Preview shortened URL using Automator

I wanted to use the Website Preview action in Automator to preview the target of URLs shortened using the various URL shortening services in my Twitter client on my Mac (I’m currently using Tweetdeck). I’ve posted my solution at my blog, if you’d like to see it. It should work in other apps that display shortened URL links such as Mail. (I’m using an unpaid Wordpress site for my blog, so you’ll have to put up with some advertisements.)

For unshortening links I usually use Jeff Johnson’s Link Unshortener. It does require a double copy/paste and having keyboard maestro take care of that part is on The List. Preview could be an added bonus, though once I see the text of the full url I scrap it most of the time.

Link Unshortener

Rob Griffin recently posted about removing tracking data from URLs with keyboard maestro, and provides his macros which can be imported rather than recreated:</string

I also recommend Jeff Johnson’s Link Unshortener. It’s a complete solution. The Automator preview can provide some protection by insulating the user from unwanted activity that can result from clicking a shortened URL, but it’s mostly just for fun.

Although it doesn’t preview URLs, Rob Griffiths’ (Did I really type “Griffin’s” - Sorry, Rob, from both of us!) link “decrufter” is a considerably elaborate solution. It’s an amazing contribution to the community, even considering the Keyboard Maestro prerequisite. I understand that he’s planning to update it soon to allow management of links as well.

He already updated it for, so take a look.

I recently updated to allow you to preview any full URL - shortened or not. I guess the next step will be to add an option to put the unshortened URL on the clipboard, although anyone with much Automator experience will be able to do that on their own, probably.