Navigate a List of URLs with URList

I recently published two new Chrome extensions, one of which is URList. It allows Chrome users to navigate their own list of URLs one at a time.

What is this for?

At work lately I’ve had a few tasks that involved manually checking a list of URLs from an Excel file. I was copying and pasting them one by one from Excel into the URL bar, which is just as lame as it sounds. I figured there must be some Chrome extension I can use to speed things along. I wanted something where I could paste all the URLs at once and navigate to each by clicking a button.

The closest solutions I found were extensions that opened a new tab for each URL, but that is a massive waste of RAM. If I need to peruse a dozen (let alone several dozen or several hundred) URLs, it would be ridiculous to use all that memory up front. I wanted a “just in time” solution.

How it Works

So I set to work on URList. Once you’ve added it to Chrome, you can type or paste your list of URLs into the text box and click “Start” to save them and then click “Next URL” to navigate to each web page in the list in the order you added them.

While that is the basic function of it, I added a couple more enhancements. First, I wanted a little bit of data persistence. To that end, the extension saves the URLs to localStorage so that you can exit Chrome and come back to your list later. It will pick up right where it left off in the list.

I also added a “Hide List” button, which allows users to view only the navigational buttons, and made it so that users can enter their URLs in multiple ways.

Use Cases

Use cases for this extension go beyond what I designed it for. I could see folks using it to quickly navigate through their favorite news sites, for example. The URLs are saved in localStorage, so they will already be there. I could also see it being used for a quick, browser-based slide show.

End Notes

The nice thing about this project is that it provided me a refresher for core Javascript. Lately at work I’ve been using Python quite a bit and not nearly as much Javascript as I was a few months ago.

Try it out! Give it a good review if you like it. You can find it in the Chrome store here.

The other Chrome extension I published recently is WikiPik, which displays images for Wikipedia articles that don’t have any.