Thursday, June 1, 2023

StopTheMadness 39: Hiding Page Elements

Jeff Johnson:

StopTheMadness already allowed you to write your own site-specific CSS, but along with knowing CSS, this requires digging around in the browser’s web inspector, which is particularly difficult on iOS. I needed a solution that avoids both of these problems, and I think I finally got something decent.

To use the new feature, you first click the Hide Page Element button in the StopTheMadness extension popup, which triggers element selection mode. Then you close the popup and click on the web page element that you want to hide. If your device (a Mac or an iPad) has a physical keyboard, you can skip the clicks with a keyboard shortcut: hover the pointer over the web page element that you want to hide, and press ⌘-delete. In either case, you’ll get a list of one or more elements to hide (there’s a 3D hierarchy of elements on the page). You can select each of the elements in the list, previewing what the page looks like when it’s hidden, and then click Save when you’ve found what you want.


I’ve recently learned that Medium, for example, exploits a newer technique to detect whether you’re viewing the web page in a Safari private window. I’ve created my own test page to demonstrate the technique. I’ve also created a new StopTheMadness website option to stop it: Protect private windows.

I don’t really care about the privacy aspect of a site knowing that I’m using a private window, but some sites nag you about it or refuse to work, so hopefully this will be able to foil them.


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