Wanted: convert Firefox tabs to links

I try to be sparing with installing Firefox extensions. It’s easy to get install-crazy and the next time you look, FF isn’t stable and you’re not 100% sure why. But here’s something that I totally want: an extension that converts my currently-open tabs to a list of links.

Why? Well, I have weekend-full-tab-itis. I’ve been reading my Google Reader feeds and surfing this week, and now it’s Saturday morning. Lots happened this past week, and I’d enjoy talking about several of these topics, but it’s a hassle to convert them into links. Here’s what my currently-opened tabs looked like this morning:

Matt's currently opened tabs

As you can see, there’s a lot of good stuff there, but it would take forever to craft those links by hand. Anybody know of a tiny, robust Firefox extension that does this? Ideally, it would even allow a blacklist of domains not to convert into tabs. For example, I almost always have Gmail and Google Calendar open, but I don’t need those converted into links because typically I don’t want to blog about them.

Anyone know of a small extension that does this?

Update: One of my favorite extensions is MakeLink, by Rory Parle. I wonder if it might be possible to convince Rory to add a “Make all tabs into links” option into MakeLink? I guess it never hurts to ask. πŸ™‚

Update: Wow, Rory stopped by in record time — thanks, and I heartily recommend MakeLink! It turns out that there’s a delightful extension to do exactly what I want called CopyAllUrls (thanks for mentioning this, AdamM). With a right-click, you can save all your tabs to the clipboard in a very flexible format. I wanted multiple lines that look like this:

<a href=”https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/934/”>Copy All Urls | Firefox Add-ons | Mozilla Corporation</a>

To get that format of “tab to html” output, I tweaked the output options of the extension slightly. Here’s the settings I used to export tabs in the format that I wanted:

Copy All Urls options

I clicked the “Copy only url” option and unselected the “Line break between entries” and “Copy tab history” options. Finally I set the actual format of the urls here:

Copy All Urls mark-up

I selected HTML markup and checked the box to use my own custom mark-up. For the url itself, you can do any format and there are variables you can use (smart, very smart). So I entered <a href=”$url”>$title</a> for my markup format. It only took a few seconds, and now when I’ve got too many tabs, I can copy all my tabs in a nice format that’s ready to paste into a WordPress textarea box. Nice. πŸ™‚

Things like this are why I love the Firefox community so much. It makes me want to go donate moolah to people who write extensions. I just did for JΓΌrgen R. Plasser for the CopyAllUrls add-on. I went looking for a donation link on Rory’s site for MakeLink and just now saw that he’s joining Google soon. Sweet! I’ll wait until Rory’s on-board in a few weeks; there are ways to show appreciation to fellow Googlers. πŸ™‚

32 Responses to Wanted: convert Firefox tabs to links (Leave a comment)

  1. It’s true that we need this to be even plugged into wordpress. I will try to find one. By the way, did you join information-revolution.org ?

  2. How about a simple, non-extension (not as automated, but not as time-consuming) solution? Bookmark all tabs, then export the bookmarks as a HTML file. Problem is that exports ALL your bookmarks, and they’re not exactly a clean set of links… mmm. Seems like an extension would be a much easier and complete solution, ignore me!

  3. Try: https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/4437/ which will email them (then just c+p the contents). Or if that doesn’t work:

    Bookmarks > Bookmark all tabs will bookmark all current tabs.

    Then, Go to where your Firefox keeps the application settings, for XP this is usually:

    C:Documents and Settings\Application DataMozillaFirefoxProfiles

    Then go in to your profile, bookmarks.html and view > source. Run a little regexp to clean it up, and you have your tabs. Not ideal but it saves typing them out.

  4. Oh I just found this: https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/2069/ – “Copies the URLs of all open tabs”

  5. I’m pretty sure that’s what this extension does:


    google search: export firefox tabs πŸ˜‰

  6. Matt…

    I’m not big on Firefox extensions either but what I’ve found useful is to use the Google Bookmarks button on Google Toolbar and click on “Bookmark all tabs”. This will store them all in one location that you’ll be able to retrieve at a later time… even put them on your personalized homepage.

    Hope this helps.

  7. Hmmm, don’t know of anything that does that.
    Something a little OT is this ,which allows you to navigate around open tabs easily: https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/112/ – have found this very useful.


  8. Matt,

    Copy All Urls can be configured to do this. Install it from https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/934/ then follow these steps:

    – Go to Tools > Add-ons > Copy All Urls > Options
    – Check ‘Copy only URL (no title)’
    – Go to the Markup tab and select HTML
    – Check ‘Use Own Markup’ and change the second $url in the URL markup field to $title

    Then you can hit Ctrl+Alt+C to copy the tab links to the clipboard (or go to Edit > Copy all Urls > Copy)

  9. Nice! Thanks, Matt Eason! Elias, I’ll see if I have anything to say a bit later. πŸ™‚

  10. Hi Matt,

    You don’t even need an extension to do that.
    You can bookmark all your tabs with Ctrl+Shift+D
    Then go to “Organize your Bookrmarks…”, select the bookmarks in the new folder and copy/paste.



