How to turn Firefox, Chrome and Opera blank tab pages into notepads [Tip]

Google Chrome, Firefox and Opera all have blank tab pages that might seem of little use. You can open blank tab pages by entering about:blank in the browsers’ address bars. That blank tab page can become a notepad by entering a snippet of code into the address bar.

Open a blank page tab in your Firefox, Google Chrome or Opera browser; and copy the following with Ctrl + C: data:text/html, <body contenteditable style=”font: 2rem/1.5 monospace;max-width:60rem;margin:0 auto;padding:4rem;”> Now paste that code (press Ctrl + V) into the address bar as below.

notepad

Press Return and click on the blank page below. Then you should find there is a text cursor where you can enter text. You can now enter text in the blank page as in the shot below.

notepad3

Consequently, the blank page is now a browser notepad. Note that you must copy the above code into the address bar again to reactivate the notepad after opening the browser or you can bookmark the page for easy re-opening later. Also note that each time you close the browser your notes will disappear.

However, you can save your notes as HTML documents with all three browsers. In the Firefox browser you should click on File > Save Page As. Then you can reopen Firefox notes by selecting File > Open File.

To save notes in Google Chrome, you should click on the menu option at the top right of the browser window. Then select Save page as. To open the saved note, right-click the page file, click Open with and Google Chrome.

With this blank page notepad you can take note down URLs, addresses, codes etc without any additional browser extension. Note that this trick works with the Opera, Chrome and Firefox browsers only.

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15 comments

  1. David Roper

    Hmmmm?? And when I tried to copy Matthew’s article, I got it all minus the right side of my page with all the Links to previous articles. I am using FireFox 30 and Win 7 and I got a clean page of Matthew’s screens and words. When I try it on my recipe web pages the ads on the right and left side of the article in the middle area , ie 1/3 ;1/3; 1/3, they disappear and I am left with the actual recipe cleaned up – and then I click on the ads to get rid of the ads inserted in the middle if any appear there with stealth abilities.

    I am really sorry it did not work for you. But, We agree on one thing. PDF files are a love/hate item for us.

  2. stilofilos

    [@David Roper]
    FWIW in my previous post I tried to be kind and use an euphemism to describe my view on pdf ; in reality I do echo your ‘HATE PDF’, and sad to say but after trying this Print Friendly, I’m not ready to change my mind…
    I tried it, on this very page, and although I kept it’s default settings for A4 with 0cm margins, it managed to reduce the article width to 1/3 of the page, leaving as much white space to both sides and putting te right column here under the article. Same image on the pdf’s print preview. That is not the way I want to read Dottech… It also added a number of bookmarks. Nice that it has such provision, but I prefer to control things and I hate such automatisms as most of them appear to be useless and even ridiculous.
    I am glad that it works for you, but in my setup it definitely is a no go. I know, no two PC’s are the same (hence the P) and maybe MAYBE it has to do with me having rolled back Firefox to its version 21 after being fed up with the continuous crippling and removing of its features in pursuit of the ‘chrome experience’ , although none of my multiple other up-to-date addons has any problem with that.
    I saved the same page as a maff, and that one is 100% identic to the original. So you’ll understand that I will stay with that one.

  3. David Roper

    You and all my friends here are welcome. I actually HATE PDFs for what it’s worth, but it does keep people from changing a word or two and passing along bad info. This little GEM even allows me to take out stuff before it converts info to PDF for downloading.

    I save PDF info and files just for my Home Wifi Central Harddrive in the other room here. 3TB can hold a lot of stuff.

    I LOVE to use ‘txt’ . It’s my go to format 100%. DOC won’t cut it – involves M$oft.

    …but unless I bother with saving in RTF I cannot save pictures of screens and such (or Peach Cobbler recipes) and then I have to copy and paste etc and that’s extra work I do not need. Okay, I’m lazy. I admit it.

    My friends would not know what a maff file was. I could not help anybody using that format. Seems a good useful format though. They barely know what an RTF format is. And Microsoft took away the file extension with XP so they remain in the grips of Windows.

    Maff maybe one day in the future will gain speed, but alas, alak, I am 71 so how many days do I have in my future to wait on its popularity? (G)

    Everybody can work with TXT and everybody can view PDF and JPG files. Thanks for your reply, friend.

  4. stilofilos

    [@David Roper]
    Thanks for sharing David. I already downloaded it meanwhile, and will definitely give it a try.
    I’m not really the biggest fan of that pdf format though, and the ascii-only limitation here promises trouble for my unicode-intensive materia, but on the other hand its multi-tab-into-one-doc does seem appetizing (maybe handier than maff in that respect). (And while sharing documents with other people, they rather prefer pdf above maff that seems to scare some off.)

  5. David Roper

    I have to share here. i recently put PRINT FRIENDLY on my Firefox and if I see a MATTHEW Tip, or APPLE PIE Dump cake recipe, I just click it and get a PDF all cleaned up. No more copy and paste into a RTF file etc. It’s so easy it feels illegal.

    I had to share this with my buddies here on DotTech, like stilo, vandamme, GhenGhis, and others.

    Even the AshterMan “boss”.

  6. stilofilos

    [@vandamme]
    If you use Firefox, you can save your page as a .maff file instead. This format keeps text and images together in one single container file, which is a lot easier to handle than html, and which you can handily link to in any serious notes manager (like to organize them in a hierarchical tree structure). You can afterwards copy-paste things from it as well. It can (theoretically) be read in other browsers as well, but to create it you need Firefox and https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/mozilla-archive-format/?src=ss .
    I often use this combo, and the tip here will even enhance its efficiency.

    @Matthew : many thanks for this tip – and for all the other ones, too.

  7. vandamme

    Pretty cool. I just used it to copy and paste the text and picture I wanted, not the extraneous stuff, from an email (web-based, so I just have to click tabs).Then I saved it as a file in my downloads (this is on Linux Mint). You just have to watch that when you copy it somewhere else, you also get the folder with the other picture files.

    The real command is below; when I used the one in the article it copied the URL of the article at the end.

  8. Ghenghis MCCann

    If you go to notepad.cc, it creates a page where you can enter and edit text, just like this tip, but when you close your browser it saves your page. So the text you’ve entered is there when you go back to the page (provided you’ve remembered to bookmark it of course).

  9. S. Anderson

    OK, that’s clever. However, I fail to see how or why it’s preferable to having a tab with Simplenotes open, or preferable to using Resophnotes or a favorite Notepad-type program for the same purpose, unless there’s some good reason to save notes as an html file.