Top 10 best Safari 5 extensions

Official add-ons for Safari to improve Apple's browser

Top 10 best Safari 5 extensions

With Safari 5, Apple finally caved and made the browser extensible. To turn on extensions, check 'Show Develop menu in menu bar' in Safari's Advanced preferences, and then check Develop > Enable Extensions.

Back in Safari's preferences, you'll see an 'Extensions' tab, for managing extensions and deciding whether updates should be installed automatically.

There's also a large on/off switch, which can be used to disable extensions entirely; this isn't usually necessary, but poorly written extensions cause instability in Safari, most likely because this feature is new and has some kinks that need ironing out.

Our ten favourite extensions of the many already available are listed below. Have we missed your favourite, or is there a Safari extension you'd like to see? If so, post in the comments!

1. User CSS (Mac/Windows)

Safari's advanced preferences enable you to assign a user style sheet and stop fonts from getting too small, but the User CSS extension enables you to assign styles on a per-domain basis—particularly handy if you find type unreadable on specific websites.

User css

2. Better Source (Mac)

Great for developers and also anyone wanting to make use of User CSS, Better Source provides two toolbar buttons. One displays the current page's source code, with line numbers and syntax highlighting; the other displays generated source (after alterations made by Safari or scripts). Note: the script is separate to Safari's own View Source menu item.

Better source

3. View Style Sheets (Mac)

Another developer-oriented extension, View Style Sheets adds an option to the contextual menu which when selected lists a site's style sheets. The list comprises standard links, and so target CSS can be loaded into the current window or new tabs.

View style sheets

4. Tab Utilities (Mac/Windows)

Tab Utilities gives you two toolbar buttons that augment Safari's existing Window > Merge All Windows option. One closes duplicate tabs; the other groups tabs by using a single window for each domain. An option within the extension's preferences enables you to group 'orphan' tabs into a single window as well.

Tab utilities

5. Maximize/Maximieren (Mac)

For a window-resizing extension, Maximize offers a good mix of options and flexibility. Buttons provide single-clicks to half-screen and full-screen, and a toolbar provides further resize settings, based on popular screen sizes (handy for web designers). Should you require a more directly configurable extension, try Resizer.


6. Ultimate Status Bar (Mac/Windows)

By far the best status-bar replacement, Ultimate Status Bar apes Google's 'on only when needed' equivalent, but adds further options. It can lengthen shortened URLs and provide file-size information for downloadable documents, and it also shows icons for links to non-http protocols (such as email and Skype).

Ultimate status bar

7. NoMoreiTunes (Mac/Windows)

Apple annoyingly embeds scripts into iTunes Preview web pages, where it forces iTunes to open the item you're viewing. NoMoreiTunes simply turns that off, which means that, naturally, we think the developer deserves a knighthood/lottery win/diamond mouse mat.


8. Type-To-Navigate (Mac/Windows, excepting shortcuts)

Type-To-Navigate brings type-ahead navigation to Safari, enabling you to start typing to select a link; on Macs, you can also use the Command+G shortcut to select the next link.

Type to navigate

9. Shortenz Linkz (Mac/Windows)

Several shortening-link extensions exist for Safari. Shortenz Linkz has the advantage of 12 selectable services and optional tweeting. In use, you can shorten links via the contextual menu or a toolbar button.

Shortenz linkz

10. Instapaper Article Tools (Mac/Windows)

If you're a fan of Instapaper (as all sane people who read stuff online surely are), you might have chanced across the astonishingly good iPad app, with its useful sidebar controls. Instapaper Article Tools provides a similar toolbar (which floats), and Instapaper Greystyled, also by ElasticThreads, restyles Instapaper, again aping the iPad app.

Instapaper article tools

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