Search the web smarter with these free Safari extensions for Apple Mac

Search the web better and smarter by adding special search extensions to Safari on the Apple Mac

Search engines are among the most popular sites on the web and with these free Safari Extensions for the Apple Mac you can search better and smarter to get the results you need.

Install a Safari extension

You will find extensions for Safari on third party websites, but the safest place to get them is from Apple’s Safari Extensions Gallery. Open Safari and click Safari Extensions to go there in the browser.

The extensions below are all from the Search Tools category. Select the category and you will soon find the extensions. There is an Install link under each one. Extensions often work straight away, but you might need to close Safari and reopen it.

SearchPreview

This free extension by Edward Ackroyd enhances the search results at Google, Bing, Yahoo! and DuckDuckGo. After installing it from the Safari Extensions gallery, go to one of these four search engines and search for something. It doesn’t matter what.

It depends what you search for, but without the extension you might simply get a dull text listing of search results. However, the search engines sometimes place a small number of website previews at the top of the search results. There aren't many and below them are just text headings and URLs. Search results are mostly boring text.

The SearchPreview extension inserts a thumbnail image of the website into those boring text-based search results. As you can see below, it makes the results listing much more visually attractive and you can get an idea of what the website looks like. I searched for Game of Thrones.

SearchPreview extension for Safari on the Apple Mac adds thumbnail images to search results

The thumbnail is small, so you cannot see small details, but it is a great addition to Safari.

AnySearch

Go to Safari > Preferences and select the Search tab. There is a choice of four search engines and you can choose Google, Bing, Yahoo! and DuckDuckGo. When you type a word or phrase into Safari’s address box (anything that isn’t a URL), a search is performed at the search engine specified in Preferences.

These four search engines are the biggest and best known, but there are actually many more. For example, there is Ask, Dogpile, AOL, and site-specific searches at Wikipedia, Amazon, YouTube, Reddit and so on.

Install AnySearch by Matt Swain and you can select whichever search engine you want from a long list of options, and you can also add your own custom site searches too. For example, if you find Ask is best for the searches you perform, you can set the address box to search using Ask.

AnySearch safari extension enables you to search from the address box using any search engine

AnySearch adds an icon to the toolbar that enables you to easily switch search engines any time you want. You can also disable searching from the address box and it then becomes a place that only accepts URLs.

The search engine can also be set by going to Safari > Preferences > Extensions and then select the AnySearch extension. Select the search engine from the drop-down list.

Ultralink

This Safari extension works in a different way to the other two and it is a sort of information resource and search helper. Install Ultralink and when a web page is visited, many of the words and phrases on the page are turned into hyperlinks.

Move the mouse around the text on the page and if there is a link, the mouse changes to the pointing finger and the word or phrase is highlighted. You can see all the Ultralinks on a page by holding down the Option key.

Sometimes there are a lot of them, but it depends on the type of content. It works best on articles with several paragraphs of text.

Ultralink safari Extension for the Apple Mac turns text on web pages into clickable hyperlinks

Click a highlighted link and there are buttons that display an image, an explanation from Wikipedia, a Map from Google, and so on. It is really clever and it enables you to more easily look up related information.

If a person or place is mentioned, clicking the link displays information about them or a map. If there are technical terms, you can see an explanation, and so on. This is a useful extension for boosting your general knowledge.

Uninstall a Safari Extension

If you no longer want to use a Safari extension, go to the Safari menu and click Preferences. Select the Extensions tab and clear the tick against the one you want to disable. To remove an extension completely, select it and then click the Uninstall button.

 

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I didn't know about these extensions. Thanks for the information!

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