The Power of User Stylesheets | November 19, 2004

I saw a great post this morning on Mac OSX Hints that really demonstrates the power of user stylesheets. A chap called Lee Noble noticed that the main nav on the Sainsburys site broke on Safari. Rather than choose to do his grocery shopping elsewhere, Lee had a look at the code and fixed the problem using a simple user stylesheet.

How cool is that?

Posted at November 19, 2004 10:05 AM


Thomas Baekdal said on November 19, 2004 12:05 PM

Rather un-cool - or rather user-hostile. Doing a bad job is not justified by having users forced to fix it.

Surely there must be better examples of user-stylesheets :)

Jason G said on November 19, 2004 1:19 PM

I guess the fact that you can do that is cool. I don’t think I would want to spend my time and energy making user stylesheets to fix other web sites.

I suppose I also would prefer to go to a grocery store to do my shopping.

Is this a popular thing across the pond?

Phil Sherry said on November 19, 2004 4:52 PM

Sainsburys 0
Tesco 1

paul haine said on November 20, 2004 9:54 AM

Hope he submitted this fix to the webmaster of the site…

Jonathan Fenocchi said on November 20, 2004 6:45 PM

I’m with Jason - having the ability to do that is great, in fact, really awesome. But I think making your own skin for a site is more fascinating and a more practical use for this ability. For example, if I don’t like the way a forum looks, I can change almost anything I want, including removing advertisements, by simply creating my own stylesheet for it. I don’t have Safari, so I don’t know what advanced features it has in addition, but there are extensions such as “URI ID” and more to help you create user stylesheets for specific sites in Mozilla Firefox. Does Safari have this feature?

Milan Negovan said on November 21, 2004 1:25 AM

I’ve been “fixing” Ask Jeeves with a user style sheet for a while now. They display way too many ads at the top of each search, so I simply rip ‘em out because I never asked for ads in the first place.

Parasme said on November 21, 2004 3:19 AM

I shop at Somerfield so I care not one hoot.

p.s. get call of duty and you can snipe me, ol’ boy.

Jack said on November 21, 2004 5:24 PM

James - as far as I know, you can’t set URL-specific user stylesheets in Safari, but you can dump everything in one big userContent.css file, which lives in ~/Library/Application Support/Safari.

I can’t seem to find a link to the site where I found it just now, but I use this user stylesheet. It blocks advertising very effectively, kills daft stuff like blink tags, and highlights links to dubious places like (I keep meaning to tweak it so that ads on sites I read and want to support show up - it’s a little mean-spirited otherwise.)

Also handy: Skinning Gmail with a Custom Stylesheet

Jack said on November 21, 2004 5:28 PM

Oops, sorry - should’ve read those comment guidelines instead of trusting the live preview!

Ad-blocking userContent.css:

Skinning Gmail: