Many teachers at the school where I work often complain about broken URLs in email messages. The teachers want to send a very long link to their students or other staff members, and the URL is so long it often gets mangled in the email message.
Years ago we set up bookmarks for teachers to use TinyURL and other link shortening sites, but this inexpensive app for the Mac is even better. Instead of just using one URL shortening service, it has a bunch. Presto! No more broken URLs.
This remarkably useful Mac app is called Short Menu and resides in the macOS Menubar so a shorter, cleaner URL is merely a click away. The way Short Menu works is about, but not quite, as simple as it gets. Open your Mac’s browser to the long, ugly, convoluted website URL. You know what they look like. Ugly is a kind description.
Then, select and copy the URL to your Mac’s clipboard. Finally, select Short Menu from the Menubar and select the URL shortening service you want to use. Short Menu grabs the long, ugly, convoluted URL from the clipboard, passes it to the URL shortening service, then copies the short URL back to your Mac’s clipboard, ready to be pasted and shared.
Even better, Short Menu saves both the short URL and the long URL in a history file. As easy and simple as that is, Short Menu is not really short on features because you can configure custom URL shortening services, or use your own service if you’re that geeky. The Quick Short feature gives you keyboard shortcuts for power users intent on not using trackpad or mouse.
Plus, you can use as many of the URL shortening service accounts as you need, including the popular ones like bit.ly, Droplr, and others.
The built-in Auto Short feature resides in the background in OS X and when you copy a URL it shortens it and places the new shorter URL back in the clipboard. Automatically.
If you’ve ever had a problem with long and ugly website URLs which break when you send the link to others, Short Menu is the solution. It’s not free, but it’s fast and cheap and works well.