Thursday, April 9, 2009

Do you know Fluid?

Are you using a lot web based applications these days? Do you have multiple browser windows or tabs open at a time? Is the Mac your preferred working horse? Well, then you should have a look at Fluid. Fluid creates a so called "Site Specific Browser" aka SSB which is a native MacOSX Application.

How does it work? Simply download the provided Application for the Mac (sorry Windows User!) and start it right away. Fluid will open a very simplistic dialog which requires only a few information about the Website you want to convert to a SSB:

So the most important thing in this case is the URL of the Website you want to have as a separate launchable application on your Mac. Providing a distinct name will make things easier to find your SSB on your mac. You can choose the location for your SSB. I think it's a good idea to place it in the Applications folder. You can even provide an Icon for your new App. You can either use the Website's favicon or you can provide your own icon. Note: I tested this with gmail and the Favicon didn't work for me. So I chose the gmail icon from Chris Ivarsons site. There you can find some more Icons for popular Websites. Press the Create button and you're set.

What is created for you? Well, you get a native MacOSX Application with the icon you selected at the location you specified. If you now start this Application the Website from the provided URL will be opened and displayed in the window. Now you can start weaking some of the Preferences for this specific SSB. Below is a screenshot of my GMail SSB.

Usually you can live with the default preferences, but I recommend to step through each section to find out what you can modify with each of these settings. I also recommend a closer look at the website and the community part to find some more tips and tricks on the other available features that could make your life easier. My favorite feature so far is the conversion of the SSB to a MenuExtra SSB. This will relaunch your SSB and create an entry in the system wide status bar at the top of the screen. Now your favorite Website is located right at the top of your screen.
I hope you will like Fluid as much as I do. Have fun!

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