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Tech Tidbit: Bitly

Sometimes, cutting and pasting a web address link from your browser to your word processing document just takes up too much space in your document and looks cumbersome; some internet articles or web sites you want to cite to can have extremely long and complicated web addresses/URLs.

Wouldn’t it be nifty if you could shorten a long web address to something short, and maybe even change the link’s name to something that makes sense and may be easy to remember?

Fortunately, there are places on the web which provide free URL shortening. One such is http://bit.ly/. Enter the long web address in the Bitly box, and you can easily shorten the link and rename it to something more manageable.

For example, here is the web address for an article on whether employees must be given a meal or break period: http://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-61256_11407_32352-117201–,00.html. That is simply too long and cumbersome to use in most writings. By running that long link through Bitly, I named the new link simply http://1.usa.gov/EmployeeBreak. Now, anyone who clicks on the new link will be taken directly to the same web address as the original web address. This is an especially valuable tool when you are using a lot of web addresses.