It happens sometimes that you are on a website waiting for something to happen, for example a download that should go live on that day, or a registration form for a new web service.
And then there are times where you want to reload a page because the contents change all the time. This can be pages that display random photos and images, or forums with a large userbase.
There are two options to deal with these situations. The first option is to use a program to monitor website changes. A program that falls into the first category will check the websites periodically to see if the content was changed since the last visit.
The second option is a script to automatically reload a website periodically. And one of these scripts is the Greasemonkey script Auto F5 which can automatically reload websites.
Auto Reload can be activated with the keyboard shortcut Shift-T. This will bring up the configuration menu where you can configure the automatic reload on the active website.
Configurable settings include the reload interval with the default being 5 minutes, a random value that is added to the timeout and the following options that require more explanation:
- The option "Ignore everything after these symbols in URL" is a little bit difficult to explain: if there are session id´s in the URL the timeout would only work for this session, but if one wants this page to be refreshed in every session one can enter separators that determine sessions and other things. Another example would be that one wants to store a refresh value for a whole site with its subfolders etc.. Therefor one could enter the "/" as a separator.
- "Include the separators in the URL saved" as an additional option for the separators: imagine one wants to have a timeout for all subfolders of /topics/21456/ (discussion of this script) and puts it in the list of separators. Then the URL saved by this script would be http://userscripts.org/ which may not be what one wants, because the main page is to have its own timeout value. Then this option should be activated so the URL is http://userscripts.org/topics/21456/ which is different to http://userscripts.org/, so it can be refreshed independently.
- The "Hide menu"-option is to hide the menu when one clicks somewhere that is not the menu.
- The "Prolong timeouts"-option is to prevent an unintentional page reload, while working on that page.
- Option to reload all pages with standard timeout when no timeout is set for that page. What else to say? Ok this option is like a wildcard. If checked it reloads every single page (!) with default timeout, unless an individual timeout is setup for that page.
Most users can keep the default settings except for the page reload timeout which might be to high in certain situations. The script will automatically deactivate the hotkey in web forms. Users who want to use the automatic refresh on pages with web forms need to click outside of the web form before the keyboard shortcut becomes active.
Auto F5 Reload is available on the script's Userscript page. The web browser needs to be restarted after downloading and installing the script.
Update: The author abandoned development of the script as the popular Firefox add-on Tab Mix Plus supports auto-reload now.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.