The best extensions for Microsoft Edge, the company's new browser
Microsoft Edge came to the market from the Redmond company's operating system upgrade and the launch of Windows 10. One of the browser's great innovations is the ability to install extensions for office automation or translation. Microsoft Translator or Mouse Gestures are some of them.
When Microsoft released Windows 10 to the market, it put aside not only one of the Redmond company's hallmarks, but of the software market in general: the Internet Explorer browser. It then gave way to the new and updated Microsoft Edge. The first steps, with the October 2014 beta and the landing among the general public in mid-2015, were disappointing. The first version had some new features, but nothing with a differential value. However, Microsoft Edge has improved over the months: the multinational has listened to the criticism and progress toward a better product is constant. The extensions are a clear improvement.
As new browsers appeared, Internet Explorer was losing market share. Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome are two good examples of tough competition. But the fact is that with Edge, Microsoft has incorporated some qualities that had been demanded for quite some time. One of them are extensions or added features that users can install in the browser to suit their needs. With an added feature: the ability to migrate all extensions from Chrome through the Microsoft Edge Extension Toolkit.
How to install an extension in Microsoft Edge
Installing extensions in Microsoft Edge is not very different from what is required in Chrome. The first step would be to go to the menu icon in the upper right margin of the browser. Then display the menu and select the 'Extensions' option. In this panel, the user has a complete overview of the features already installed and the option to 'Get extensions from the store', where the full catalog of new plugins is accessed.
If for some reason you do not have access to any of these menus, most likely you have not yet carried out the Windows 10 upgrade launched by the company to mark its anniversary. Here is the Microsoft operating system update history. Only this version contains the advantages linked to the plugins update in the browser.
The best extensions for Microsoft Edge
1. Microsoft Translator
Webpage translator extensions are often among the most used functions by users. Some browsers such as Safari (Apple devices) have these types of extensions built into the product by default. In the case of Microsoft Translator, Edge incorporates this as an extension, which permits translation to over 50 different languages. When you visit a site in a language other than that of your natural selection, the translation icon is enabled in the browser bar.
The only thing the user has to do is click on the Microsoft Edge icon and this will immediately translate the content of the website visited. This extension is free. It is also available as a native application on the two main shops on the market: App Store (iOS) and Google Play (Android). It also offers services integrated within the Amazon store.
2. Mouse Gestures
Mouse Gestures allows Microsoft Edge users to perform tasks and basic visualizations by using the actual mouse, usually based on the use of the right button. It is possible to combine constantly clicking the right button and making moves down, up or sideways to close tabs or move between open web pages. It can be a very useful feature.
3. Office Online
Office Online is another completely free extension that Microsoft offers its browser’s users. It is obviously the product of the Washington State company intended to defeat the so well-known and used Google Apps and its cloud-based storage service Google Drive. These are two of the areas where the new Microsoft wants to compete: the old office automation market, where it was already the queen with Word and Excel, and now in the cloud through its services to both individuals (OneDrive) as well as companies (OneDrive for Business).
Microsoft wants to offer its customers the ability to view, edit and create common files in its Office, but now within the Microsoft Edge browser. The Office Online extension provides access to all documents stored both in the cloud (in One Drive and in OneDrive for Business) and locally on the device from the icon located on the browser's toolbar. From there you can access documents in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote (the Notes tool) or Sway, in the end Microsoft's entire office suite.
The fact that the extension to access Office Online is free does not mean that the complete software with the office automation suite is. A license is required.
4. Turn Off the Lights
Turn Off the Lights is a rather curious Microsoft Edge extension and something different to what we find today in the browser plugins market. It is an option that allows the user to darken all elements of the rendered web page in the browser apart from the video player being watched. It is what facilitates viewing with the feeling of being at the movies without distractions. This option is activated by the bulb icon in the upper right margin.
This plugin works with all streaming video viewing services on the market: YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Hulu, Metacafe, YouKu, etc. The 'lights off' effect is really quite interesting and meets the ultimate goal: to generate a feeling of special, intuitive and focused video consumption. It is a recommended option.
5. Evernote Web Clipper
Evernote Web Clipper allows Microsoft Edge users to save any web content into their Evernote account. In addition, subsequent access to that content can be performed from any device. It's like a list of memories, similar to other options in other browsers on the market such as the reading list in Safari. An interesting option of Evernote is the possibility, by the user, to assign classification labels to that saved content. This option is ideal for subsequent searching and filtering.
It also has other interesting characteristics that provide great added value:
- Highlighting key words or concepts in saved web texts.
- Delivery options via email.
- Ability to share content on social networks.
- Incorporating the content as email attachments.
- Creating special formats for LinkedIn or YouTube.
There are other similar options to save content for later, with functionalities to send urls by email or share them on social networks like Twitter or Facebook. One of the highlights is Save to Pocket the extent of integration with the Pocket application with a huge pull between users who typically consume digital content and store recommendations.
Sign up to the BBVAOPEN4U newsletter and receive tips, tools and the most innovative events directly in your inbox.