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April 4, 2010

Lazarus: your web-form information back from the dead!

Have you been filling out a form on the web, maybe a comment on this very blog or some other blog, or maybe a question to a business through their "contact us" web form, and had your browser crash in the middle of it?  Or maybe hit "submit" and your browser responds with "there's been an error", and when you hit the "back" button, everything you typed was gone? Doesn't that just piss you off?  All that typing, and you have to retype it?

If so, then I have the browser add-on for you.  It's called Lazarus, and it's available for both Firefox and Chrome (maybe for other browsers as well, but those are the browsers I use).  This simple add-on will automatically save everything you type into a web form.  If it crashes or something, you can reinstate everything you just typed with just a mouse click!

The Firefox add-on can be found here.

The Chrome one can be found here.

It's already saved my ass once tonight, and I just installed it Friday night.  I was typing a rather long comment on one of my blog posts, and when I hit "submit," I got the error message.  Back button hit, it's gone.  Click the Egyptian ankh symbol next to the form, and voila! Everything I typed was back again.

I don't know if it works if the browser thinks your submission has been successful, as that hasn't happened to me yet.  In other words, if you submit a comment but it just doesn't show up, I don't know whether Lazarus will restore it for you.  I haven't delved that deeply into it.  However, even if it doesn't work in that situation, working in the event of a crash or error message is still above and beyond what we're used to.

I found this just by browsing all the cool add-ons for Chrome when I was bored on Friday.  I then discovered this morning that it exists for Firefox too.  Unless you're still using Internet Explorer, you should now be safe from losing your comment.

So what are you waiting for?  Don't lose another comment or have to retype a long letter to customer service complaining about their poor handling of your prostate exam (and really, should you be sitting at a computer when you're in *that* much pain anyway?).

Install Lazarus and breathe just a bit easier.

Update #1 (4/7/10): The Chrome version of Lazarus has a weird bug.  Apparently, some forms (I've only had to use it on my blog, and I know it happens here, not sure if it happens on all forms), when you click on the Lazarus ankh, you only see the extreme left side of the bubble that pops up with all of the choices for your saved form text.  Thus, you can't see the text at all.  However, if you hold your mouse pointer over the bubble and scroll over it, the text will popup (it's called a "mouse-over," I think) so you can make sure you choose the right one.

I sent an inquiry to the Lazarus people, and they said that it might be something with Chrome that's scheduled to be updated with an upcoming patch.  But if it's common enough, they may try and fix it themselves.

Also, a friend has reported that it slowed down and crashed her Chrome browser on her Mac.  I haven't had any issues on the two PCs I use, so maybe it's a Mac issue?  Or something unique to her?  Or maybe I'm the unique one? I don't know know, but just be warned that if it starts behaving like that, you may want to uninstall it.  Maybe the next update will fix these issues.

It's still saved my posted comment three times in the last few days, so I'm standing by it.  But if it affects your browsing, you should definitely get rid of it.


  1. humn.. i should try this one.. tired of typing a long comment and when tried to post it say error and need to type a new one but forgot what to say.. lols.. i hope this lazarus can help me too dave.. wait, going to install it, get back on u later..

  2. *bites tongue on the last part of that comment* :P

    I hope it helps you too! I'll update the post if I discover anything more about it, but I do know that it's already restored one comment that crashed tonight, so I know it works.

  3. done installing it.. just wait till something happen or an error.. hehehhehee...

  4. I hope you never have to use it!

    I do think the ankh is cool, though.

  5. yeah, it is.. and yeah i hope i would never have to use it.. but jus incase.. lols..

  6. Very cool info, Dave! I have Chrome on my laptop, but keep defaulting to IE out of habit. My IT guy tells me I can import all my favorites from IE over to Chrome, which is encouraging....when I get brave enough to do it! I'll come back to this post when I take that big step!

    ~ Dawn

  7. You're very welcome, Dawn! Hope it helps when you finally make the jump.

  8. Thanks for the great info, and I've known of other add ons that remember and complete forms, but even the text section - that's great. Yes, I, like many others, have felt the frustration of losing a comment after I thought out my response perfectly! Now - never again!

    I'll be installing asap! :)

    Thanks Dave

  9. Thanks for the comment, Bernadine. I hope it helps you like it's helped me. :)

  10. This is really cool...going to download it now. Thanks Dave! :)

  11. You're very welcome, Anahid! Hope it helps.

  12. ZOMG I totally used this today! Thank you!

  13. Excellent! I'm glad it's helped more than just me.


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