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Update Scanner alerts you when web pages change (Firefox)

10 December 2014, Mike Williams

Update ScannerIf you’d like to know when your favourite websites are updated then you could monitor their RSS or ATOM feeds, maybe a Twitter account or Facebook page. But if they don’t have any of these – or checking them all seems like too much effort – then you’ll probably just keep revisiting the site, again, and again, and again.

Update Scanner is a Firefox addon which saves time by automatically detecting and notifying you about changes to your chosen web pages.

Installing the extension adds an icon to your address bar. When you’re at a web page you’d like to monitor, right-click the icon, select “Scan Page For Updates”, and you’re done. Update Scanner will now regularly check for changes, and display a pop-up alert to notify you of changes.

Clicking the notification link displays the web page. Any changes are highlighted, making them easier to spot, and you can also toggle between the old and new page.

Update Scanner

Add your favourite web pages and they’ll be regularly checked for updates

You need more control? Left-click the Update Scanner icon and a sidebar appears listing all the pages you’re monitoring. If you don’t want to wait for the automatic check, you can click the Scan button here to be notified of updates immediately.

Each page has a Properties dialog which defines how often it will be checked, and the level of change you’re looking for (you can opt to ignore changes to numbers, or updates less than 10/ 50/ 100/ 500/ 1000 characters).

You can even set up a page to open any updates in a new tab. If a change is detected, an “alert” sound is played, the modified page is opened in a new tab, and all you have to do is click it.

Update Scanner had some strange issues in our tests, including failing to fully display a changed page.

Most of the time it ran perfectly, though, and if there are problems then you could just not use it with those pages. Give the add-on a try: it could save you a lot time.

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