Simple Highlighter – simply synchronized

Sim­ple High­li­gh­ter (SH) is a gre­at Chro­me extensi­on allowing you to select text on web­pages and high­li­ght it with vari­ous colours. You can save your high­li­ghts and add notes to them. And that’s just per­fect – you save these high­li­ghts for later use – the extensi­on remem­bers your high­li­ghts so next time you load the same page, you will easi­ly find your mar­ked locati­ons, well unless the page is not chan­ged.

I love SH, I use it for my stu­dies, I stu­dy at work (some­ti­mes) and at home, of cour­se. Thus I need to sha­re my high­li­ghts among my com­pu­ters – the offi­ce desktop run­ning Win­dows 7 and my note­book run­ning Win­dows 7 and Linux Mint. It would be just per­fect if the extensi­on’s settings and data got syn­chro­ni­zed auto­ma­ti­cally, but they don’t. Well, the­re is an opti­on in SH that should allow you to export your high­li­ghts from one com­pu­ter and import them on ano­ther. BUT, this opti­on does­n’t seem to work for me. So here’s my solu­ti­on which is not really strai­ght­for­ward, but it works. Auto­ma­ti­cally, no export – import hass­le.

In short, we will syn­chro­ni­ze Chro­me’s “Local Sto­rage” fol­der using Dro­p­box. “Local Sto­rage” is the pla­ce whe­re Chro­me and it’s extensi­ons save the­ir data. To achie­ve our goal we will need:

Install the Dro­p­box desktop appli­cati­on on all the com­pu­ters invol­ved if you have­n’t done yet. On a com­pu­ter with a rest­ric­ted user account you will have to use the por­table ver­si­on or the alter­na­ti­ve por­table ver­si­on of Dro­p­box.

Make a new fol­der in your Dro­p­box, in my case it’s “Sim­ple High­li­gh­ter”. Move the fol­der “c:\Users\kuzba\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Sto­rage” to this new fol­der and cre­a­te a link in the ori­gi­nal locati­on:

mklink /D "u:\Documents\Dropbox\Simple Highlighter\Local Storage" "c:\Users\kuzba\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Storage"

Now, on a rest­ric­ted user account most pro­ba­bly you won’t have suf­fi­ci­ent rights to use the mklink com­mand so you have to use the juncti­on com­mand from Sysin­ter­nals sui­te which, sur­pri­sin­g­ly, works with user rights. The syn­tax is pret­ty much the same:

junction "u:\Documents\Dropbox\Simple Highlighter\Local Storage" "c:\Users\kuzba\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Storage"

In Linux, don’t dele­te the who­le direc­to­ry, as the ln com­mand can make links to files. Just dele­te or rena­me the two ori­gi­nal files chrome-extension_hljnlfolmbmibdjaikiaepgepgnldclj_0.localstorage and chrome-extension_hljnlfolmbmibdjaikiaepgepgnldclj_0.localstorage.journal and make links for them from the Dro­p­box:

ln -s ~/.config/google-chrome/user data/default/local storage/chrome-extension_hljnlfolmbmibdjaikiaepgepgnldclj_0.localstorage ~/dropbox/Simple Highlighter/Local Storage/ chrome-extension_hljnlfolmbmibdjaikiaepgepgnldclj_0.localstorage
ln -s ~/.config/google-chrome/user data/default/local storage/chrome-extension_hljnlfolmbmibdjaikiaepgepgnldclj_0.localstorage.journal ~/dropbox/Simple Highlighter/Local Storage/ chrome-extension_hljnlfolmbmibdjaikiaepgepgnldclj_0.localstorage.journal

That should do!