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preview url before clickingWe’ve seen quite a few tools that allow you to preview the linked page Page Preview: Time Saving Browser Add-Ons (Firefox, IE, Flock, Safari) Page Preview: Time Saving Browser Add-Ons (Firefox, IE, Flock, Safari) Read More without clicking the link including Cooliris, “Cool Previews“ and others. The one I am going to give a closer look at today is an old one: it received a great deal of attention back in 2007. It is still supported though and I have just recently discovered and fallen in love with it.

Interclue is a fun addon for FireFox. Actually it gives so much info on the preview that sometimes it seems too much (luckily, plenty of its behavior can be controlled via the tool options).

How Interclue Works: The Basics

After you have it installed, hover over any link and notice the linked domain favicon pops up nearby. Just hover over the icon and you will be able to preview URL page contents before clicking:

preview url before clicking

Control this feature from the tool options:

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Navigate to: Tools -> Interclue options -> Linkclue activation

You can set the time delay before a Linkclue icon appears, when the icon disappears (if you use it) and if it should fade away. You can also specify if you want the icon to appear for internal links or external only.

In the same dialog, you can also customize the size of the preview window.

What’s in a Preview?

The preview pop-up includes:

  • The linked page text;
  • The linked page thumbnail (upper-right corner);
  • “Meta clues” that provide further info on the linked page.

The latter is actually pretty useful feature (but probably that’s what I call “too much”). The meta clues can include:

  • Delicious saves and tags;
  • The number of downloadable files on the target page;
  • Page date, etc

link image preview

Meta clues can be disabled using the [x] next to the feature, or in the Interclue options panel.

link image preview

Control this feature from the tool options:

Navigate to: Tools -> Interclue options -> and from there:

  • -> Page summaries: to adjust the font of the page text in the preview pop-up;
  • -> Meta clues: to set the additional information you want to be collected in the preview window;

Different Types of Links

Besides favicons (displayed for “normal” links), other types of icons may appear upon mouse-over in some cases – these icons can signal:

1. HTML anchors (or “named” anchors):

This will usually work for “Comments”, “Read more”, links from the blog home page, for example. The preview window will show exactly the part of the page where the link anchors to:

link image preview

2. Redirected links

See the redirect icon and learn the ultimate link target upon hover:

link preview

3. Image links:

The preview window lets you see a larger version of the linked image and some additional information:

link preview

4. Other type of links:

  • Malware or phishing sites;
  • Dead / broken links;
  • Non-HTML links (.pdf, .doc, .swf);
  • Shortened URLs;
  • etc

Control this feature from the tool options:

Navigate to: Tools -> Interclue options -> Hover Cues -> “Adjust Hoverclue settings for different types of links…”

Preview Window Additional Actions

The preview pop-up speeds up quite a few browsing tasks. By default, you are able to instantly:

  • Preview the next/previous similar link in the same window (for example, for MakeUseOf home page, you can load the preview of each post one by one in the same dialog);
  • Bookmark the link;
  • Open the page in a new background tab;
  • Email the preview window content;
  • Copy the preview window content;
  • Access your tools options.

link preview

Control this feature from the tools options:

Navigate to: Tools -> Interclue options -> Buttons

From there, you are able to see the full list of buttons, learn how to interpret them and enable/disable any of them:

preview url before clicking

I was very impressed by the variety of features and options that Interclue offers. What about you?

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