FireLink, Create Custom Link Formats In Firefox

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 30, 2011
Updated • Mar 6, 2015
Firefox, Firefox add-ons

A link points to another web address, device or service. It is usually accompanied by link text that describes the link.

But not every link is equal, as the platform used to display the link may have certain requirements.

On some platforms, you can simply paste the web address into the form and the software will handle the rest. This is for instance the case on Facebook where the page title, thumbnail and text are retrieved automatically. On other platforms, you may need to use HTML to post a link, or BBCode, or any other form of code to display the link properly on the site.

This means that you have to post the link in the right format supported by the website to post it at all. The link may not show up, or as broken, if you post it in the wrong format. Plus, it takes more time to post the link in the right format.

The free Firefox extension FireLink simplifies the process by offering custom link building, or creation, to the user. The add-on is extremely versatile, as it allows you to create custom link structures.

You should open the options of the extension first after installation, which is restartless by the way. You do that with a right-click on a page and the selection of FireLink > Setting. The settings are displayed in a screen overlay.

The available link formats that can be copied out of the box are displayed at the top. This includes plain text linking, HTML links or Twitter links. Each uses its own format displayed next to the link type. You can add, edit or delete link formats available. All variables available for the link format are displayed on the very same page. Some of the common ones include the following:

  • %text% - The link name
  • %-url% - The link address
  • %date% - The current date
  • %isgd% - Shortens the link automatically
  • Text - adds plain text

Links can be copied with a right-click and the selection of one of the available link formats. A right-click on any other element on the page will automatically use the page url and title for the linking.

copy links

Keyboard shortcuts are available to create links faster. Ctrl-C will create a link in the first link format listed on the settings table. You can move formats up and down in the list to sort the table accordingly.

Links that are copied successfully are shown for a short moment as notifications above the Firefox address bar.

FireLink can be helpful for webmasters, bloggers and other Internet users who regularly copy and paste links. Its biggest strength is its customizability, which many comparable extensions like Copy Links do not offer. Colt is an alternative that offers custom link formats as well.

The add-on would benefit from an option to set specific link types for select websites automatically so that they are always used when you use the keyboard shortcut.

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