  11. I don’t want to sound too obvious, but why don’t you use the “bookmark all tabs” feature that comes with Firefox?

  12. No problem πŸ™‚

  13. Like Matt Eason I always used Copy all urls to save my open tabs into a txt.

  14. I’ve had quite a few requests for new features for Make Link in the last few days. I’ve made a few updates, and I expect to add a few more features soon. I’ll keep this post in mind and see if there’s a logical way to implement it without over-complicating what should be a simple extension for other users.

  15. This requires a minute or two, but if you don’t want to install a plugin, it’s all worth it. πŸ™‚

    Create a new bookmark folder, bookmark all tabs to the new folder just created, go to your Firefox profile folder, look for “bookmarks.html”, and there you go! πŸ™‚

    It would be even faster if you bookmark your “bookmarks.html” on the bookmark toolbar.

  16. If you right click on the tab in FF you get an option to create a bookmark of all the tabs open. Of course if you are like me, you end up with 100 bookmarks and can’t find the source you wanted with all of them. Sigh.


  17. AdamM, that’s perfect–thank you! Serves me right for searching for [firefox copy tabs]; I should have thought of “export”. πŸ™‚

    Rory, sounds like there’s no need to complicate your plug-in, but thanks for stopping by! Do you have any place I could donate some moolah for your plug-in?

    Added: Aha, you’re joining Google soon. I’ll wait and say thanks within the company. πŸ™‚

  18. Thanks for the tip, AdamM + Matt! I always relied on Firefox to restore my last session after shooting it down :). It works, but is not quite as elegant. Hey, I finally learned something new on this blog πŸ˜€

  19. JohnMu, I often do that too (killing FF after a few days to reclaim that memory). In fact, that’s a great way to install extensions while preserving your open tabs. But it’s nice to be able to dump them as well.

  20. Yes,

    1. Bookmark all tabs.
    2. Get code from Bookmarks.htm

    Works just fine you get nice list.

    I wonder why I expert from Google engineer to be able to solve that. Once Matt wrote “people expect perfection from Google” you were so true.

    For most of us you are consciously or unconsciously personal hero and idol.

  21. Matt, I’m actually a regular reader here. I was surprised enough to see Make Link mentioned in one of my blog subscriptions earlier in the week; I’m downright flabbergasted that it’s happened a second time!

    I had thought of putting a Paypal link on the Make Link page on my site, but I have never got around to it. I think I’m happier just giving that little bit back to the Firefox community. I’ve got a lot more out of it than I’ve put in.

  22. Matt, thanks for using my extension and for the donation!

    BTW I am a regular reader of your blog and like Rory I was suprised to see my extension mentioned here. πŸ™‚

  23. Well I appreciate the stuff that you do, JΓΌrgen and Rory. In my opinion, awesome extensions are one of the main reasons that Firefox is so great. πŸ™‚

  24. You need Maxthon already

  25. ThePost, isn’t Maxthon based on IE?

  26. You could just right click the RSS folder and click Open In Tabs, and for each tab hit ALT-D to go to the address bar and CTRL-C to copy the URL to the clipboard. Then just paste it wherever. Wouldn’t be terribly time consuming, though that wouldn’t capture the name of the page.

    P.s., Boing Boing rules!

  27. there are ways to show appreciation to fellow Googlers

    Strippers? πŸ™‚

  28. Hello, Matt, I see you busy in Firefox tuning. Can you check out my ‘Tags Everywhere’ extension (I put it in URI field)? It shows contextual Del.icio.us tags on webpages, in SERPs, in news2.0 lists.

  29. [QUOTE]ThePost, isn’t Maxthon based on IE?[/QUOTE]

    Matt, you’re fishing for a browser-war thread there aren’t you! I know πŸ˜‰

    Cast-aside the tired old arguments and give it a blast – Yes, it’s built *on* IE’s engine but that’s not the same as saying it “suffers” IE. It really is awesome (and I speak from the perspective of having “them” all installed, to compare.).

    Read Glyn Moody’s assessment of [URL=http://www.linuxjournal.com/node/1000159]The Real Firefox-Killer[/URL] over at Linux Journal.

    … and just wait ’till v2.0 rolls-out: Drag window to split-screen; built-in screen-capture (full-page or regional etc…), couple both those with the Blogdex plug-in (a WYSIWIG blog-writer/poster), and you have an excellent powertool for bloggers (the writer on one side, web-page t’other).

    Oh, I could go on, trust!

  30. Hi Matt,
    I just installed the “Copy All URLs” extension and it works great. Now I can coyp the URLs of the as many tabs now and even store them in a file. Thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚ BTW, is there a limit as to the no. of tabs that can be copied at a time.

  31. I have created a extension for this purpose – URL Lister

    It even has an option to export the tab list as a Linked URL list. Let me know what you think.

  32. I love CopyAllUrls!
    Thanks for the link.