Web Browser Wednesday

One of the most popular extensions for Firefox is Greasemonkey simply because it gives developers and users a chance to customize their browsing experience with very little work. The extension has been downloaded over 165,000 times which is pretty incredible, and new scripts that power the extension are always being created.

Given the popularity of the scripting system it comes as no surprise that Internet Explorer has something very similar, but it too requires an add-on before you’ll be able to get it to work. It just so happens that one of the best add-ons for doing so is IE7Pro, which in general is an awesome tool to have installed in Internet Explorer 7.

Once you get IE7Pro installed and running you can check out some of the scripts that it comes with by pulling up the configuration screen. Along the left side you should see a section dedicated to the User Scripts:

ie7pro scripts.png

It comes with over a dozen different scripts out-of-the-box which is definitely a nice touch. Some are more handy than others, but there are a few that really stand out to me. The Show Password onMouseOver is really nice because it will reveal the contents of a password field when you hover over it with your mouse.

One problem with finding more is that you can’t go and grab a script designed for Greasemonkey because not all of them will work. The creators of IE7Pro realized that, and that’s why they setup their own script site that hosts only the scripts that function properly with their add-on. We thought it would be fun to go through the scripts they have posted, and pull out our favorites. So that’s exactly what we’ve done.

–No JavaScript Errors (Homepage)–

iescript no javascript erros.pngIf you’ve ever used any version of Internet Explorer it’s very likely that you’ve been pestered by those annoying popups saying that there is an error with the JavaScript on the page you’re viewing. I’m not sure if anyone really knows why Microsoft decided to show the general population this message when the developers are really the only ones who can do anything about it. Oh well.

This script will, however, save you some frustration by hiding those popups from you. Is it not amazing that something so simple can be the number one script on the site with over 64,000 installs!

–Google Redesign (Homepage)–

If you’ve been wanting to make Google look a little better then this is the perfect opportunity. With this script your Google search results will use up the full width of the screen, and each result will be nicely divided making it a lot easier on the eyes. Check it out:

iescript google redesign-1.png

–Google Two Columns (Homepage)–

If the previous Google redesign wasn’t for you, then maybe this one will be! This takes your Google results and splits them up into two different columns. You might find this especially useful if you have a widescreen monitor and like to browse the Internet using all of the screen space that it has to offer.

iescript google two column-1.png

–Compatibility Script for IE7Pro (Homepage)–

This script doesn’t actually “do” anything. It’s sole purpose is to make more Greasemonkey scripts compatible with IE7Pro. It consists of over 1,500 lines of code that try to replicate the functions and features provided by Greasemonkey so that it’s a lot more likely for these scripts to work. I’m actually a little surprised that this doesn’t come with IE7Pro.

–EZ Resize (Homepage)–

iescript resize.jpgI find this script to be one of the more essential ones. With it you’re able to resize any text area or input field on a site. If it’s an input field that you’re dealing with (such as the search box on Google’s homepage) just put your mouse along the right side and you should see your cursor turn into the double-ended arrow. You’re then ready to resize the box.

Similarly, if you’re trying to resize a text area (such as our large comment box) you’ll want to put your mouse in the bottom-right corner. The cursor will once again turn into a double-ended arrow indicating that you can begin resizing the box.

–Inline MP3 Player (Homepage)–

iescript inline mp3.jpgEver come across an MP3 on the Internet that you wanted to play, but didn’t want to download? This script will add a small icon next to any MP3 file that will let you stream the song instead of downloading it first.


Right now the number of scripts that are on the site is quite small, but I suspect that they will be growing as more people realize that they are available. Not only that but with the help of the Greasemonkey compatibility script that I mentioned above you should be able to use most of the scripts that are already out there.

Hope this helps some of you who are still using Internet Explorer!