Load larger image copies with Image Max URL
Image Max URL is a browser extension for Firefox and a userscript designed to provide users with an option to load larger versions of images that they encounter on the Internet.
Images displayed on websites are not necessarily displayed in the largest resolution that is available. Some sites pick the right version of an image based on factors such as the resolution of the browser window to deliver the best image based on that.
Smaller images have several advantages such as a smaller file size when compared to original images; this improves the loading time of the site and decreases bandwidth costs at the same time.
The disadvantage of displaying smaller images on websites is that they may not provide as much detail as the full copies. Some Internet users may want to look at full resolution images as they may provide more detail or download these larger versions of images for safekeeping or use as desktop wallpapers.
Image Max URL
Image Max URL started out as a userscript that users could load in the web browser to add the provided functionality to the browser. The extension is also available as a Firefox add-on.
There are two differences between the userscript and the add-on:
- The add-on does not support image previews.
- The add-on supports automatic redirects (for custom header images or images that are set to download).
Both tools work identically in all other aspects. The userscript requires installation of a third-party extension that adds userscript support to the browser. Advantage here is that this works in Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Vivaldi and other browsers.
Image Max URL replaces image URLs with different ones to retrieve larger versions of images if available. It features more than 3000 hardcoded URL patterns and API calls for sites like Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Weibo, Flickr, or Imgur, and generic engines support next to that.
You do the following to load the larger version of an image using the extension or script:
- Hover the mouse cursor over the image that you want to retrieve a larger copy of.
- Use Ctrl-key and Shift-key to load the larger image (if it exists).
You can change the default keyboard shortcut Ctrl-Shift to another one in the options. The extension supports a combination of Ctrl, Shift, and Alt, and may delay the operation by one or three seconds. It may take a moment before the image is displayed depending on the speed of the Internet connection and size of image.
The detected image is displayed as a popup on the screen and you may interact with it directly. A left-click loads it in a new tab, a right-click displays options to save it or process it in other ways.
As far as options are concerned, there are a couple more. Image Max URL does not load watermarked images by default and ignores smaller non-watermarked images. It happens that similar sized or even smaller images are returned by the extension. This may happen when no larger version of the image is available, when URL Image Max failed to detect the larger version, or when a site scales images automatically.
Image Max URL is a useful extension for Firefox and userscript for all browsers that support scripts. While you need to test its functionality to see if it works on sites that you visit regularly, it is useful to users who want to look at larger copies of images regularly or download these to their devices.
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