Don's Freeware Corner articles are printed in the UTAH VALLEY TECHNOLOGY AND GENEALOGY GROUP (UVTAGG) Newsletter TAGGology each month and are posted on his Class Notes Page where there may be corrections and updates.


2020 Donald R. Snow - Last updated 2020-06-07


Extensions and add-ons are small programs that work with browsers.  They are called extensions for Chrome and add-ons for Firefox and other browsers.  They are usually free and are easily installed in the browser to accomplish small tasks such as highlighting words in Google search results or making articles easier to read by taking out the ads.  The ones installed are listed in a section of the browser and there are places to go to find and install additional extensions.  There are hundreds of them that you can use, some of much better quality than others, and they are usually rated by the number of stars from 1 to 5. This Freeware Corner article discusses extensions for the Chrome browser, but the same principles apply to other browsers.  You just have to find where they are listed in the browser to see which have already been installed and then find additional ones you want to install.


For the Chrome browser the extension icons are on the main toolbar to the right of the address box.  If there are too many to show on the line, the rest will be shown at the top of the menu after clicking the 3-verticle-dots iccon (upper right corner).  I have more than 20 extensions on my Chrome browser, some of which I never use and could delete, but never take the time to check.  You can also leave them on your browser, but turn them off so they aren't working.  Here are screenshots of the icons that show on my Chrome browser. 


To see others installed click on the 3-verticle-dot icon at the top right. The menu that opens has the rest of your extension icons at the top.  Here's a screenshot.



To see all that you have installed and running or not, click on the 3-verticle-dot icon and go down to More Tools > Extensions.  Here's a screenshot of part of the list I have installed.


You can note that there is an on-off button for each, so you can turn them off, if you want to, but leave them installed.  Following is a list of some of the Chrome extensions that I use regularly with brief descriptions of what they do.  
Google searches for these names will give you more infotrmation and tell you where you can find them for other browsers.

EVERNOTE WEB CLIPPER -- saves webpages to my Evernote file
SAVE TO POCKET -- save articles to my Pocket account (free) to read later on my computer, smartphone, or tablet
HIGH CONTRAST -- Helps make text more readable for my poor eyesight
SAVE TO THE WAYBACK MACHINE -- Saves webpages to the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine so they are preserved
PRINT FRIENDLY & PDF -- makes webpages easier to read and will save them in PDF
HIGHLIGHT KEYWORDS FOR GOOGLE SEARCH -- highlights the search terms in Google results
PASSWORD CHECKUP EXTENSION -- Checks passwords as I type them in to see if they are strong or have been compromised


To find more extensions, in Chrome, go to More Tools > Extensions and click on the "hamburger" icon (3 horizontal bars, top left) > Extensions > Open Chrome Web Store (lower left corner).  This is where they have many extensions and apps that you can use.  Most are free, but look before you click the Install button.  After installing, a small window shows you what the icon looks like and what it does.  You may find some really helpful ones here, e.g. for pdfs, or high contrast for easier reading, or genealogy, though I haven't found very many for genealogy.  If there is some operation that you do regularly in your browser, there may be an extension that will help.  People write new ones all the time, so check back again later.  You can do searches for any keywords you want, e.g. pdf readers or html editors or search tools in the Search Extensions box.  Or just try Googling your keywords and extensions.   If you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, try searching for that name or LDS or Mormon.  For any extensions installed on your Chrome, you can turn them off, but leave them installed, so you can turn them back on again.  If you really don't ever use it, just click to remove it and the icon will be removed, too.  You can always reinstall it, if you ever want to.


Extensions are helpful small programs for browsers and you may find some very helpful.  I use the Evernote Web Clipper several times each week when I find webpages I want to keep a copy of.  I also use the High Contrast extension to make webpages easier to read for me.  Maybe you'll find something helpful here, too.