Greasemonkey is a powerful Firefox add-on that lets you change the appearance and functionality of almost any page on the web. Most people don’t know how to write JavaScript, though, so we end up using the Greasemonkey scripts developed by other people who do. There are lots and lots of scripts that have been written and they are fun, useful and easy to run.

It’s been downloaded 9 million times, but we believe many people still haven’t heard of or taken the time to learn how to use Greasemonkey. So we recorded a 4-minute screencast showing you how to use the program and some things we like to do with it.

Editor’s note: Looking back over 2008, there were some posts on ReadWriteWeb that did not get the attention we felt they deserved – whether because of timing, competing news stories, etc. So in this end-of-year series, called Redux, we’re resurrecting some of those hidden gems. This is one of them, we hope you enjoy (re)reading it!

We hope readers will add comments with some of your favorite Greasemonkey scripts for people to check out as well.

What Is Greasemonkey?

Greasemonkey is a Firefox plug-in that allows you to insert Javascript into the local display of web pages in your browser. Nothing changes for anyone else, but images, links or text can be added or hidden automatically when you visit a web page that a script has been written for. Developers have written these little scripts to customize or improve the way different websites are experienced. It’s a powerful, lightweight platform that we think you’ll really enjoy using.

For non-technical users, “script” may be an intimidating word, but we think of it as a plug-in for the plug-in. The user experience is that simple.

How Do I Use It?

Below, you’ll find a 4-minute screencast walking you through the process of setting up Greasemonkey and running some of our favorite scripts. Links and text are below the video. RSS readers can click here to view the video.

Thanks to for hosting the video above. (Flash version)

Install the Greasemonkey Firefox plug-in.

Find scripts to install. Most are at but the ones we reference in the video above are:
Better GMail 2
FriendFeed User Profiles
FriendFeed Better Recommended
Greased Lightbox

There’s a whole room in FriendFeed dedicated to sharing and discussing new Greasemonkey scripts.

We wrote about Greasemonkey Scripts for the Social Media Addict in May, but the options available grow fast and furious.

Questions? Suggestions?

If there’s anything unclear about this, let us know and we or our readers will respond to questions. Likewise, if there are Greasemonkey scripts you think readers here should be sure to see – let us know what they are.

marshall kirkpatrick