As with most things Apple, the Safari extension gallery is a bit of a walled garden in comparison to the extension services provided for Chrome and Firefox. Even so, there are a lot of extensions available and, because they have to pass muster, the ones that do exist are quite good.
There are a wide variety of Safari 5 extensions available, of course, but today we’re going to focus on seven extensions that simply make web browsing easier. Some make the web easier to navigate, while others make the web faster and others make it easier to read.
Click To Flash
Apple hates Flash, so shouldn’t you hate Flash as well? Now you can with the Click to Flash extension. This handy Safari 5 extension will automatically hide any barbaric Flash features that may have slinked into the code of your favorite webpages.
Seriously, though – while a lot of pages today do incorporate Flash features that are useful there are also many pages that overuse Flash or use it for evil (i.e. annoying Flash ads).
This extension will be of great benefit to older machines are sometimes slowed by the use of Flash on web pages.
Type To Navigate
This useful extension makes it possible to navigate the web with your keyboard. After you download the extension you can simply begin typing any linked text and then press return to be sent to wherever that link points. A handy prompt showing the words that you’ve typed will appear while your fingers are flying, and you can abandon a link at any time by ceasing to type – the extension will reset in a few seconds.
Ultimate Status Bar
It’s a dangerous web out there. Links, posing as decent members of the community, often hide secrets. File downloads aren’t always what they seem.
But now you can banish all fear thanks to Ultimate Status Bar. This extension adds a pop-up bar in the bottom left hand corner of Safari that shows you exactly where a link leads or, in the case of file downloads, the exact name and size of the file. Since it is a pop-up bar however, the extension never feels in the way – it appears when you want it and goes away when you don’t.
When Steve Jobs dreams, the world appears in Helvectica. Now you, too, can enjoy this state of Nirvana.
The Helvetica font is used throughout Mac OS X and iOS and is thought by some to be the most readable font in the world. HelveticaTheWorld does what it says and displays the entire world – okay, the entire web – in Helvetica font. It does have a positive effect on the readability of most websites.
Another keyboard web navigation extension, Access Keys lists the keyboard commands supported by any website that you might be visiting in a toolbar that appears at the top of the Safari 5 browser. Not all websites support keyboard commands – many don’t, in fact – but Access Keys provides yet another easy way to navigate those websites that do.
We all know how annoying web comments can be. It appears as if the word “comment” has somehow become a banner that says it is okay to waive all pretense of civility and intelligence. Unless you’re a MakeUseOf commenter, of course – in which case you’re brilliant!
Anyway, Shut Up makes comments go away. It doesn’t work on every website, but does work on most, including YouTube. That alone is enough reason to install it. Now you’ll finally be able to watch a cute kitten video without seeing ten all-caps comments from people with names like XxXReAlBALLLZERXxX about how much fun it is to drown kittens.
This extension enables the option to view an image’s EXIF data when you right click on the image. This information can tell you the size of the image both in pixels and in kilobytes, the date the picture was taken, and more. This can be particularly handy when trying to figure out if someone’s photo on Facebook was really taken last week. The extension can’t pick up data that isn’t there, however, so you’re only guaranteed to find information about the file size, type, and compression.
Well, that’s it for the web navigation extensions right now. There are, of course, many more available in the Safari extension gallery, but these are the ones I found most useful.
Do you have a favorite that was missed? Let us know!