YOURLS is an URL shortener, just like bit.ly or goo.gl, but it’s open source and so you’re able to install your own private instance. Thus, you can diminish the tracking of these big platforms ;-) This piece of software is an extension for the browser Chromium that let’s you quickly shorten the URL of the website you are currently visiting. All you need is an installation of YOURLS. You can also find this plugin in Chrome’s Web Store.
Before you can start shortening URLs you need to do some configuration. To open the configuration page right-click the icon next to your address bar and choose Options, or open
chrome://extensions/ and click the Options link of the YOURLS entry. You’ll see a page similar to the screenshot in Figure 1.
If the form is filled correctly save your settings and give it a try!
The extension provides two different ways for interaction:
Click the icon to shorten the URL of the web site you’re currently visiting and a popup will appear. If you’ve configured the extension to ask for a keyword the popup will contain a textfield and a button. Just type the keyword into the field and press the button to start shortening. In case you didn’t set the Ask for a keyword tick in the options page, the extension will shorten the URL immediately.
If you right-click a link on a page an entry in your context menu will appear saying “Shorten Link”. Klick this item to shorten the target of this link instead the URL of the current page.
Furthermore, if you right-click selected text in the current page the extension adds a context menu entry “Shorten Page” to shorten the page using the selected text as keyword. (The selection will just appear in the textfield for the keyword, you still have to press the button to start shortening.)
If you right-click a link while some other text is selected, the selected text will be used as keyword for shortening the link target.