How To View Flash Content On an Adobe-Free Mac

| How-To

Apple's Automator

Mac Geek Gab listener James wrote in with an awesome tip for users who wish to remove Adobe Flash from their Macs but still be able to occasionally access Flash content. His step-by-step instructions for this ingenious solution are below:

I, like many, have found that Flash causes stability problems on my Mac and have removed it. Since I no longer had Flash on my Mac when I encountered a site with Flash content I would copy the site’s URL, paste it into Google Chrome (which has Flash built into the application) and then open the site in Chrome.

To streamline this process I cobbled together some AppleScript, created a Service using Automator, and assigned a Function Key to run the Service. Now when I encounter a site with Flash content, I simply press F16 and the content is opened in Chrome. I chose to use the F16 Function Key but a Keyboard Shortcut (i.e., Control-Alt-C) could be used to do the same thing.

Below are the steps I used to create the Service and assign the Function Key.

Open Automator

Create a New Service

Select “Service” as the document type and click “Choose.”

Set No Input

At the Service Input Screen, change the “Service receives selected” input box to “no input.”

Set Application to Safari

Change the application field from “any application” to “Safari.”

Select Run AppleScript

Select “Utilities” from the Library and then double-click the “Run AppleScript” action.

Remove the Default Code

Select and delete the default placeholder AppleScript.

Paste the Code

Paste the following AppleScript, which is designed to copy the current Safari URL and open that URL in Chrome.

property theURL : " "

tell application "Safari"

set theURL to URL of current tab of window 1

end tell

tell application “Google Chrome”
if (count of windows) is 0 or front window is not visible then
make new window
else
make new tab at end of tabs of front window
end if

set URL of active tab of window 1 to theURL

activate

end tell

The AppleScript is designed to open Chrome if it isn’t already open. If Chrome is open, it will open the desired URL in a new tab.

Save the Service

Save the Service, giving it an appropriate name such as “Open Safari URL in Chrome.” Whatever you choose, note the exact name of the Service; we’ll need it in a moment to create the keyboard shortcut.

The Keyboard System Preference Pane

Open System Preferences and go to the “Keyboard” preference pane.

Set the Keyboard Shortcut

In the Keyboard Shortcuts tab, select “Services” and locate your newly created Service in the “General” category.

Double-click the space to the right of the Service name to open the Keyboard Shortcut input box.

Enable the Keyboard Shortcut

Enter the key or key combination that you wish to assign to the Service. Once complete, make sure to check the box to the left of the Service name to enable the keyboard shortcut.

That’s it! You should now be able to use your keyboard shortcut to open websites with flash content automatically in Chrome. To test, simply open any website in Safari and then press your designated shortcut. The site should immediately open inside Chrome.

Thanks, James, for this awesome tip and walkthrough!

Comments

jameskatt

—————————————————————————
THAT IS A LOT OF WORK, HERE IS AN EASIER SOLUTION:

Turn on the Develop Menu in Safari - with Onyx or Tinkertool.

When on a web-page with flash in Safari, select “Open Page With” in the Develop Menu, and select Chrome from the submenu.

This will open the URL in Chrome.  When done, quit Chrome.

There you go.

==================================================

steviebw

Yet an easier way.  Use ClickToFlash.  Flash content doesn’t load.  Instead the windows/boxes on a page that are flash just display the work “Flash” in the center of the window/box.  If you want to see that particular Flash item, just click on the word Flash in the appropriate window/box.

jameskatt

==================================================
QUOTE: Yet an easier way.  Use ClickToFlash. 

—-

Using ClickToFlash is great.  The problem is that when you succumb to temptation and load Flash with ClickToFlash, the Flash plug-in is loaded into memory and STAYS in memory and stays running in the background.

Thus, even if you use ClickToFlash, Flash can still cause memory leaks and crashes on the Mac as soon as you activate a Flash animation.

The goal of this article is to be able to deactivate Flash and take it out of memory after viewing a Flash animation or video.

Since Google Chrome has the Flash plug-in built-in, when you quit Chrome, Flash is also removed from memory.  The article takes advantage of that.

In fact, the article’s solution and my solution assume you are using ClickToFlash to block Flash from automatically loading in Safari in the first place.

Thanks.

==================================================

Vitor

But there is yet another way to use ClickToFlash…

Instead of installing Flash, use ClickToFlash to replace Flash videos on many webpages with HTML5 or Quicktime. To keep the video within the webpage, chose HTML5 as the default video player because Quicktime opens in a separate window. However, it is also a good idea to have the option to use Quicktime as a backup player.

Here are my Preferences:

Mediaplayer > Default Player = HTML5
Mediaplayer > Default Resolution = 480p
Mediaplayer > Source Selector = Leave defaults and check “Include Quicktime”
Mediaplayer > Autoplay on these sites = Deleted defaults

Shortcut Menu = Leave defaults and check “Open in Quicktime”

Bopper

The apple script has an error in it.  Doesn’t run.  Any ideas on why?

James Ford

The apple script has an error in it.? Doesn?t run.? Any ideas on why?

I developed the tip and use it daily without any problems.  I don’t know if I can help you debug the problem but will try.

What is the error you are getting?

Gary

Leaving aside the sometimes emotional views on whether or not Flash is good or bad, this tip fails for one particular situation I came across a couple of days ago.

I was tinkering with a recent acquisition - BoinxTV Home - and needed to consult the app’s Help to try to make some progress with the feature I was looking at.  The window which popped up proceeded to pull its helpful info from the web.  That info was a movie showing how to accomplish what I was after - and it required Flash to play.  We’re not talking about viewing this in Safari, FireFox, etc - this was the Help Center app…

James Ford

I was tinkering with a recent acquisition - BoinxTV Home - and needed to consult the app?s Help to try to make some progress with the feature I was looking at.? The window which popped up proceeded to pull its helpful info from the web.? That info was a movie showing how to accomplish what I was after - and it required Flash to play.? We?re not talking about viewing this in Safari, FireFox, etc - this was the Help Center app?

I do not have Flash installed on my Mac.  I have BoinxTV SE and all the videos in the Help Center run so I do not have to try using my tip.  Therefore I cannot reproduce the issue you described.

Safari is my default browser and I developed the tip for that scenario.  Since the videos in the Help Center are displayed in a pop-up not a web page or tab I understand why the tip does not work for the situation you described.

Thanks for letting me know about the instance where my tip does not work.

Gary

I do not have Flash installed on my Mac.? I have BoinxTV SE and all the videos in the Help Center run so I do not have to try using my tip.? Therefore I cannot reproduce the issue you described.

Safari is my default browser and I developed the tip for that scenario.? Since the videos in the Help Center are displayed in a pop-up not a web page or tab I understand why the tip does not work for the situation you described.

Thanks for letting me know about the instance where my tip does not work.

Hello James - that’s interesting about your experience with the same app.  Boinx must be dynamically selecting a different source.  Or perhaps you get a different video transport controller that I do?

If you’re academically curious, temporarily install Flash.  Go to
System Preferences > Flash Player > Storage
and choose the middle setting: “Ask me before allowing new sites to save information on this computer”.

For good measure, click the [Local Storage Settings by Site…] button and look for “boinx.com” in case it’s there from an earlier experience.  Remove it if you find it and click [Close].

Then fire up BoinxTV Home and summon a Help Centre page with video content.  The “How to use Basic Chroma Key” page was the one I was looking at.  You’ll get an Adobe Flash pop-up saying “boinx.com is requesting permission to store information on your computer, blah, blah”.

In my case, OS X, Flash, BoinxTV, etc are all on the very latest released versions.

Gary

James Ford said:

Eh?!  The three paragraphs were wrapped in the single quote - yet they came out as three separate quotes!

Mike

I get Syntax Error:
“Expected expression, property or key form, etc. but found unknown token.”

The cursor stops on top of the >”< at “Google Chrome” in your script.

Maybe Bopper was having the same problem.

Any idea what could be wrong here ?

Bopper

The quote mark needs to be deleted and reinserted. That fixed it for me.

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