When developing web pages, I use MAMP.app or my Mac’s built-in Apache. Viewing the page means using an address such as
http://localhost/mypage.html. If you use custom host names (especially easy with the excellent VirtualHostX.app), you may wind up with a localhost address such as
This works great when you’re just testing the pages on your Mac’s browsers. However, once you cross boundaries into Windows testing (via VMs or separate laptops),
localhost will no longer resolve. Why? Because
localhost is local to your machine.
If you want to view the page in a VM or on another machine, just swap the domain name with your machine’s IP address. For example
http://10.0.1.14/mypage.html. (Note: you must be on the same network or have a public IP address.)
This works very well, but it’s tiresome to manually grab the IP address anytime you want to use a VM or share the page with coworkers, especially if you’re on DHCP and don’t have a static IP address.
I decided to make my life a little easier by writing an AppleScript that looks at the open tabs in Chrome and Safari then replaces “localhost” (or custom domain) with my current IP address. Saving this as a service enables me to go to Chrome > Services to run the script.
If you’d like to give it a try, the AppleScript is available as a Gist on GitHub.
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