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Saturday, January 6th, 2007 by | Filed Under: Using The Internet


With all the time I spend surfing the Web everyday, I find it very frustrating to go through multiple windows and many, many useless links. It used to take up a huge chunk of my time, just to weed out the useless links. Then I installed the Cooliris plug in to my Firefox browser and since then, it all has been a blessing. If you have a half decent Internet connection and spend a considerable part of your day online, this is a must have for you as well.

Do you ever notice how much time you spend on the Web clicking from one link to another? Most of the time anyway, you end up on the wrong page and have to go back to the previous one to take another route. It gets really annoying, especially when you have to get something done really fast or if a deadline is quickly approaching.

Either way, Cooliris is here to save the day! Cooliris is a plug in that solves this little problem. What does it do? Well, say you are on a particular Web site and you want to go through some other linked pages from that site. The regular route would be to click on all of them and find your way to the right page. Well, with Cooliris, you can simply roll your mouse over the link and see the preview of the page in which the link points to. So, before you click on the link to visit the page, you can have a preview of it in an instant. Cool, huh?!

Working with Cooliris is a breeze. Let’s start with the installation. Cooliris works with both Firefox and Internet Explorer very smoothly. To install the plug in, simply visit their Web site here. Then just click on the Download Cooliris button to get started. Depending on your browser pop up blocker settings, it might require you to give the permission to install Cooliris. Once Cooliris is installed, you will be required to restart your browser for it to be good to go.

In the example above, I performed a Google search and instead of going through each and every one of the results, I simply used Cooliris and checked out the preview of the search results. I rolled my mouse over the link that I wanted to check out (, in this case) and a preview window with the WorldStart homepage popped up.

Cooliris can also be used to send links to your friends. You need to sign up for a Cooliris account, which was one of the fastest sign ups I have ever done. Once you are signed up, you can right click and select “Send link using Cooliris” to forward any links to anyone you want.

Now, the next cool feature of Cooliris is the right click search option. What’s so new about this? There are plenty of add ons that let you do this very same thing, right? Well, this one is different. You can select any text on a page and then do a right click to select Cooliris Search. Using this, you can search on Google, Google Images, Wikipedia and the free dictionary. Now, here comes the best part (as if it could get any better!) When you perform a search, Cooliris shows the results of that search in a preview window. Yes, no more annoying new windows or tabs. Isn’t this great?!

In the example above, I searched for the word “favorite” using the Google search via the right click Cooliris option and as you can see, it quickly brought up the results in the preview window. If you point the mouse away from the preview window, the preview will disappear. There’s no need to open any new windows at all.

The preferences window is also rather simple, as you can see. The first option is “Default Enable,” which means that Cooliris is enabled and working, whereas “Global Disable” proves useful if you want to temporarily disable Cooliris on your browser.

The “Prefetch Web sites” option makes the Cooliris previews even faster. Prefetching makes your browser fetch the contents of the pages that the links are pointing to. So, when you want to preview the links on a particular page, they will open in a split second. This works even better if you have a fast Internet connection. When this option is disabled, Cooliris tries to fetch the preview as fast as it can, depending upon your connection and the amount of heavy items on the target page. A page with only text takes a much shorter time than a page full of animations and images.

The “Preview Open Delay” is simply the time the preview window will take to drop down. The best way to set it is according to your taste and your mouse habits. In the example above, I have set it to half a second. So, a preview window will drop down half a second after I roll my mouse over a link.

The last option is about how the Cooliris preview gets triggered. If you use the “Mouse Over” option, the preview window drops down as soon as you mouse over a link. When you select “Mouse Over Icon,” every time you mouse over a link, you will see the small Cooliris icon next to it. The preview will then drop down, only if you mouse over the Cooliris icon.

By using the third option, the preview will open if you click on the link. Lastly, the preview window can be triggered by a combination of Ctrl + mouse over. Set this based on your personal preference. If you don’t like to do a lot of mouse work, leave it to a default mouse over.

Since I have installed Cooliris, it has saved me a lot of time. After all, no one likes opening up and navigating through too many windows. Go ahead and give this one a try. If you don’t like it, which I strongly doubt, you can uninstall it in a click’s time anyway. Have fun!

~ Yogesh Bakshi

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