Automatically Convert Mistyped and Obfuscated URLs in Firefox

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 15, 2008
Updated • Mar 1, 2011
Firefox, Firefox add-ons

If you are a regular on the Internet you have experienced your share of mistyped urls that don't let you click the link because it is not recognized as one by the browser. This is normally a result of adding information to fast to the web without proofreading them. It does not really matter if you are on Twitter, Digg, a forum or your favorite blog, it can happen everywhere. I normally copy and paste the "good" part of the url in the address bar and load the website manually which is not a problem if it happens once a day or so but it soon becomes a problem if you have to do it more often.

And then there are obfuscated URLs, that have been altered on purpose most of the time to look like a link without providing the functionality of loading a website directly. Many forums do that to avoid that they URL appears as a referrer in the logs of the destination website. Obfuscated links begin with hxxp for instance or variations and there is normally no other way than to copy and paste the url manually.

Quiet URL is a Firefox add-on that automatically converts mistyped or obfuscated URLs. It comes with a predefined ruleset and an editor for custom rulesets that can be added using regular expressions. The add-on converts textual urls, that are strings of text that display a url and that are normally not clickable, into clickable URLs.

So, basically it adds a little comfort to working with Firefox on a regular basis by making all kinds of mistyped or obfuscated URLs clickable in Firefox. One last feature is rather remarkable. URLs can also be obfuscated when posting them in forums. Currently Phpbb, Vbulletin and Invision are supported. It automatically changes http into hxxp if desired.


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