In this posting I am going to highlight five FREE excellent Internet Explorer extensions that you never knew existed: (1) RCGoogle, (2) IECopySelectedLinks, (3) Find as you type, (4) Favorites Search, and (5) Web Archives Viewer.
Internet Explorer may not have the breadth of plugins that exist for Firefox, but it does have many extensions that enhance its functionality and that can greatly increase your productivity. IE extensions, it seems, always have much less .. visibility .. than those for Firefox; in this posting I present to you five must-have Internet Explorer extensions which you never knew existed (but will be very happy to learn about):
1. RCGoogle: the name is misleading, as it suggests that this is yet another right-click-on-a-word-to-search-Google extension. In fact RCGoogle does offer this functionality, but what makes it cool is it’s other function: “Open selected URL”.
Occasionally you might come across URLs (such as hxxp://www.yahoo.com) that have been purposefully (or unpurposefully) distorted or changed that normally would require fixing and copy/pasting into the address box. RCGoogle allows you to simply right click on the URL (or what looks like one ) and choose “open selected URL” in the context menu to open it. It is quite powerful as it can handle a wide range of URL problems. Check out the following examples, all of which it can handle without a hitch: (http) hxxp://www.yahoo.com; (www) w*w.yahoo.com; (typos) htp://yahoo.com; (whitespaces) http://www. yahoo.com; (or a combination of the above) h**p:’/***.yahoo .com. Of course you can use RCGoogle to open non-maligned URLs as well. Works for http and ftp URLs both.
2. IECopySelectedLinks: this little extension allows you to select a bunch of text that contains links to multiple URLs, then right-click “copy selected links” to copy all links to the clipboard (the text itself will not be copied). Very cool!
3. Find as you type: installs a search box on the IE toolbar that will interactively find and highlight the first instance of the search string as you type it. It also makes it easy to scroll through instances of the search string in the page, and adds the ability to highlight all instances of your search string that occur in the page. (The screenshot illustrates this very well).
If you use IE’s internal CTRL+F function you simply MUST check this one out; it will make your life so much easier. Note that this function is available as part of other IE addons such as the famous IE7Pro and ALToolbar.
4. Favorites Search: as the name implies, this IE extension provides you with the ability to search your favorites. This program will look inside both the names as well as the URLs of your stored favorites when looking for matches, and works really well.
The “Favorites Search” plugin can provide a substitute for organizing your favorites in folders it enables you to retrieve a bookmark that you are looking for in your collection of favorites simply by searching for it (but then again you could always search Google).
Make sure to add the “Favorites Search” button to your IE toolbar, as that is the easiest and most user friendly way to access this plugin. To do this run the installer then launch IE; right click the command bar, select “Customize command bar” then “add and remove commands”, then add the “Favorites Search” button from the left pane to the list of
available commands (on the right pane) in the placement you like.
To download visit the program page (approx 750K).
5. Web Archives Viewer: adds an entry to IE’s context menu that allows you right click on a zip archive without downloading it in order to peer inside and examine its contents (you are not able to drag and drop into your desktop though!).
To download visit the developer’s page (approx 554K); scroll all the way down the page.
For more cool IE extensions look at the following:
- CoolIris (formerly Piclens).
- Tidy Favorites
- Local Website Archive
- IE Open Last Closed Tab
- IE Alias