Preview (or "Validate") URL in Pop-Up Browser Window (without activating browser)



This macro solved a minor irritation for me which was that I wanted to be able to quickly pop up a preview of a URL without opening up a new browser tab/window. I just hate clutter…

So, for example I’m reading the headlines on the Times website and I just want to quickly scan an article. I right click on a hyperlinked article (a headline) and copy the link:

Then using a hotkey I invoke a pop-up web page which displays the URL which is now on the clipboard (with scrolling and much of the ordinary functionality of Safari).

The macro is sending the clipboard URL to a simple Automator app called “Preview URL App” which I placed in the Applications folder. The app is easy to make (and you can download it here):

Once the pop-up browser materializes, the macro sends a mouse-click dead center of the screen, thus hitting the center of the pop-up (presumably), so that the pop-up is brought to the front. (For some reason, it is not at the front when it pops up). That way, it can easily be dismissed with the Escape key or by hitting the Cancel button.

The macro can be downloaded here, and it looks like this:

Of course, you can invoke the pop-up preview anytime you have a URL in the clipboard!


Preview Top Hit in Pop-Up Browser Window (without activating browser)
How to trigger KMacros from LaunchBar
Preview Legal Case in Pop-Up Browser Window (without activating browser)

And … one can invoke this macro from Launchbar by creating a new, and very simple, LB action in the Action Editor (see related post here) –

– which runs a simple Applescript:

tell application "Keyboard Maestro Engine" do script "URL Preview" end tell


I love LB, and use it many times a day. But I have not seen the utility in running KM macros from it, since I can always use the KM Trigger Macro by Name, or my favorite, @DanThomas’ macro:
MACRO: Execute Macro by Name (Spotlight)


I think its perceived utility depends on how one uses either app and how one’s muscle memory works, and what one’s preferences are. For example, I like triggering a palette of macros from Launchbar, rather than a keyboard shortcut that I sometimes forget. I can hunt for it on Launchbar. I also like redundancy in methods of accessing an action.


I store many links in .md files as bookmarks instead of in the browser so I can better search and organize them. I find this macro extremely helpful.

Thank you for creating this.


I am gratified you have found this useful. I use it many times a day myself, e.g., to preview a URL in an email, etc. Incidentally, I also use Pinboard to store links I don't want to save in the browser's bookmarks. You can tag the links for easy retrieval. It's a great service. To get the links quickly into Pinboard with tags from the browser, I use Spillo. You can still use Preview URL macro to quickly check out the links you've saved. :wink: