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safari extensionsBeing a Mac user, my first choice of browser is Safari. Call me irrelevant, but my first reason is the look: it’s simple, clean, and beautiful.

While I still keep and use Firefox for its wide choice of extensions, the system-resource-hungriness of this browser makes me try to keep its usage to the minimum. I also use other browsers like Chrome Google Chrome - A New Chapter in Browser History? Google Chrome - A New Chapter in Browser History? Read More , Opera and Flock, but my heart stays with Safari Safari 4: Is It Time To Switch From Firefox? Safari 4: Is It Time To Switch From Firefox? Read More .

I always wished that Safari would also support extensions so I don’t have to go back and forth between browsers.

Apparently, wishes do come true.

Activating & Getting Safari Extensions

While everybody’s attention was drawn to the announcement of Apple’s brand new iPhone 4, the company also released the latest version of its browser: Safari version 5. There are many new and improved features. One of the new features that drew my attention is the support for Safari extensions.

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Curious and excited, I went to Apple’s Safari page and downloaded the latest version. You can also use the Software Update menu to get it.

Since Apple has just started the extension development program and has not yet officially opened the extension library, at the time of writing, Safari’s support for extensions is still being disabled by default.

To enable it, you have to go to the “Safari – Preferences” menu (Command + Comma).

safari extensions

Then choose the “Advanced” tab and check the “Show Develop menu in menu bar” box.

safari extensions

A new menu called “Develop” will appear. Click the “Enable Extensions” sub menu under it.

safari plugins

A new tab called Extensions will also appear in the Preferences window. This is the place where all the added extensions will be listed.

Apple plans to open the Safari Extension library soon, but right now they are in the “building up the collection” stage and you can’t get any official extensions from Apple yet.

But while we are waiting for the official library to open, why not visit the unofficial Safari Extensions site? There are already quite a few extensions there, ready to be downloaded.

safari plugins

Five Useful Unofficial Safari 5 Extensions

If you already itching to try the extensions, you could browse around the unofficial Safari Extensions site and download some of the already available items.

Then to install the extensions, all you have to do is right click on the “.safariextz” files and choose “Open“. Or simply select the file and use Command + O. After that, click “Install” from the confirmation window.

safari plugins

There are cases where plugins from a download manager interrupts the installation process. If this happens to you, just disable the download manager that you use.

Different people might have different preferences, but among the many extensions that are listed on the unofficial site, here are five useful ones that I picked to enhance my browsing experience.

Snapper

This extension will help you to get a screenshot of the current webpage. The current version is only able to get the visible part of the page. The author promises to improve the extension in future releases.

To get a snap of the current page, click the button near the address bar.

safari plugins

Then drag the snapshot to Desktop or another location on your hard drive.

safari add ons

Tweetbar

As the name suggests, this extension will put a Twitter feed in the Safari bar. The first time you activate it, the extension will ask for your Twitter log in information.

safari add ons

Then the Twitter bar will appear.

safari add ons

Facebook Photo Zoom

This extension will zoom out photo thumbnails in Facebook, saving you the effort of clicking the photos one by one. All you need to do is hover your mouse pointer above the thumbnail.

safari add ons

SafariRestore

Will automatically restore the tabs from your previous browsing session. Very useful for those who opens tons of tabs in every browsing session.

03k Tons of tabs.png

AdBlock for Safari

This is the same ad blocking tool for Chrome which is ported for Safari. The author is also working on a port library that will help people to port other Chrome extensions to Safari by abstracting differences between the two browsers.

You can access AdBlock options from the button near the address bar.

03k AdBlock options-1.png

If you ever want to deactivate one of the installed extensions, go to the “Extensions” tab on the Preferences window and uncheck the “Enable (name of the extension)” box. There’s also the “Uninstall” button there.

