Long URLs often break when they’re sent via email or shared with others. Long URLs are impossible to remember. Long URLs make managing bookmarks a tedious task. Is there anything to rescue a Mac user from long, messy, and complicate URL strings? Yes.
Small Is Beautiful
If small is beautiful then less is more and any URL scheme which is either, 1) obvious, like http://apple.com/mac, or, 2) better, such as the tiny URL string http://tinyurl.com/h4wkwj9 which gets you to this review of URL shortener apps for the Mac.
The internet is full of URL shortener sites because the internet is full of URLs which are too long and complicated. TinyURL was one of the first such sites and it still works to provide anyone with a way to convert a long, complicated, ugly URL string to something that is easy to copy, easy to embed, and easy to share with others.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a way to change a long URL to a TinyURL with just a click? There is. It’s called TinyURL for the Mac, an inexpensive script which takes whatever URL Safari is displaying at the moment and converts it to a, well, tiny URL from TinyURL.
Its that worth a couple of bucks? Yes. More so if you need to convert the typically arcane and complex URL to something that’s easier to bookmark or share. For the same price you can also use Short Menu which has many additional features and is the one I use the most.
Short Menu resides in the Mac’s Menubar so it’s handy from within any Mac browser or application, not just Safari. Just copy a URL and Short Menu shortens it automatically.
Plus, Short Menu isn’t limited to TinyURL. Use it to create and sync custom URL shortening services with your Mac and iCloud. That means you can use bit.ly, Droplr and about a dozen others and save the Short Menu history in iCloud.
Short Menu can either watch the Mac’s clipboard and shorten a URL automatically, or you can do it manually. The little animation indicates that something is actually working. Of all the URL shortening apps available on the Mac, this is the one I like and use, and even though the price tag is nominal and throw away money, there’s a trial version to download and use for awhile.