Apple began following in the footsteps of Firefox and Chrome this summer, by allowing developers to create extensions for its Safari 5 web browser. Here's our pick of the 30 best add-ons.
A port of the popular Chrome extension, AdBlock does what its name says it does: It blocks most ads, both graphic and Flash-based, from being displayed.
Plugin Customs automatically keeps content from loading if it requires any Safari plug-in (most commonly Adobe Flash). This can keep poorly coded content from slowing down your browsing or page-loading times and keep away annoying animations and video.
A gray box that displays the plug-in type is shown at the same size as the actual plug-in content. To view the content, simply click the gray box.
If you're just interested in articles and other content and don't care about comments and potential flame wars, Shut Up from Ricky Romero is a great plug-in because it prevents the comments section of most web pages from loading. As a result, it also speeds up page loading and rendering.
Not into social networking? Open Bits Software's Shellfish blocks the various 'share' buttons for most social networks that are now embedded in most articles, blog posts and other web content.
Better social networking
Twitter for Safari
There are a plethora of Twitter-related extensions. The best, however, is the one from Twitter itself, which makes it easy to tweet about web pages as you surf, view top trends and see who is talking about a site or article. It's handy for business users who want to keep tabs on what people are saying about their products, companies or websites.
The extension adds a toolbar with a Twitter search form, the top 10 trending topics on Twitter, and buttons to post new tweets or to see tweets related to whatever page you're currently looking at. Clicking 'Tweet' opens your Twitter.com home page and, if you're logged in, creates a new tweet with the page title and shortened URL of whatever page you're looking at; otherwise it prompts you to log in. Clicking 'Related Tweets' opens a sidebar listing the last 15 tweets that link to or mention the page you are on.
A number of extensions offer easy access to link-shortening services, but Shortenz Linkz from Trailing Zee Productions takes the cake: It supports the widest range of services, can be used to tweet links automatically and offers some support for customized link creation (such as for Flickr and YouTube as well as Bit.ly accounts). Shortenz Linkz isn't available in the Safari Extensions Gallery, but you can download it from the developer's site.
If you want your Facebook experience to be just about what's in your timeline or on your wall, SonsterMedia's Facebook Cleaner is the perfect plug-in for you. It blocks almost everything else, including ads, friend suggestions and references to things your friends like, as well application-specific items like pokes, from appearing in the Facebook sidebar. And it speeds up Facebook load times a bit.
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