Software

How to leverage Safari extensions to maximize your Mac's operation

Safari extensions permit Mac users to add functionality and convenience directly within their web-surfing sessions. Here's how to use and find Safari plug-ins that save time and add convenience.

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Image: Apple Inc.

Once you've navigated the web using Safari extensions, it's likely you'll find it hard to go back to not using the plug-ins.

Apple maintains a web page that lists a number of Safari extensions. These third-party software packages extend Safari's functionality by providing additional functionality, features, shortcuts, and capabilities from directly within the Safari web browser.

For example, the Grammarly for Safari plug-in enables proofreading the text you type on sites and within online documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and similar materials. The 1Password extension permits 1Password users to integrate password, credit card, registration, and similar information directly within the browser. The Evernote Web Clipper enables clipping articles from directly within Safari for reading later on any device using Evernote. Microsoft's OneNote Web Clipper is another such alternative.

The trade-off is security. Users should ensure they use only reputable plug-ins from companies with which they are familiar or already possess a relationship and account. 1Password, Evernote, Grammarly, and Microsoft are but four examples.

SEE: Apple's first employee: The remarkable odyssey of Bill Fernandez (PDF download) (TechRepublic)

How to access Safari extensions

To access Safari extensions, follow these steps.

  1. Open the Safari web browser.
  2. Click Safari from the menu bar and select Preferences.
  3. Click the Extensions icon. Installed extensions are listed within the left pane (Figure A).

Figure A

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Safari extensions are selected and enabled using the Safari Preferences menu.

Erik Eckel


For example, the Reddit Enhancement Suite 4.5.4 appears on my Mac, as I rely upon the extension to assist reading and reviewing the site's content. I've found Grammarly helpful, too.

Add popular extensions by clicking the More Extensions button located at the bottom of the Safari Extensions screen. Clicking the button opens the Safari Extensions Gallery. Popular extensions include those previously mentioned, as well as ad blockers, translators, auction site tools, VPN utilities, notification apps, and social media plug-ins. Apple also offers extensions category listings for all the following topics:

There are many reputable plug-ins from which to select. If you've never experimented with Safari extensions, give a few basics a try.

Also see

About Erik Eckel

Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president o...

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