Don’t confuse browser extensions with hair extensions (and no, the dog doesn’t have any extensions). First, browser extensions are more helpful than decorative, and second, they are quick and easy to install. And they make your life online so much more productive!
What exactly IS a browser extension?
Browser extensions (also called add ons) are little utilities that extend the functionality of your browser. It makes the browser do things that help you be more productive. And if you have ever said, “I wish I could just… ” about being on the Internet, there’s probably a browser extension that will let you do it.
Most of the popular browsers have extensions you can use. The best way to discover what’s available for your favorite browser and how to access them is to Google it. For example, “Install Firefox extensions.”
Some helpful extensions
There are literally thousands of extensions to choose from. From weather to shopping to sports to the stock market and just about anything else you are interested in, you can find an extension.
My suggestion is to start with some that others recommend, and then when you have time to explore, do a search for the top or favorite or most productive extensions. You’ll find lots of recommendations.
Here are my favorites…
1Password – I exported my passwords a couple of years ago to a spreadsheet, and at that time I had nearly 500 different logins, both for myself and all my clients. Obviously, there’s no way I can remember all of them, and it would be very time consuming to look up each and every password I need to get through the day. I use 1Password to manage them all, and each browser I use has an extension for that program. I go to a login page, click the icon, and it logs me in. There are other password saving programs out there, too, like LastPass, and they also have browser extensions.
Evernote Web Clipper – If you use Evernote, you know how wonderful it is for storing bits and pieces of information. The Evernote Web Clipper extension allows you to save whatever you are looking at on the Web with just a couple of clicks. You can save the whole page, sidebars and everything, or just the main article. You can create a bookmark in your Evernote account. You can even grab a screen shot of something on the page. And then you can add the appropriate tags right from the interface so it is already categorized for you in your Evernote account. Pretty slick.
ColorZilla – Because I work with graphics and HTML, it is often important for me to know the exact color of something on the Net. The ColorZilla extension gives me a little eye dropper icon that I can move over the page and see the “hex numbers” for the colors. It also keeps track of several past “picks” and allows me to go back and get those numbers as well. Very helpful.
MeasureIt – This extension allows me to identify the size of an area on a page in pixels – very helpful in deciding how large to make a graphic.
What are some of your favorite browser extensions?