Saturday, January 24, 2015

CSS Bookmarklets for Testing and Fixing

Animated image showing the Pinterest site and its infuriating blocking overlay, which is removed with the bookmarklet below.

I regularly have to test sites in development, review some third-party site, or just use a site in my day-to-day time wasting (and banking) rituals. I've relied on viewing the page's source or popping into my browser's dev tools to find a missing element, copy un-transformed text, check for inline styles, and so on. Typically I am relying on CSS and not JavaScript, as that is where I excel.

I got a little annoyed doing that all the time, and this morning I had reason to visit Pinterest and mostly lost my marbles at its login overlay and refusal to scroll. So I channeled that rage and taught myself to build a bookmarklet to dump that Pinterest overlay crap. I have created a few more that include my standard styles for testing, styles that perhaps you (dear reader) will find useful.

I'll have basic instructions below showing you how you can build your own and/or modify the ones I've provided.

Bookmarklets You May Steal

Note that I say may steal. That's me giving you permission. Note that I call them bookmarklets. That's me not giving into the term favelets or whatever HotJava called them (was it hot links?).

Restore Link Underlines

You know what's cool? Removing link underlines and providing terrible link color contrast. It's so cool, in fact, that I want to make those sites less cool. As well as usable. Read my rant on this.

This bookmarklet restores link underlines across the board. Every link. After all, if you want the link underlines, you probably don't care that the designer would freak out at the noise it adds to the page.

javascript:(function(){var a=document.createElement('style'),b;document.head.appendChild(a);b=a.sheet;b.insertRule('a[href]{text-decoration:underline !important}',0);})()

Restore Focus Outlines (or Fix Virgin America)

Just as cool as removing link underlines is removing the outline on elements that get focus as you tab through a page. After all, if you've hidden the links, why not hide when the links are selected. Virgin America tends to agree.

This bookmarklet not only restores the outline (in the form of the two-pixel dotted blue line), but also adds a drop shadow for those cases where the blue is lost against the surrounding colors.

javascript:(function(){var a=document.createElement('style'),b;document.head.appendChild(a);b=a.sheet;b.insertRule('*:focus{outline:2px dotted #00f !important;box-shadow: 0 0 2em rgba(0,0,0,.75) !important;}',0);})()

Find Inline Styles

Over at Algonquin Studios we have worked in the content management space for, well, since the dawn of content management systems. One of the risks of using a CMS is that your authors may accidentally (or intentionally) embed styles whether by pasting rich-text from elsewhere or by features built into the WYSIWYG editor within the tool. This is most common with text styles.

Sometimes it is faster to just find the elements that have a style attribute on them, as that's the first clue that there may be a conflict that needs to be corrected. This option will find any of those elements and give them a yellow background along with a two-pixel dotted red border (like the Windows "hot dog" theme from the previous century).

javascript:(function(){var a=document.createElement('style'),b;document.head.appendChild(a);b=a.sheet;b.insertRule('*[style]{border:2px dotted #f00 !important;background-color:#ff0 !important;}',0);})()

Find Duplicate ARIA Roles

In ARIA, there are a few instances of roles that should only appear once on a page. These landmark roles are banner, contentinfo, and main. In addition, the W3C HTML5.1 specification notes that there must be only one main element per page.

This bookmarklet will identify any additional instances of any of the once-per-page items above. If you know enough about coding ARIA, then you probably know enough about finding which of the roles/elements is on repeat. Offending items will have a two-pixel dotted red border and red background.

javascript:(function(){var a=document.createElement('style'),b;document.head.appendChild(a);b=a.sheet;b.insertRule('*[role=main]:nth-of-type(n+2),*[role=banner]:nth-of-type(n+2),*[role=contentinfo]:nth-of-type(n+2),main:nth-of-type(n+2){border:2px dotted #f00 !important;background-color:#f00;}',0);})()

Find Missing Alt Attributes

An image without an alt attribute can be anything from an annoyance to a barrier to those using assistive technologies. Being able to quickly identify those images on a page can save time when figuring where to focus your efforts.

