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80,259 News Articles

The 30 best Safari extensions - so far

How to customise your Apple web browser

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.

Better Facebook
Facebook Cleaner is great if you're just interested in cleaning up Facebook's appearance, but if you want to go whole-hog with Facebook customisation, give Better Facebook a whirl. The extension makes dozens of changes to your Facebook home page, such as separating status updates that originated on Facebook from posts imported from Twitter, adding your 'Liked' pages to the main page, and adding buttons to mark read posts as 'read' so you don't waste time re-reading them.

If you don't like any of these changes, you can easily change them back in the extension's myriad options, which also let you do everything from forcing Facebook to display the Most Recent feed instead of the edited News Feed to automatically loading older posts as you approach the bottom of the page and hiding old comments when you revisit a post to see new comments.

Another nice feature is the Privacy Scan, which uses the tool from ReclaimPrivacy.org to check your page for potential leaks of information to people other than your friends.

YourVersion combines the social bookmarking features of sites like Delicious with the broadcasting abilities of Twitter and Facebook and the serendipity of discovery sites like StumbleUpon. Click the YourVersion button in your Safari toolbar and a window opens on your current page offering a shortened URL for that page. You can copy and paste it wherever you want or use the shortcuts to automatically create a Twitter post, Facebook update or email message with the link embedded.

If you register for a free YourVersion account, the links you send will also be saved to your account. You can also simply bookmark pages for later reference. Entering a topic and clicking the 'Discover' button opens a YourVersion page listing pages other users have shared or bookmarked that relate to your search terms. (An account is not necessary for bookmarking or Discover features.)


Want to see a larger version of a website image when you hover your cursor over it? Side Tree Media's HoverZoom does just that at a range of sites, including Facebook, Flickr, Picasa and Twitter. It works with a surprisingly large range of non-social-media sites as well and optionally offers zoomed-in previews of many Web video sources in addition to still images.

YouTube Downloader
There are a number of open-source and shareware applications that allow you to download video from YouTube for offline viewing. YouTube Downloader from Bronenos blows them out of the water. It adds buttons directly above a video on YouTube's site (but not videos embedded on other sites) that let you download in either FLV or MP4 formats. This is a great option for later video viewing or for building YouTube content into presentations or multimedia projects (while obeying copyright and/or fair use rules, of course).

YouTube Downloader isn't available in the Safari Extensions Gallery, but you can download it from the developer's site.

NEXT PAGE: Reference, search, translation and more

  1. Apple follows in Mozilla and Google's footsteps
  2. Beyond the Extensions Gallery
  3. More tab, toolbar and navigation tweaks
  4. Privacy and security
  5. Blocking annoyances
  6. More social networking add-ons
  7. Reference, search, translation and more
  8. Instapaper, Google Reader and Gmail
  9. Final thoughts

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