With your freshly installed Internet Explorer 7, take time to explore our library of add-ons. The IE Add-Ons website has over 400 add-ons registered to date, and many more are on the way. The IE7 team took the last few weeks (in between last minute bug fixes) to collect our must-have list below. All of the add-ons in our list are free to download, integrate well with IE7, and provide extraordinary functionality.
Stay Safe and Secure: Windows Defender is a must-have for anyone concerned about spyware and other forms of malware. Windows Defender identifies and removes spyware and other potentially unwanted software installed on your computers. Automatic download of signatures keeps you up to date on the latest threats. Anyone who's had to help their friends rebuild a PC after spyware infection will want this add-on everywhere.
Enhance the functionality of IE7: The great wealth of add-ons for IE includes a number of which add generic features to the browser. Two of these add-ons made our must-have list. IESpell adds spell-checking and dictionary lookup to any text typed into web forms. For those who have difficulty spelling (who doesn't?) it will save you time and again. Inline Search highlights text while-you-type searching within the current page. When you press Ctrl-F, a search bar is displayed on the bottom of the screen. IE highlights matches as you type. The inline search add-on has quickly become an integrated part of all my IE7 installations.
Share your favorite sites with friends and family: Social networking is the hallmark of "Web 2.0". Three of the most popular social networking sites have add-ons for IE7. Del.icio.us enables users to share links to their favorite sites, store hyperlinks in the cloud, and network with others interested in similar web sites. StumbleUpon helps users discover new web sites according to their interests. The StumbleUpon add-on always helps me find new sites. A third add-on, Trailfire, provides a truly unique new method of web navigation. By leaving "Trailmarks", which are essentially electronic notes, on individual web pages, users can lead their Trailfire contacts on an interpretive trail for the web. These three add-ons give IE7 users entirely new ways to experience the Internet.
Develop high-performance web applications: For web developers, two tools are absolutely invaluable: Fiddler and the IE Developer Toolbar. Fiddler is a general purpose debugging proxy, giving developers complete control of all the HTTP traffic between your computer and the Internet. The IE Developer Toolbar enables DOM exploration and modification, viewing of DOM element details, and has built in HTML, CSS, WAI, and RSS validators.
Enjoy Games and Entertainment: If you like to play casual online games, you will want to download the latest Shockwave. With dozens and dozens of Shockwave games on the Internet, you can enjoy both 3D and casual games, interactive training, and product demonstrations from within IE7. You should also download the latest Flash player to be up to date with stability and performance updates. The Flash player provides a compelling, expressive experience for your favorite interactive web sites.
Get quick access to your information: Both 1-Click Answers and the Windows Live Toolbar provide quick and easy access to your information from within the browser frame. The 1-Click Answers add-on works with Answers.com to provide a quick access dictionary and encyclopedia. Clicking on any word in a web page and choosing "Answers..." takes you to the latest information about that word. Once you start using it, you won't go back. In addition, the Windows Live toolbar's extensive gallery of buttons provide one-click access to maps, weather, and news. With these two tools, the answer to almost any question is only one click away.
Keep up to date on news and feeds: In the 24x7 news world, RSS helps you manage the surge of Internet news and information. The built-in support for RSS in IE7 enables web-based RSS-aggregators like Feed Demon by Newsgator and Bloglines to synchronize directly with the RSS store on your computer. When you install these add-ons, the RSS feeds you subscribe to within IE7 will automatically be made available to your web-based aggregation sites.
Share your story: Windows Live Writer, is the one-stop shop for all your blogging needs. In fact, this post was composed using Windows Live Writer. Compose, edit, save drafts, and publish all from a WYSIWYG interface, customized to the styles of your particular blog site. It supports any blog site that exposes Really Simple Discoverability, Metaweblog API, or Moveable Type API. When you install, it adds a button to the Windows Live Toolbar to provide one-click access to your blog. Windows Live Writer makes everything difficult about blogging (adding pictures, blogging to multiple sites) extremely easy.
The breadth of add-ons for IE7 is growing daily. Be sure to visit www.ieaddons.com, to install and share your reviews of your favorites.
Jeremy EplingProgram Manager
Edit: Adjusted links for Stumbleupon, IESpell and Inline Search