This is a post about Google Chrome, the F12 Developer tool feature and how I felt very smug after using it to get around restrictions!!
I installed an Ad-blocker into Chrome, which is the main browser I used, and I noticed that certain sites were showing messages asking me to remove the Ad-blocker (like the images below), or sign-up for content – neither of which I want to do to be honest. I have ensured that the sites cannot be identified from the screenshots below, as it is not my intention to draw attention to any specific sites, as there are many out there that have these restrictions in place.
There was one particular article I wanted to read and I could see no reason why I couldnt do so, seeing it as it wasn’t something that was exclusive to this particular site. I could have searched elsewhere, but was feeling in a less than co-operative mood, so decided to have a play.
Pressing the F12 button and opening the Developer Tools gave me the chance to inspect the element on the page that was blocking the text, by clicking on the button (highlighted in yellow)….
….and then clicking on the blurred area on the page that I wanted to inspect:
This then showed the element in more detail and I could then investigate further.
I found that I had two different choices, depending upon the type of restrictions imposed:
- To read the plain text within the Developer Tools pane rather than on the screen, but that meant having to expand every element in order to reach each paragraph:
- To try removing the blocker itself in order to read the text on screen as intended by just deleting that line of text.
On one site I had to use option 1 to open each element to read it as deleting the element actually deleted the text within. On another site I used option 2, and simply deleted the element off the page and the text was then visible with no restrictions.
I was surprised how easy it was and I guess that over time, the website builders will try to make this more difficult to do, but not many people really know about the F12 function, so I feel it my duty to help spread the word a little.
It really is that simple. If you are not sure, just have a play. If you delete things that you didnt want to, just reload the page and try again. It really is satisfying to beat people at their own game sometimes!