Free For All Friday


If you’re looking for an easier, faster, more efficient way to browse the web, take a look at Cooliris. It is a free browser extension available (with different capabilities) for IE, Firefox, and Safari, that will  allow you to preview the content underlying each link before you click. Off hand, I can think of several reason this is such a useful tool, one of them being the simple time factor.  If you’re frequently searching the web, Cooliris will definitely save you a good chunk of time!

Go take a look at their website for a demo on how it works.  Their slogan is “why click?” which is certainly a good question.  Why click on a link that could potentially be a dead link when you don’t need to?  How many times while you’re searching the web do you come across dead links? For myself, it’s a few too many.  Using Cooliris, I can hover over a link to see what the content of that link holds.  If it’s a dead link or irrelevant to what I’m searching for,  I don’t have to waste my time clicking to find it out. I found it especially useful when I was searching Google for images because many times the images they display aren’t valid. 

–Features Specifically for Cooliris Previews 1.8 for Firefox —

They’ve recently released v1.8 with a good list of updates and improvements.  I downloaded it (in just a few seconds) and began giving it a test drive before writing up this article.  All in all, I’m definitely impressed, and I think you will be too. Here’s a quick run-down on the latest Firefox version.

  1. Hover your mouse over any link (web links, images, and videos), and a preview window will appear to show you the underlying content.  (Thus far, I haven’t come across a website where it doesn’t work)
  2. If you like the content, you’re able to send it to a friend from the preview window (no email necessary).
  3. Right-click on any phrase on any webpage, and Cooliris will automatically do a subsearch in Google, Wikipedia, as well as others.
  4. Enable/Disable Cooliris

— Enable/Disable Cooliris —

In particular, the enable/disable feature is one of the most useful aspects of the extension.  You can manually disable the feature for a particular tab, or you’re also given enable/disable preferences.  those preferences include:

  •  Pre-fetch websites: If you’re using a dial-up connection this may be useful, otherwise I see no purpose for it, so I left it disabled.  I tried using Cooliris with pre-fetch enabled as well as disabled, and I really didn’t notice a difference in speed.
  • Default enable: This is if you’re wanting every tab to have the extension enabled by default. 
  • Global disable:  I set this as my preference, just because I want control over when I want to be using the extension.  Sometimes it’s really not necessary to have it enabled and will just slow me down.  When I’m browsing the web, looking for images, etc. I’ll most certainly enable Cooliris to save myself some time.


The image above is a screen shot of what happens when a preview is displayed.  I went to Google, typed in tech.cybernetnews, then after the restuls were displayed, I hovered over the link and got a pop-up preview image of the site before any clicking was involved.

All in all, Cooliris is a useful, helpful program that while doing some serious web browsing, will save you a good chunk of time.  It’s the first time I’ve been able to think of a “pop-up” as helpful and useful. :)  It makes me wonder though, how long do you think it will be until Google or Microsoft or anyone else for that matter will make their own versions?