In another “obvious when you think about it” moment, yesterday I realized that Google Chrome’s “incognito mode” is a quick-and-easy way to see how a website or url will be seen by an anonymous user (i.e., not me) without having to log out. Firefox’s “private browsing mode” can be used the same way.
For example, many times I will send a url of a Picasa web album or other page to friends and family, and I’d like to test the url before sending it. However, since I’m usually logged in to the site at the time, what I see at the url is often different from what they will see. Previously I would sign out from the site in order to test things (and then sign back in later); with “incognito mode” I can view the site as an anonymous browser without having to sign out.
I already have my F12 key mapped as a hotkey to open any highlighted url in a new browser tab (very convenient); I’ve now mapped Ctrl+Shift+F12 so that it opens a highlighted url in a new incognito window:
google-chrome --incognito --new-window $(xclip -o)
So now when I want to test how a url will be viewed by others: highlight the url, press Ctrl+Shift+F12, and that’s it!