Leveraging Safari Extensions

Apple - Safari - Safari Extensions Gallery I have had my MacBook Pro for about 9 months now, and I can safely say that I could not be more pleased with it.  Sure there were growing pains, and some crossover adjustments, but I can also say that I can probably count on one hand, OK maybe two the number of days in the last nine months that I wasn't using it for something. In fact, just today Trish and I were having lunch and I thanked here again for getting me such an amazing Christmas present… Just for the record, I took her to Cabo San Lucas for Christmas and surprised her with a solid white gold bracelet. I know I am rambling a bit here, back to my scheduled blog post.

So, since is opened my MBP, I have been leveraging Safari as my primary browser.  I know there are Chrome and Firefox lovers out there. Both are installed on my MBP, but the way Safari handles entering URL's (just type 2-3 characters of sites you have visited and hit enter and poof you are there), speed, colors, readability, etc. 1Password integration, fit really well into my workflow.  Now with the rollout of Safari 5, Apple opened Safari to extensions and a world of helpers came into being.  Again, I know that Firefox has had extensions for years, and Chrome almost since its launch, I get it…

If you have not examined the possibilities that Safari extensions open up, simply Launch Safari, Click on Safari in the menu bar and choose Safari Extensions Gallery.  Better yet, here is a quick screencast courtesy of Jing and screencast.com.

http://content.screencast.com/users/Scott.Weidig/folders/Jing/media/f60e05d3-48b2-4680-9ce4-341ebf1161ef/jingswfplayer.swf
 

There are a couple I would like to highlight here that I am finding fascinating and useful:

Turn Off the Lights

Stefan vd

This extension dims everything in the background, so you can enjoy the video you’re watching without any distractions.  

Dock
This is a really neat extension the simply grey's out everything but the video portion of the screen with a simple click of a button next to your address bar.  A second click returns your screen to normal.

Blog It

Six Apart Ltd.

Blog It is an official extension for TypePad that lets you quickly post articles, photos, video, and more to your blog, right from the Safari toolbar. Just click the Blog It button, customize your post, and publish.

Being a TypePad user, this was a natural for me.  While I do a great deal of mobile blogging via iBlogger [iTunes Link] iconI still can't seem to land on an offline blogging tool of choice so I use TypePad's online composer for most of my MBP created posts.  The "Blog it" extension leaps past the simple Blog It java script.  As I am grazing through me RSS feeds, or trolling the web, now I can simply click on a TypePad icon to the left of my address bar and an overlay window pops up. The extension then parses through the article I was reading automatically pulling images and snippets of text into quoted areas to be wrapped inside of my post. Screen shots below:

  Arc
Arc
As you can see in the second screen shot, you can even leverage the extension to post to your different blogs. The one thing that I would like to see in the future is for categories and keywords/tags to the posts.  As it is now, I can draft and post the article, but need to go back into the online editor to categorize and keyword/tag the post… it would definitely be a useful change. 

I am looking forward to the continual expansion of the Safari Extension Gallery.  I might even try my hand at creating an extension or two.  I would love to have a couple of direct links into Zoho for the services I leverage from them… 

If you have a favorite or an idea for an extension I would love to hear them.

Note: iTunes Link in this post is part of an affiliate program. If you make a purchasing decision after clicking through the link, I will receive a few cents from Apple.

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