Bookmarklets are small scripts that run on a webpage to execute useful functions against either the content on the page or on the entire domain name itself. Backtick is a Chrome extension that holds these scripts together in once place, making it super simple to run them at any time on any page.
After installing Backtick, you can create your own commands or search through the predefined ones via a pop-up search box. Add any command another user creates by simply entering the ID into the Backtick settings page.
There are many bookmarklets already present in Backtick, but as the community grows there are surely more to be added. We’ve listed 10 of our favorites below, so let’s take a look at how Backtick works and how to use these custom commands.
Install Backtick and Start Creating Commands
Start by installing the Backtick extension for Chrome, found here. The default action to begin using Backtick is to press the key on the keyboard, which is the one under “Esc.” Either do this or click the Backtick extension icon in Chrome. A new pop-up box will display, where you type the bookmarklet/script name to use.
For example, we can start typing “Web Archive” to find a bookmarklet that sends the current page to Web.archive.org to view past versions of TechNorms.
Another pre-made one is “WhatFont,” which helps you choose a font by identifying ones on webpages that catch your eye.
The bookmarklet immediately begins working on selecting it. In this case, we can hover over the text to find the font name.
Change the default trigger key that’s used to launch Backtick by opening the “Options” of the extension.
Also available from the settings is a field to add custom commands to Backtick that aren’t currently included in your install. Learn how to create these here.
The example they give results in a unique ID that is then entered into Backtick. This applies to all custom commands. After creating one, an ID is used for adding it to the extension.
Here is the example we’re given on how a command is created:
The unique ID we’re given is “6859173.” This is entered into the Backtick settings, and then added to produce the following effect:
Remove custom commands from this screen or use them like any other from the hotkey activated pop-up window. Their example command produces this alert:
If you make a handy command you think should be included as a predefined one, you can tweet it to the creator @JoelBesadda.
Note that Backtick is free to use, but a nag screen like the following will show after you use it for a while:
10 Useful Backtick Commands
These are some nice commands we came across while inspecting this extension.
Save a page to be read now or later at Readability:
Translate the current page to English using Google Translate:
View the current page via Google’s Cached website feature:
Check if the current webpage is really offline or if it’s just a problem with your own connection:
Share the current page on Google Plus:
There’s also one for Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest called “Facebook Share,” “Twitter Share,” and “Pinterest Share.”
Track URL shares, likes, and tweets of the current page against the online service SharedCount:
Skip YouTube ads in an instant:
Create a horizontal and vertical ruler on the current page:
Search the current domain on Google with the the format “site:[domain]”:
Destroy a webpage with temporary bombs that skew surrounding text upon detonation:
Here’s an example of “FontBomb” on a webpage:
Instant access to all these bookmarklets is a blessing. Some of these I actually had previously saved on my bookmarks bar, but containing them in a hidden search box like Backtick does is really helpful.
If you can create some mind-blowing commands, you should send them our way so we can check them out.