It's my browser and I'll open a new window if and only if I want one.
April 7, 2010 7:09 PM   Subscribe

I despise the use of "target=blank" in a tags. Is there a Firefox extension that can strip them out?

It deeply annoys and kind of pisses me off when I click a link and it opens a new window; to my mind, I am the one driving the browser and telling it what to do, and for a web developer to force browser behavior on me feels like an insult or offense. If I wanted a link opened in a new window, I was perfectly capable of middle clicking it or right clicking and telling it where to open! I'm looking for a Firefox extension that can strip out "target=blank" from websites; Google reveals little of any use.
posted by Pope Guilty to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
It's not a Firefox extension but it's fairly easy to change these in Firefox's about:config settings.
posted by dhammond at 7:14 PM on April 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also middle clicking or ctrl-clicking them will open them in a new tab
posted by mce at 8:35 PM on April 7, 2010


>>for a web developer to force browser behavior on me feels like an insult or offense>>

This is interesting to me. I've used target=blank before, but that's because I didn't want to be a bother by taking the internet user off the page they were on just to look at my link(s). And as a web user, I generally prefer pages that do that automatically so I don't have to click a bunch of additional times just to bring things up in new pages.

While you already found your work around, it might help to reduce your deep annoyance to know that the web developers are probably only trying to be helpful, not insulting. Not everyone knows about right-clicking to open a new tab.
posted by wondermouse at 9:24 PM on April 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is interesting to me. I've used target=blank before, but that's because I didn't want to be a bother by taking the internet user off the page they were on just to look at my link(s).

Even Internet Explorer has tabs now. There is no excuse for target=blank anymore.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 10:20 PM on April 7, 2010


I've used target=blank before, but that's because I didn't want to be a bother by taking the internet user off the page they were on just to look at my link(s).

This has been identified as a user-hostile usability bugbear for more than ten years. It's surprising to me that there are web developers who still don't know this.
posted by grouse at 11:54 PM on April 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


> This is interesting to me. I've used target=blank before, but that's because I didn't want to be a bother by taking the internet user off the page they were on just to look at my link(s). And as a web user, I generally prefer pages that do that automatically so I don't have to click a bunch of additional times just to bring things up in new pages.

Agreed. There are a number of perfectly legitimate reasons to launch a new browser window during a user journey, and you might find that by disabling this across the board you cause some problems for yourself - e.g. clicking on a help content link in the middle of a shopping cart checkout process (especially on payment details pages) and returning to find your need to re-enter your details. If you remember to middle click in this situation all the time you'll be fine, but many users won't remember or know this behaviour.
posted by iivix at 3:51 AM on April 8, 2010


I find the best solution to this problem is found in the Tab Mix Plus extension. It has a setting that lets you have everything that would open a new window open in a new tab instead.
posted by cirrostratus at 8:13 AM on April 8, 2010


livix, all it takes is just getting in the habit of not letting links open in your window if you like the page you were on. I use open in new tab super often - anytime I'm not done with a page, but want to look at links.

Plus, things like a help page in a shopping card are usually scripted windows nowadays, which are not affected by disabling target=blank.

I've never run into any issues, livik, when forcing new windows into new tabs. I wish I could force them into the same window but haven't found a way yet.

Nothing bugs me more than every time I go to my library website, I get a whole bunch of tabs upfront: logging in opens a new window, doing a search gets a new window, etc.
posted by R a c h e l at 7:03 AM on April 9, 2010


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