Greasemonkey: What is it? How do you use it?

Greasemonkey: What is it? How do you use it?I’ve been trying out a bunch of Facebook-related Greasemonkey scripts lately, and I’ve realized that maybe not everybody knows what a Greasemonkey script is – or even Greasemonkey, for that matter. So here’s a short tutorial on the wonderful world of Greasemonkey, and everything you can do with it.

To begin with, Greasemonkey is a Firefox extension that doesn’t do anything by itself. It just allows you to use small bits of JavaScript (the so called Greasemonkeyscripts) on your browser, to customize the way a certain website looks or interacts with you. This means that, in order to use any of those scripts, first you need to install Greasemonkey on Firefox.

Greasemonkey: What is it? How do you use it?

Once installed, Greasemonkey displays a small monkey icon in the bottom right corner of the browser interface. A left click on this icon disables the extension – and all the scripts you’ve installed so far. A right click on the icon shows the extension’s context menu, with access to installed scripts, configuration options and a script manager.

Greasemonkey: What is it? How do you use it?

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Now, the big question: where do you get scripts from? The answer is userscripts.org, an online script database with thousands of scripts to use with Greasemonkey. You’ll find scripts of all sorts, to customize and enhance hundreds of popular websites, including Gmail, Facebook, Google, Twitter,YouTube and lots more.

Greasemonkey: What is it? How do you use it?

The list can be sorted by name, rating, posts, fans or installs, and each script has a complete dedicated page with all the information you need about it.

Greasemonkey: What is it? How do you use it?

To install a Greasemonkey script, simply click the big green Install button on any script page, and wait for the confirmation window to appear. The whole process is very similar to installing a Firefox extension.

Greasemonkey: What is it? How do you use it?

When Greasemonkey has finished installing the script, you’ll see a message beside the little monkey icon in the bottom right corner of the browser window. From that moment on, the script is ready to use, and will be automatically enabled as soon as you load the website it was created for.

Greasemonkey: What is it? How do you use it?

Those of you who are familiar with coding may be interested in creating your own Greasemonkey scripts. In that case, you should take a look at the GreaseSpot Wiki, where you’ll find all the documentation you need to get started: a Greasemonkey manual, a FAQ section, tutorials, coding tips and more.

Greasemonkey: What is it? How do you use it?

Now that you know what Greasemonkey is and what it can do for you, it’s time to get to work! Download the extension and tell us your favorite scripts.

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