The Future Of Safari Extensions

I know that many Firefox and Chrome users will say that Safari’s support for extensions is a little bit too late. And it’s also true that the available Safari extensions at the moment are nothing compared to Firefox. But looking at the success of the iPhone/iPad apps, I think that Apple will also be able to pull off this one nicely. Let’s wait and see.

So, what’s your opinion about Safari extensions?  Looks promising or too little too late? Please let us know in the comments below.

  1. macgizmoguy
    June 27, 2010 at 3:37 am

    Apple Mac web-masters might appreciate two Safari 5 Extensions to assess Pagerank and Yahoo back-links of any given page - right from thier toolbar: http://www.seolondon.com/safar...

  2. macgizmoguy
    June 27, 2010 at 1:37 am

    Apple Mac web-masters might appreciate two Safari 5 Extensions to assess Pagerank and Yahoo back-links of any given page - right from thier toolbar: http://www.seolondon.com/safari-backlinks/

  3. Aibek
    June 13, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Chrome is my no.1 choice atm

  4. kyun
    June 13, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Safari have great visual, but I still love mozilla, love their add-on so much.

  5. Jon Edlund
    June 12, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Sorry I posted to wrong article, meant to post to a diff one. :)

  6. Jon Edlund
    June 12, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Hey Nat Jay, have you tried live documents? You can do just about everything, from importing from Google Docs to creating stellar powerpoints to exporting to multiple formats.

    Check it out at http://bit.ly/livedocs

  7. Jon Edlund
    June 12, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Hey Nat Jay, have you tried live documents? You can do just about everything, from importing from Google Docs to creating stellar powerpoints to exporting to multiple formats.

    Check it out at http://bit.ly/livedocs

  8. Jon Edlund
    June 12, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Well, as far as the part in the article where "Apple is too late", I think it is good that Safari took this long to produce extensions for the following reasons:

    1. Apple had to focus on their core product line (Ipod, Ipad, Iphone), before they tried to be like every other browser by adding extensions.

    2. Apple has been very successful in their promotion of their products, such as the new Ipad (despite the recent security breach http://bit.ly/9IzdMM), which means they should continue to perfect that before they delve into a new concept like extensions.

    That's all I have for Apple talk, I really don't like to talk about Apple because Steve Jobs might hear me, oh well thanks for your time.

  9. Jon Edlund
    June 12, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Well, as far as the part in the article where "Apple is too late", I think it is good that Safari took this long to produce extensions for the following reasons:

    1. Apple had to focus on their core product line (Ipod, Ipad, Iphone), before they tried to be like every other browser by adding extensions.

    2. Apple has been very successful in their promotion of their products, such as the new Ipad (despite the recent security breach http://bit.ly/9IzdMM), which means they should continue to perfect that before they delve into a new concept like extensions.

    That's all I have for Apple talk, I really don't like to talk about Apple because Steve Jobs might hear me, oh well thanks for your time.

  10. Crescentdave
    June 12, 2010 at 12:01 am

    Well, safari is definitely behind the curve ... even with chrome, which might explain their dismal market penetration. Having said that ... three things: 1. time and time again, apple has proven its ability to start late and finish at the top. 2. More than anything, Safari (at least on win7) needs to increase it's speed. It can't match FF in terms of extensibility (probably never will) but it can prevail in terms of speed- if it learns how to successfully port itself to the dominant OS. 3. All development which extends the power and breadth of use is a good thing. I'm sure it flies in the face of the Apple model (it would have an extensions store), but Apple has a history of doing what it needs to do in order to succeed.

  11. aenon1mus
    June 11, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Guest podt

  12. aenon1mus
    June 11, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    Filled all fields 3

  13. ænon1mus
    June 11, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    Filled all fields 2

  14. ænon1mus
    June 11, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    Filled all fields

  15. ænon1mus
    June 11, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    Test without password

  16. ænon1mus
    June 11, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    Test again

  17. ænon1mus
    June 11, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    Test without usrname.

  18. ænon1mus
    June 11, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    I'm torn between Safari 5 and Chrome.

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