10 Best Safari Extensions Which Are Actually Useful in 2018
Out of all the preloaded apps that come with the macOS, Safari is probably my most favorite. It is fast, it is easy on resources, and I love how well it integrates the trackpad gestures. I mean the two-finger swipe to go back and forward a page without having to load them is just ingenious. I also love the always-on reader mode along with the new privacy features like “prevent cross site tracking” which came with the new macOS high sierra update.
That said, it was hard for me to switch completely from Chrome because of the time I had invested in it to set it exactly the way I liked it. Chrome also offered me a plethora of extensions which helped me add a ton of features which is not found natively in any browser. In my switch from Chrome to Safari, the single hardest thing was to find an alternative to those extensions. While I could not find them all, I found plenty of them which made the transition easier. I won’t lie, I still use Chrome a lot, but since finding these extensions, my life has become so much easier on Safari and now I use it as my primary browser. I this article, I am going to share those extensions with you.
Best Safari Extensions in 2018
Before we get into the list, one thing to note here is that not all the extensions that I mention are present in the Safari extension store. Many of them are hosted in places like Github and the installation process for them is quite different from the ones present on the Safari extension store. That’s why to make things easier, we will first see how we can install the extensions which are not present in the Safari extension store:
Installing Safari Extension
The first step is pretty simple. Click on the given links to download the installation package. Once downloaded, it will look like what is shown in the picture below.
2. Double click on the file and click on the “Trust” button in the dialogue box that opens.
3. That’s it. Now open Safari and you should see your extension right where it belongs.
Okay, with that out of the way, let’s get into our list, shall we?
Safari Extensions that are Actually Useful in 2018
1. AdGuard AdBlocker
Let’s start with the first extension that everybody installs on every browser that they use. By the way, if you are not using one right now, you definitely should. The internet is a place which is full of knowledge but that knowledge comes with a lot of ads. In some part, we consumers are to blame as it’s in our nature to want to get everything for free. But nothing is actually free and we all know it. Websites earn money by showing ads on them and while I don’t mind ads as I like to support the creators in any way I can, some of them just become greedy and put up too many intrusive ads.
That’s where AdGuard comes in. It blocks those intrusive ads while allowing the ones which do not hamper our browsing experience. There are many other ad-blocker extensions for Safari and if you are looking at something else, AdBlock Plus, and uBlock Origin are your best bet. I will link all there of them below. You can choose anyone which fits your needs.
2. Save to Pocket
If you are reading this article, chances are you read a lot on the internet. While sometimes you have time to read the articles when you find them, sometimes you are just in a hurry. That’s where Pocket comes to our rescue. If you don’t know, Pocket is a read it later service which saves the articles offline and allows you to read it later at your own leisure. It’s a very handy tool as apart from being a Safari extension, Pocket also has a macOS, iOS, and Android apps. And since the service syncs across the devices, you can easily read the articles which you saved on Safari, on your iPhone or Android device, even when you are on the move.
To use the Pocket extension of Safari, first, click on the link to install the extension. Once the extension is installed, you will get a page where you can sign up for the service. Signing up is required to use the service with its sync feature. You can also log in if you are already using the service. Now, once you are on an article like this one, click on the Pocket button, add a tag if you want to, and then click on the save button. The article will be saved for offline reading. You can find the article by visiting Pocket’s web app or any of the apps mentioned above. Another extension which does the same thing as Pocket and has become really popular in recent times is Instapaper. All the setup process and features are the same. I will add the link for both the extensions below, and you can choose the one which you find more to your liking.
Now that we have taken care of ads and found a way to read the articles offline, let’s add some beauty to the otherwise bland internet. Stylish is an extension which makes the internet more beautiful. The extension allows you to different styles to popular websites with just a click of the button. When you are on the websites like Medium or YouTube or Reddit, you can just click on the Stylish extension button and it will pull up a list of all the styles available for those websites. Once you are happy with one, click to install the theme. I am telling you, you will see the internet as you have never seen before.
If for some reason the extension is not able to pull up any themes when you click on it. Click on the “Find More” button which opens up in the popup window. It will open a new tab in your browser which will show the available themes for the website. Click on the Install button to install the theme you like. If you want to see a list of supported websites and themes, click here to visit the Stylish website.
Although Stylish is a very good extension, sadly it doesn’t work on every website. As I said earlier, its themes are available only for popular websites. However, once you are used to the black themes, you will want to get that on every website, especially if you are doing some serious reading in the middle of the night. That’s where NightLight fits in. The best part about this extension is that it brings night mode to the whole internet. First, install the extension by clicking on the link provided below. To use NightLight, all you need to do is to click on the extension icon and turn it on.
If it doesn’t work, refresh the page once and the dark mode will be enabled. As you can see in the pictures above, my website now has a dark mode which is neither natively supported nor is supported by the Stylish plugin.
