From The Tips Box: TV Episodes, URL Previews, Messy Touchscreens

Readers offer their best tips for looking up episode guides for your favourite shows, making Firefox’s URL previews a bit less jarring, and keeping your touch screen devices clean.

About the Tips Box: Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips in our inbox, but for various reasons — maybe they’re a bit too niche, maybe we couldn’t find a good way to present it, or maybe we just couldn’t fit it in — the tip didn’t make the front page. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favourites for your buffet-style consumption. Email it to tips at

Quickly Search Episode Guides on Wikipedia

Teraspawn shows us how to add Wikipedia’s episode guides as a custom search engine:

I often use Wikipedia’s lists of episodes of my favourite TV shows for reference. I set up a keyword search on Chrome and Firefox using the URL Now I can just type in my keyword (“list”) and the name of the show (e.g. “list House”) and up pops the Wikipedia page.

Make Firefox’s Preview Panel Fade In and Out

Dustin shares a small CSS tweak for Firefox’s URL preview panel:

We’ve already seen how to expand the width of the URL preview in Firefox 4, but the constant popping up when moving the mouse over links in a document was driving me nuts, so I whipped up this bit of CSS to put a small delay and fade-in effect on the status panel. Personal tastes vary, so you may want to tweak the timing.

statuspanel {
-moz-transition-delay: 500ms !important;
-moz-transition-duration: 1000ms !important;

You can add this to your userChrome.css or add it via Stylish. For one-click installation with Stylish, I made this into a Userstyle, too.

I personally found the much faster 100ms for the delay and 200ms for the transition a near-perfect mix. It’s enough of a delay that it won’t be popping up as I mouse around a page, but enough that when I want to look at a URL preview, it’s popped up by the time I glance down there after finding the link. Like Dustin said, of course, everyone’s preferences will vary.

Use Ziploc Bags to Protect Touchscreens in Messy Areas

Photo by simplyrikkles.

Paulbenigeri1 lets us know how to keep your tablet or other touchscreen devices free of mess:

You know how everyone always tries to come up with ways to keep you iPad clean while cooking? There are stands, cases, and even disposable films. Its soooo much easier to put a Ziploc bag around it. It will keep it 100% water and air tight, you you can still play audio, and the touch screen works pretty perfectly.

We’ve shared a very similar tip before, but this adds some more context to it — you can pretty much use this anywhere you foresee water being spilled (or even less damaging, but similarly messy stuff).

Use a Pencil to Align Hole-Punched Paper

Photo by Quinn Dombrowski.

Random Rambler shares a quick tip for getting your three-hole punched paper in order:

To hold together tri hole-punched paper I use a pencil. Usually when lining up papers to put in a binder together the papers shift and u have to re-arrange them but with this trick just hold them on the pencil until your ready to put it in the binder.

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