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PostPoints tip: Shorten Web addresses wisely

It's easy to paste a Web address into an e-mail or instant message, but lengthy addresses can spill onto a second line--which may stop the link from working at all. I've written before about using Web-shortcut sites like TinyURL.com or (my own favorite) bit.ly to get around this problem, but the cryptic addresses those sites generate can leave readers guessing about where you'll be sending them. Instead, you can try condensing the original address with some trial-and-error editing. Bring up the page in your browser, then delete everything to the right of its last slash and hit the Enter key to reload the page; if that doesn't work, try deleting everything after ".html" in the address. Then try deleting everything to the left of the site's domain name. (For example, you can boil down http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/17/AR2009071703851.html?hpid=sec-tech to washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/17/AR2009071703851.html in this way.) If it still works, you've got a pruned address that will be a little easier to share.

By Rob Pegoraro  |  July 21, 2009; 9:28 AM ET
Categories:  Tips  
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