As part of my Web Browser Guide for Bloggers series on the Blog Herald, I explored a lot of new Firefox Extensions to improve my blogging skills and efficiency. In the process, I discovered the Split Browser Add-on.
The Firefox Extension splits the browser’s screen into two or more parts, allowing you to view one or more web pages side by side, or one on top of the other. You can split your screen in many ways.
There are many benefits to this, especially for bloggers. Of most interest is the ability to copy links and references from one page into the blog post you are writing about. Instead of switching back and forth between tabs, both web pages are visible and moving back and forth is incredibly simple.
Another advantage is that the split browser allows me to have “two screens” up, one the draft of my WordPress post in the Write Post panel and the other, the “preview” of my blog post, which is an interesting work-around for this annoying lack-of-feature for the recent version of WordPress.
The reality, however, is a little different.
The Split Browser Extension works brilliantly. Move your mouse towards an edge of the screen and a small rectangle “button” appears on the edge of the screen. At the bottom of the screen, it invites you to open the current tab you are on in the bottom section of your screen. At the side, it invites you to open the current tag to the right or left of the screen. You can adjust the width and height of the split browser “window”.
Trying this out while working on an article, I opened the tab of links I wanted to reference in the blog post I was working on in the left side of the screen, then switched to the tab with the Write Post panel open.
I had a very narrow column of content that was still readable, to copy links from and paste them into the Write Post panel with my favorite Firefox Extension Copy Link Text (CoLT).
However, the left screen with my Write Post panel was very squished. The right sidebar of categories, and other post information, stayed a fixed width so the post edit textarea was squished narrowly. I played around with different widths and found that sometimes it worked okay, but other times, it was just too narrow. I’m working with a screen that is measurably 16 inches across, which is not small by any means, but not as wide as the newer extra-wide screens. I tried the same view with my husband’s extra-wide HP laptop and it was much easier to view web pages in a less squished and readable fashion.
Still, encountering a web design with a fixed width layout made it very frustrating, especially with ones that use fixed width columns. I have to scroll horizontally left and right to read a single line. Very frustrating.
The same applied to using the Split Browser to view a Preview of my blog post. Squish. Yes, I could read it, and play with the width of each side of the browser “window”, but I have a flexible width design. I move to a fixed width, and it’s left and right scrolling.
The ease with which this feature is turned on and off is lovely. I can click the X on the split screen and it’s gone. It also has a lot of options to allow you to customize how you use this.
I like the ability to open a web page in a split screen without influencing the tab or its original placement. I can close it and the tab remains open, unless I’ve set the options otherwise. This allows me to go onto another tab and do other work, and then return back to that tab if necessary.
I still need to play with this some more, but what do you think? Have you used this Firefox Extension? How is it working for you?
- Firefox Bookmarks Help Bloggers Blog
- Awesome Lists of Firefox Must-Have Extensions Lists
- Blogging on the Edge: Blogging NOT From My Computer
- Firefox 2 versus Internet Explorer versus WordPress
- Power Blogging: Web Browser Blogging Tips
- Web Browser Guide for Bloggers: Putting It All Together for the Blogger
- Web Browser Guide for Power Bloggers: Browser Add-ons and Extensions for Bloggers
- Web Browser Guide: Exploring the Tab
Site Search Tags: firefox, firefox for bloggers, using firefox, firefox add-ons, firefox extensions, split browser, split browser add-on, split browser extension, firefox split browser, blogging tips, how to blog, wordpress tips
Subscribe Via Feedburner Subscribe by Email
Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network, and author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.