HoverSee is a nifty little extension which allows users to hover over any image, video, or link and see a preview of the content. I use this extension a lot when I am on YouTube as it helps me preview a video before I play it. It really saves me a ton of time because I don’t have to go back and forth to see if a video is worth my time or not. That said, in my testing, the extension worked for images and videos but failed to give me a preview of links.
I hope that the link preview feature is fixed in a future update as that will really make it a no-brainer. Before you say it, I know apple provides a force-touch to preview feature which is same as what HoverSee does, but hovering over to see a preview is far better than force-clicking on something, at least for me. I won’t say it’s a must-have extension, but it certainly is a useful one.
This is the extension which will change the way you how you use Safari. This is by far the best extension I have discovered for Safari. It literally has so many functions that it will be impossible to list every one of them here. All you need to know is that sVim extension let’s use you Safari without ever needing the trackpad. It maps various functions to your keyboard keys. For example, you can use the “J” key to scroll down, “K” key to scroll up, “W” key to open the next window, “G+W” key to go to the next window and double tap the “G” key to get to the top of the page.
All these shortcuts and I haven’t even scratched the surface of sVim functions. There are more than 40 pre-mapped functions that you can use. You can click on this link to see all the functions you can perform. If you want to revisit this page, just click on the sVim extension icon and click on the “Show Help” button. Believe me, once you make using this a habit, you will use never go back to using trackpad gestures.
Now that we have gotten the reading experience covered, let’s make our writing experience a little better on the web. Grammarly is a popular Safari extension which detects your grammatical mistakes on the fly. Whether you are typing a new email, writing a blog post, or bickering on social media, Grammarly will make sure that there are no grammatical mistakes in your write-up. That said, advanced grammatical mistake detection is a paid option, still, the free version is enough to remove the most horrendous mistakes.
The best part about using Grammarly is that once the extension is installed, you don’t need to do anything as it will automatically detect all the fields where you are typing and show you your mistakes along with the suggested corrections. However, once installed, you do need to sign up for the service. Apart from its Safari extension, Grammarly also offers its own macOS, Android, and iOS apps.
8. Website Opener
Website Opener is a useful extension which can help you a lot if you are used to opening the same websites every day. You can add multiple websites in the extension and when you click on it, all the websites will open at once. To add websites, first, install the extension and then force click on it. Here, you will see that Website Opener’s own website is already added. Click on the remove button to delete it. Now, one by one copy and paste the URLs of the websites that you want to open and click on the “Add” button.
Once you are done adding the Websites, click on Save. Now, every time you click on the extension’s button, it will open all the added websites at once. You can watch the GIF below to see it in action. I cannot tell you how much time it saves me every day. I am a big Redditer and follow various sub-Reddits. The Website Opener extension helps me in opening all of them with just one click. Just remember, click to open the websites and force click to open the extension’s configuration window.
Download: Website Opener
9. Awesome Screenshots
Although Mac comes with its own handy screenshot tool, it doesn’t let you annotate those screenshots without first opening them in the Preview app. Sometimes you just need to take a quick screenshot of your browser, do quick annotations, and share it with other people. Awesome Screenshot lets you do all that in just a few seconds. Once you click on the extension icon you can get three different options; you can either capture the visible part of the webpage, capture the whole webpage or just capture a selection of the webpage.
Once you have taken the screenshot, you can quickly annotate on it and drag it onto your Mac to save it. It’s as easy as that. You can see the GIF above to see how easy it is to take a screenshot, annotate it, and then save it. If you take a lot of screenshots on your browser, this extension can help you a lot of time.
Download: Awesome Screenshots
Liner is a very helpful tool for someone who someone who likes to read and share content on the internet. There are many times that we come across articles which are worth sharing, however, we know that the nobody is going to read the whole article. What if there was a way to share articles with the most important parts already highlighted. If you have ever used Medium, you will know what I am talking about. Well, Liner brings that functionality to the whole of the internet. Once you install the extension, first click on it to register on the Liner’s service (see pictures below).
Now, whenever you are on an article, click on the Liner extension icon. A dialogue box will open instantly telling you that the “Highlight Mode” is on. Now you can drag and drop any part of the article to highlight the text. The dialogue box will also create a custom link for that article which you can share in any way you like. Once someone clicks on the link, it will open the article you were reading with all the highlighted lines in place. It’s a really cool to have if you want to share articles with already highlighted important parts.
Best Safari Extensions: Conclusion
That ends our list of the best Safari extensions which actually work in 2018. Now, this is not an exhaustive list by any means, in fact, when I started this article, there were 22 extensions on my list. However, I kept the list to ten as already the article has become longer than I anticipated. That said, these are the 10 best Safari extensions you can use. If you like to add your suggestions and see it included in the list be sure to drop them down in the comments section below.
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