Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Monday, December 05, 2005

Create A TinyURL

Have you ever found a cool product on the web and wanted to share it with a friend? Were you discouraged to find that the URL was extremely long? Imagine trying to share a web address like: tohistory=&searchtab=home&address=&city=irvine&state=ca&zipcode=?

You have to be careful when sharing long URLs, they can wrap around to a new line and not work properly in some email programs. Imagine trying to share that URL over the phone!

There is a website that can help you "shrink" those long URLs down to size. TinyURL automatically squishes any long URL into a permanent, smaller URL that you can easily share with others.

The whole process is simple:

  1. Copy any long URL to your clipboard.

  2. Point your web browser to

  3. Paste that long URL into the box on the TinyURL web site.

  4. Click on the "Make TinyURL" button.

  5. Copy the resulting shortened URL and share it with others.

For example, using TinyURL I can turn that really long MapQuest URL into something MUCH shorter:

Better still, TinyURL also has a free "bookmarklet" that lets you add a TinyURL button to your browser that cuts that five step process down to one step: Anytime you are on a page whose URL you'd like to smush, just click on the TinyURL button in your web browser. No cutting and pasting. TinyURL automatically smushes that long URL. This feature may be somewhat difficult for screen readers because the button appears on the tool bar of your browser.

I probably use TinyURL half a dozen times a day. It has helped me share long links with friends and co-workers.

There are other sites that will assist you in shrinking down URLs, check out the following sites:


SnipURL provides the same service as TinyURL. Using SnipURL is easy as pie. All you have to do is dump the address into the box and select the Snip URL button. That's it!

If you want to take advantage of all of SnipURL's features, you are going to need to create a user account, which takes two seconds to fill out with no sensitive information being traded. Once you see the features it has to offer, you'll understand why this account will be so valuable..

So if you're somebody that is always working with links, this may be a service you want to check out. It could make your life a little easier anyway.

Click this link to visit

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