The best Internet Explorer add-ins

No need to be jealous of Firefox's plug-ins, because you can get cool add-ins for IE, too.

Inline Search

Hate the way that Internet Explorer searches on a Web page, and wish it were more like Firefox?

Then you'll love this Inline Search, which in essence duplicates Firefox's search capabilities.

When you press Ctrl-F to search on a Web page (called inline search), you don't get the normal Internet Explorer floating search box.

Instead, a search box appears at the bottom of the page and you jump to search matches as you type.

IE7 Open Last Closed Tab

How often have you closed down a tab accidentally and wished that you could re-open it to the Web site you were just visiting? This little free add-in does it. After you've closed a tab, and wished you hadn't, press Alt-X, and the tab will re-open to the Web site you were visiting.

Even better, you can open not just the previous tab you closed, but ones you closed before that one as well. Press Alt-Q, and you'll see a list of all the tabs you've recently closed, as you can see in the nearby figure. Double-click any to reopen it. You can control how many tabs the program remembers in this way, from as few as five to as many as 200.

This add-in duplicates one of the features of IE7Pro, but it's ideal if you just want the tab-handling feature and not the other functionality of IE7Pro.

GooglePreviewIE

Google may help you narrow down your search for information, but wouldn't it be nice if you could get a better sense of whether each site really matches what you're looking for? GooglePreviewIE add-in helps. It shows you a thumbnail preview of each of your search results, so that you'll have a better sense of what you'll visit if you click. It works for Amazon and Yahoo as well. You'll only see thumbnail previews if you use the search box on the GooglePreviewIE tool bar itself. Searching from Google, Amazon or Yahoo -- or from Internet Explorer's own search box -- won't show previews.

ieSpell

How many times have you been embarrassed by a spelling error you've made on the Web -- for example, when creating and sending e-mail from Web-based e-mail sites such as Gmail -- or on your blog?

Probably more than you'd like, or more than you even know. Here's a simple solution -- get ieSpell. It's a simple-to-use spell checker that integrates directly into Internet Explorer.

It works just like the spell checker in a word processing program and lets you add your own words to the dictionary. Also, ieSpell works anywhere you type in text, including forms, blogs, Web-based e-mail and more.

In addition to checking your spelling, it also will look up definitions in Merriam-Webster online or link you to Wikipedia. You can even integrate the spell checker with your Microsoft Office spell checker so that they share the same custom dictionary.

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Preston Gralla

Computerworld
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