StretchLink

Introduction

Introduction
Introduction

StretchLink sits in your menu bar and detects “short” urls (bit.ly, t.co, tinyurl, and more) in text that you copy on your Mac. It can turn them into full urls, as well as clean out extra analytics and referral junk.

See StretchLink in action:

Options

Options
Options

Clicking on StretchLinks icon in the menu bar will open a panel where you can configure its behavior.

Watch clipboard: Working in the Background

Watch clipboard: Working in the Background
Watch clipboard: Working in the Background

When this is enabled, you’ll see the arrows in the icon turn blue and StretchLink will begin monitoring your clipboard. Whenever you copy new text, it will be scanned for urls that need expansion or cleaning. If URLS are found, StretchLink will attempt to expand any URLS that would cause redirects, replacing them with the final destination URL.

Changes are made to the clipboard in place, meaning the original text you copied will be modified. When you paste, it’s already processed, meaning you don’t even have to think about the fact that SearchLink is running.

Remove analytics: Clean URLS safely

Remove analytics: Clean URLS safely
Remove analytics: Clean URLS safely

If this is enabled, Google Analytics referrer information will be stripped from the URL, offering a much shorter, cleaner URL for sharing.

This url:

http://brettterpstra.com/about?utm_source=brettterpstra&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=synication

Becomes:

http://brettterpstra.com/about

Remove all query strings: Cleaner URLS

Remove all query strings: Cleaner URLS
Remove all query strings: Cleaner URLS

If this is enabled, all query strings (everything after a “?” in a URL) will be stripped. This is often dangerous and can result in URLS that don’t work. Generally, you should enable this when operating StretchLink manually (without the clipboard watcher) and are able to verify the results.

The Menu Bar

The Menu Bar
The Menu Bar

The status item in the menu bar indicates StretchLink's current state and activity. Click the status item to open the options panel. Right click to quickly toggle the clipboard watcher.

Default Default

With no color, StretchLink is not watching your clipboard. Click the icon to reveal the StretchLink panel where the “Expand Clipboard” button can be used to manually process the current contents of the clipboard.

Watching Clipboard Watching Clipboard

When the arrows are highlighted in blue, it means that StretchLink is currently watching your clipboard, and will check for urls in the text when it’s copied. The contents of the clipboard will be updated with any expanded links and ready for you to paste. This happens almost instantly, and by the time you move from one window or app to another and paste, links will already be converted.

Working Working

When a link is detected in the clipboard and StretchLink begins expanding it, the icon will turn green.