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10 Safari plugins that could make you drop Firefox

Wait, Safari has plug-ins? Yes, it's true! When it comes to choosing a browser, a lot of people consider Safari because of its speed and standards support, but ultimately settle on Firefox for one reason: plug-ins. Firefox has a plugin for everything, and it's hard to live without them once you get used to the added functionality. Some of the best plugins have Safari equivalents, though, so take a look at these and see if it changes your mind about Apple's browser.


Glims is the pinnacle of Safari plugins, adding a whole Swiss Army knife of features to your browser. Glims does tabs really well, letting you open links in a new tab instead of a new window, and choose whether new tabs open on the left or the right. It restores tabs from previous sessions.

It adds thumbnails to Google and Yahoo! search results. It lets you change search engines, and adds configurable search suggestions. And, as if that weren't enough for one plugin, It also allows you to enable full screen mode. You can adjust all of these features in the preferences, so don't skip Glims just because it sounds like more than you need.


Saft is a direct Glims competitor, offering a slightly different (and a bit more extensive) set of features. The two plugins tend to conflict, so take a look at what both have to offer before you decide which one to install. It's also worth noting that the full version of Saft costs $12.


If you've used Firefox, you might be familiar with Greasemonkey, a plugin that lets you run site-specific userscripts to add features to (or remove annoyances from) your favorite sites. Greasekit is the Safari equivalent, and most of the scripts you love in Greasemonkey will also work properly in Greasekit. Here are 10 of my favorites to get you started.

Safari AdBlock

With PithHelmet lingering and not yet updated for Safari 4, your best bet to block ads is Safari AdBlock. It's a simple install, and it works well with very little configuration.

PDF Browser Plugin

If you prefer to view PDFs within the browser, this is the plugin to grab. It works in Firefox, too, so this is one area where Safari gets equal plugin treatment. PDF Browser Plugin also makes it easy to download PDF files, in case you decide you want to view them offline after all.


For serious Delicious users, a good plugin for the service is crucial. DeliciousSafari handles the complete Delicious experience, from creating bookmarks to tagging and organizing. It adds a "Delicious" menu to Safari, and you can manage everything about your Delicious account from there. The full version of DeliciousSafari comes with a $10 pricetag.


SafariStand is another multi-purpose plugin, and its best feature is a sidebar with thumbnails of all your open tabs. If you've seen the OmniWeb or Shiira browsers, you might recognize this feature. SafariStand also does other neat tricks like color labels for bookmarks, and saving and restoring your current tabs as "workspaces." One caveat: SafariStand is Mac-only.


ClickToFlash is billed as "your web browsing prophylactic," and that sounds about right. It hides Flash content until you click on it, which blocks out annoying advertisements, autoplaying videos, and other web hazards. If you regularly visit specific sites with Flash content you want to see, you can whitelist them to avoid any problems.


Inquisitor adds instant search to Safari's search field, displaying a handful of results in just a second. It's a great time-saver, because it often allows you to skip over the Google results page entirely, and go directly to the site you're looking for.


Twitter addicts take note: Safari140 is an extension that lets you tweet from any webpage. It auto-shortens URLs, and auto-fills with a link to the current site. Safari140 posts directly to Twitter, with no need to go through the Twitter web interface. It's also integrated into the Newsfire RSS reader, which is a project by the same developer.

While these are my 10 favorite plugins, there are plenty more out there. A good place to start looking is Pimp My Safari. It's not exactly the Firefox add-on repository, but it's worth a look.

Tags: add-ons, extensions, glims, greasekit, inquisitor, plugins, safari, saft