Firefox Extension: View Rendered Source

Published August 11th, 2005

When you’re working extensively with pages that make use of dynamic HTML — ie. using Javascript to manipulate the structure of a page — the “View source” option in Firefox becomes effectively redundant, because the original source that you’ll see may not bear much resemblance to the ‘true’ current state of the page. This can make it frustratingly difficult to develop in this sort of environment.

View Rendered Source is a Firefox extension that aims to help, by allowing you to view the source code of an HTML after any transformations. And it does so in a very readable, structured way too.

Please note: I experienced a serious problem where the extension caused my PC to reboot (!). The creator of the extension has since published a simple fix (set the option to open in a separate window rather than a tab) — I strongly recommend you enable this feature.

If you’re looking for an equivalent for Internet Explorer, you might check out Instant Source, which does much the same job although in a slightly different way. Sadly, it’s not free.

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  1. Archatas on September 28, 2005

    When you select some text in Firefox and view selection source through the right-click menu, the browser shows the same thing without any extension: it shows the rendered HTML source.

    I don’t know any hack to view the rendered source in IE without additional plugins. However you can always check the html by alerting body’s innerHTML in JavaScript (Of course, if you have the sources of the website at your local computer).

  2. Stickman on September 29, 2005

    When you select some text in Firefox and view selection source through the right-click menu, the browser shows the same thing…

    That’s good tip (especially for small blocks of code), but not always practical: for example, sometimes it’s simply not possible to select the piece of code you’re interested in.

    Using alert to print out code also works well for brief fragments, but larger blocks just end up with a massive dialog box that often disappears off the bottom of the screen.

  3. Mark on December 14, 2005

    You can copy-paste the alert message by selecting the dialog window , just click so it has focus -just dont hit the ‘OK’ button :) and pressing Ctrl-C and then Ctrl-V into your favorite text editor.

  4. Stickman on December 14, 2005

    A good tip. However, I think I’ll stick to View Rendered Source…:)

  5. Graham on November 17, 2006

    Help me please…
    I just installed Firefox 2.0, and all of a sudden, my username/password isn't being inserted in the signon window (it always was before). I tried the usual suspects–I did not mistakenly tell FF not to remember the password for this site; and I also tried the remember password bookmarklet, but all to no avail–FF will not ask me to remember this password. What do I need to do to get around this?

  6. Jessie on November 18, 2006

    Please add firefox cookies/bad web sites immunization in next version!
    Firefox 2 cannot reject third party cookies!!!!!!!!

  7. Mark on May 3, 2007

    I am looking for an equivalent for Opera, does it exist?

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