custom searches. For example, by typing gi alabama in the Opera address bar and hitting enter, I can do a Google Image search for "alabama."
Click Add to begin adding our new custom search. You can name it anything you want. Here we'll use is.gd URL Shortener. I decided to use the letter u (for URL) for my keyboard shortcut. You'll want to use http://is.gd/create.php for the address, and URL=%s for the query string.
If you're wondering how I came up with that, I simply reverse engineered an already shortened URL from the resulting URL. Or maybe I did a right-click Create Search from the entry field on the is.gd web site... I don't remember anymore!
Anyway, this is what you end up with:
Click OK and that's it! From now on, shorten any URL by pasting u (URL) into the Opera address bar and hitting enter.
For example, I want to shorten a Jason Whitlock column located here: http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/10084588/NFL-Truths:-McKelvin-deserves-Bills-fans'-boos.
So all I have to do is put this in the address bar: u http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/10084588/NFL-Truths:-McKelvin-deserves-Bills-fans'-boos and hit enter.
The result: http://is.gd/3o8MG
Don't have Opera? Download it for free here: http://my.opera.com/community/opera/get/.