Sea of Troubles

QR Code Bookmarklet

I often find that I’m reading something right before I need to leave, and need a quick way to get the thing I’m reading to my phone. Traditionally, I did that by sending an email to myself; about 10% of my inbox is little notes to myself, many of which I never read again.

Google’s Chrome to Phone solved this problem when I was reading in in Chrome and wanted to send it to my Nexus, but didn’t help if I was using Safari, Firefox or (shudder) IE6 at work, or if I wanted to read it on my iPhone or iPad.

For a while, I used services like or to create shorter URLs that were easy to copy manually, but that’s still tedious. Usefully, if you add ‘.qr’ to the end of a short link, it will give you the QR code for that URL.

Later, I bumped into the Google Chart API, and it’s QR Code funtionality. That gave me an idea: a bookmarklet that generates a QR code for the current URL, so that you can quickly scan it into your phone. Here it is:


Drag it into your menubar, and enjoy.

Interesting, but unrelated, if you need to use your Google account from a computer you don’t trust, you can evade keyloggers by visiting Google’s QR code login system from your smartphone.