How I use the Open With extension
A very useful browser extension is Open With. Although it hasn’t been updated for a while, I’ve yet to find something to replace it.
Open With describes itself in the Chrome web store as the following: “Quickly test out your web pages in Edge, Firefox, Safari, or Opera.” However, it is much more powerful than that: it actually allows you to run any external program on your computer passing the URL of the current tab or the selected link.
After installing the extension, you should define a list of commands. The following are some from my list.
The most obvious use for this extension is to open a page in other browser. For that, you should add your browsers to the list. Thankfully, this is easy, as the extension tries to automatically find them all.
Sometimes you want to open the page as incognito. So, for each browser (even the current one), I also add an entry for launching a page in their incognito mode / private window.
Browser temporary profile
Now and then you might stumble upon a broken webpage and wonder if is conflicting with some of your extensions or settings. In that case, opening it in a clean browser profile might be useful.
The exact command for running a temporary profile depends on your browser. For some, like Chromium, you just run
chromium --temp-profile. For others, you are better off writing a small script for it.
Place the command at your Open With list, and now with just a click you open the page in a clean browser profile that will be removed from disk just after use.
Other of my entries is MPV. This allows me to play not only videos, but also entire YouTube playlists in that fantastic player. By the way, I wrote a whole article about it.
With a click, the page will be sent to youtube-dl, which will try to download the video or playlist for you. I also have a separate entry for
youtube-dl -x which just downloads the audio. Please, don’t use it for anything illegal.
Some things I miss on this extension:
- Support for sending all tabs at once.
- Export/import option. The lack of it makes switching browsers or profiles a pain.
- Better keyboard bindings.
Since 2021, I’ve replaced Open With with a dmenu script I wrote and attached to a keybinding. This way, all the above points in the wishlist were accomplished. Also, it works with any browser and any profile without configuration.