In the kingdom of Mac browsers, there are two names that rule the land: Safari – with its speed and style; and Firefox – with its flexibility of functionalities. There are other browsers of course, with their loyal users if I may add; but these two share the biggest share of the pie.
Being the native Mac OS X browser, Safari – which should have been a no brainer choice for Mac users – faces a fierce challenge from Firefox – the browser that can be anything you need it to be. Add-ons are Firefox’s ultimate weapon.
But Firefox is not the only browser that can add functionalities using add-ons. The Safari browser also has plugins to expand its ability. While there are far less Safari browser plugins than there are for Firefox, not everybody needs everything.
So for anybody who are still deciding which one of the two should be the main browser, maybe these list of Safari browser plugins can help you choose sides.
1. Glims is on top of my list of all other Safari plugins. It has expanded the search box functionality of Safari plus some other bonuses such as: re-opening closed tabs, automatically re-opening the tabs from the last session and full-screen browsing. It’s been discussed here.
2. SafariStand also adds a few helpful features to Safari such as: Stand Bar (for quick access to bookmarks), history, Stand Search with Spotlight support, an Action Menu, option to restore last workspace, a site alterations preference window with the option to put custom CSS layouts on specific sites, and syntax coloring in viewed source. Go to more detailed explanation here.
Please note that you need to install SIMBL 0.8.2 or later before you can use SafariStand.
3. [NO LONGER WORKS] Inquisitor beautifully extends the functionality of the search bar. It auto-completes your search term, gives you search recommendations and lets you quickly see the results for your specified terms on another sites. If you need to have the powerful searchbar only without additional extra functions choose this one over Glims. Inquisitor also supports IE and Firefox.
4. CoolIris (Preview and PictLens) will transform Safari into a picture and movie viewer – in style. ‘Nuff said.
We’ve covered CoolIris before, and it’s nice to know that this product is also working fine under Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Linux; and for other browsers like Firefox, IE 7 and IE 8, and Flock 2. Safari under Windows is not supported though.
5. Safari AdBlock and SafariBlock are the ultimate tools to block ads and provide cleaner browsing. Most web publishers would hate these two as parts of the publishers’ revenue come from advertising. But for users, blocking ads means less clutter and more browsing speed.
6. Click-to-flash – will prevent any flash content from automatically loading and will replace it with an empty grey box. Just click on the box to load the content. Anyone with a slow internet connection will find this webkit plugin indispensable.
7. Safari140 is the tool to tweet. This plugin will allow you to send direct tweets from Safari, auto filled with the current site while the long URL’s are shortened.
9. Greasekit is the comparable Firefox’s Greasemonkey in Safari. It gives users the scripting ability to change looks and add new functionality to their favorite sites. Greasekit is compatible with most Greasemonkey scripts.
Just like SafariStand, Greasekit need SIMBL.
10. Firebug lite is the answered prayer for users who want to have Firebug ability – once Firefox exclusive – in other browsers. There are two ways to activate Firebug under non-Firefox browsers: insert the code in the site, or use the bookmarklet.
This one is not exactly a plugin but it is the solution for those who said that the only reason he/she stays with Firefox is Firebug.
11. Pimp My Safari – is the place to go to find more Safari add-ons in the form of plugins or bookmarklets. Please note that not all of the plugins are free.
This list is far from complete, but I think it’s a good start. So if you know (and use) other good Safari plugins, please share them using the comments below.