Inky-Linky Adds QR Codes to Printouts
Written by Lucy Black   
Saturday, 13 October 2012

Here's a clever idea. Inky-Linky lets you add QR codes to the margins of a web page - so that when you print out the page you can scan the codes to reach all the links it references.


What users will like about Inky-Linky is its simplicity. It is a bookmarklet - a JavaScript snippet that you add to your browser's bookmark bar simply by dragging a link. You can then click in to add QR codes to a webpage prior to printing. The codes will appear in the margins on either side of the page once printed.

(In the unlikely event you don't know about QR codes, see QR codes gaining acceptance)

There are a couple of snags with this scheme. It doesn't work with pages that have a large number of links -  and have you tried finding a web page with few embedded urls recently?

Another problem os that it throws up errors with some browsers, but then the rate at which new versions come out this is hardly surprising.

However with a bit of persistence we did get it to work on its own Github page:




While on the Github page you might like to download the code and see how it works. I can already think of one or two improvements and extras I'd like to add.

Developer Roo Reynolds evidently has a sense of humor.  The Read Me's description of Inky-Linky is:

Make web pages 100% more useful and irritating when printed. A bookmarklet that turns external web links into QR codes in the margins.

And in the FAQ's he includes:

Q: I want to use it on my iPhone.
A: You really don't.

From the blog entry describing Inky-Linky he explains:

It came about because I wanted to make it easy to visit a link from a printed page, and also wanted to see if I could find an actual useful use for the much (rightly) maligned QR code.

The link in this sentence goes to a site that collects photos of QR codes in unlikely, inappropriate and amusing places and which will raise a smile whether or not you are a fan of QR codes.

QR codes seem to be a necessary evil, and so does committing the bits of a webpage to paper. If you really have to print something out, then adding a QR code at least keeps the page interactive - well sort of interactive. So the next time you have some paper handouts created by printing web pages then remember Inky-Linky.




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