This bookmarklet will find those images and give them a two-pixel dotted red border. Note that it only looks for images with a missing alt, as a blank alt attribute is often perfectly valid.

javascript:(function(){var a=document.createElement('style'),b;document.head.appendChild(a);b=a.sheet;b.insertRule('img:not([alt]){border:2px dotted #f00 !important;background-color:#f00;}',0);})()

Reset Text Size (Added January 30)

Sadly, it is not uncommon for sites to reset the default size of the text on the page. Too often that is done to satisfy a design change. One site where I find the text too small to read comfortably, or at all, is Daring Fireball. I know I am not the only one to feel this way.

This bookmarklet will resize the text on the body element to 100%, ideally conforming to whatever your default browser preferences are. It works great on Daring Fireball, but could easily be overridden on sites that set the text size in other ways and/or on other elements.

javascript:(function(){var a=document.createElement('style'),b;document.head.appendChild(a);b=a.sheet;b.insertRule('body{font-size:100% !important;}',0);})()

Find Empty Elements (Added May 6)

It is not uncommon for a WYSIWYG editor in a CMS or on a comment site to throw extra empty p elements into the content. While I once wrote a style into my development CSS to highlight these issues, I was reminded of the potential utility by a Happy Cog post on pseudo classes.

This bookmarklet will find elements that are empty — no content, no whitepsace. It will not highlight images (by excluding elements with a src attribute) nor form inputs (by excluding elements with a type element), two common self-terminating elements that will otheriwse trigger this. It isn't perfect, but you are welcome to make it your own.

javascript:(function(){var a=document.createElement('style'),b;document.head.appendChild(a);b=a.sheet;b.insertRule('*:not([src]):not([type]):empty{border:2px dotted #00f !important;background-color:#00f;}',0);})()

Fix Pinterest

When you visit Pinterest without a Pinterest account, or without being logged in, you are prompted to sign up/in by a terrible overlay. In addition, the page won't scroll past a certain point. This annoys me. So I made a bookmarklet to remove the two overlays and re-enable scrolling. You can test it on my abandoned Pinterest page.

javascript:(function(){var a=document.createElement('style'),b;document.head.appendChild(a);b=a.sheet;b.insertRule('.Modal, .UnauthBanner {display: none !important;}',0);b.insertRule('.hasFooter.Grid.Module{overflow-y:visible !important;}',0);b.insertRule('.noScroll{overflow:auto !important;}',0);})()

Make/Modify Your Own Bookmarklet

The Virgin America site is made usable for those who navigate with a keyboard by restoring link underlines and adding focus styles to elements.

If you look at the code chunks above, you'll see I am doing the same thing over and over. I am using the JavaScript CSSStyleSheet.insertRule() method to insert a new style rule into the page's stylesheet. Not only does the Mozilla Developer Network have a great overview with sample code, but David Walsh shows similar code with some minor tweaks.

This approach allows me to leverage my CSS skills to write selectors to find and style elements on the page. Since CSS has so many powerful selectors, I find this easier to quickly repurpose. In addition to adding a new style, I always include !important with each so that it will override any inline styles.

If you are writing a function from scratch, make sure you minify it to take up less space (you may bump into character limits for a bookmarklet). Pre-pend javascript: and make it the href value of a link and you are done.

Here is a sample block of code you can use with the styles rendered in bold so you can replace them with your favorite selector. In this example I have two style rules so you can see how to add additional selectors.

javascript:(function(){var a=document.createElement('style'),b;document.head.appendChild(a);b=a.sheet;b.insertRule("a[href]{text-decoration:underline !important}",0);b.insertRule("*[style]{border:2px dotted #f00 !important;background-color:#f00;}",0);})()

And with that you should be off to the races.

Related

Links to my posts referenced above:

Update: February 14, 2015

It's hard to use bookmarklets on mobile devices, but I have a solution.

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