Center Align the New Youtube Interface

Google rolled out an updated YouTube layout a couple of days back. The new design makes YouTube more consistent with other Google properties. While the reaction to the new design has been mixed, one aspect of the new YouTube has drawn almost universal ire. YouTube is now left-aligned, much like Google Plus. On high-resolution displays this results in loads of white space on the right of the screen, and makes the YouTube surfing experience extremely jarring.

Fortunately, it’s rather simple to fix this design issue. All you need to do is install the “Youtube Center Aligned” user script. The script works on Firefox, Chrome, and Opera. You can get the installation instructions for Firefox and Opera at To install in Chrome, simply download the userscript, open the extensions manager (Tools –> Extensions), and drag-and-drop the downloaded script onto Chrome. Alternatively you can install the Tampermonkey extension for Chrome, and then install the userscript.


Even with this script, there is a lot of wastage of screen real-estate. My favorite YouTube userscript is Unique Youtube Skin, which automatically resizes the video to make full use of your screen.


[ Hat-tip: Atul Varaskar ]

Gmelius Extension for Firefox, Chrome and Opera Makes the New Gmail a Bit More Usable

Beginning this week, Google is forcing Gmail users to switch to the new interface. While the new interface looks slick and modern, it suffers from numerous poor design choices that have users up in arms. Some of the issues are fixable with a few settings tweaks. For example, you can use the compact, high-contrast theme to reduce the wastage of space and enhance readability. But for others, there is seemingly no cure.

Thankfully, few users are taking up the challenge themselves, and are trying to make the new Gmail more intuitive through extensions and userstyles. Among the better attempts is Gmelius, which is a free, cross-browser compatible extension that tweaks and refines the new Gmail interface.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the stuff that Gmelius does:

  • It reclaims space by collapsing the Search and Share bar, stripping away the footer, and removing the People widget. Gmelius can also be configured to block all advertisements.
  • It enhances the appearance of Gmail by adding subtle row highlights, and disabling fancy fonts and colors in incoming mails.
  • It makes navigation more intuitive by colorizing the navigation icons and supplementing them with text.
  • It adds an auto-scroll to the top action that can be triggered by clicking on the black Google bar.


Gmelius Gmelius is dead simple to configure, and the tweaks it offers go a long way towards enhancing the new Gmail interface. The new navigations icons drove me nuts for weeks, and even after using the new interface for a several months, I still get confused occasionally. I only wish that I had discovered Gmelius sooner. There’s undoubtedly a lot more stuff that Gmelius could do. For example, it could bring back the reply links beneath every message or re-enable color coding of conversations. However, Gmelius already does enough for me to encourage you to go ahead and install it. It’s currently available for Chrome, Firefox & Opera.

[ Download Gmelius ]

Top 3 Opera Extensions to Enhance Your Google Plus Experience

The jury is still out on Google Plus; however, Google’s phenomenal reach coupled of a refreshing take on privacy has ensured that it is off to a promising start. If you are amongst the millions who have already jumped ship to Google Plus, here are three Opera extensions to enhance your Google Plus experience.

Google-Plus-Notification-Bar-Opera Google+ Injector: One of the best features of Google Plus is the notification bar, which allows you to track what’s happening on Google Plus and instantly respond to new events without leaving the current page. Unfortunately, Google was too lazy to develop a truly cross-browser solution, and the notification bar just doesn’t work in Opera. Fortunately, there is a simple extension called Google Plus Injector that adds the missing CSS, HTML, and JavaScript code into Google Plus to add the missing options to the web toolbar for Opera users.


The extension works as promised for Google Plus; however, it would have been even better, if it worked across different Google services (such as Google Search). Currently, even with this extension, notifications aren’t available on Google properties other than Google Plus.

DownloadSupport for Google+: Google Plus’ excellent media integration support has made it a popular platform to share images and videos. This extension enables one click download of images and videos from Google Plus. You can either use album and batch download for images, or selectively download images from your Google Plus stream. For YouTube videos shared on Google, one click download option is available.

Google+ Notif: This extension displays a snapshot of the latest Google Plus notifications on Opera’s speed dial. Google’s global web bar doesn’t function properly in Opera; however, this is a nice alternative to stay on top of activities in your Google Plus stream.


If you are an Opera user who can’t stay away from Google Plus, these three extensions are must haves. However, there are a couple of more Google Plus extensions for Opera, including the Simple Google Plus Access extension that provides quick access to the social networking website through the toolbar. Feel free to explore Opera’s extension gallery to discover more handy extensions.

New Snapshot of Opera 11 Introduces Smarter Address Bar and Visual Mouse Gestures

Almost a month has passed since the release of Opera 11 for desktop (Windows, UNIX and Mac), which finally introduced extensions to the venerable browser, and added some other nifty features like the mail panel. In the meantime, Opera Software has released multiple snapshots with further improvements, and more than a hundred extensions have been submitted to Opera’s official extensions gallery.

Earlier today, the Norwegian browser maker released, what is perhaps the most significant build since the original Opera 11 alpha. The new build fixes a hefty number of bugs, while improving Opera’s extensions API. The most significant changes are:

i) Improved Address Bar: Chrome has already succeeded in redefining the web-browser UI (user interface). It was the first browser to get rid of the complicated menu structure, and merge the tab bar with the address bar. Opera Software implemented this in Opera 10.5. Now, they have taken another leaf out of Chrome’s book to simplify the address bar. The new address bar hides parameters in URL and the protocol prefix (http://, ftp:// etc.), and highlights the main domain name when not in focus. It also prominently displays security information about the website currently open. While some advanced users might be turned off by the new address bar’s tendency to hide URL parameters, the purpose behind this move is clear. Opera Software wants to make it as easy as possible for novice web surfers to spot phishing sites.


ii) New Mouse Gesture UI: Opera was the first browser to add mouse gesture support (with Opera 5 released in 2000), and is still one of the few browsers to offer it out of the box. Mouse Gestures is a brilliantly addictive and useful feature that improves productivity by enabling the user to perform common tasks with a flick of his mouse. Unfortunately, most users aren’t even aware that this feature exists, and even those that are aware, use very few basic gestures. The latest snapshot introduces a new UI that pops up when you right click and hold the mouse for a while (provided that you have enabled Mouse Gestures). This UI guides you through some simple gestures that you are likely to find very handy.


iii) Improved Mail Panel: The newly introduced mail panel has been refined to make to make it more pleasant both visually and in terms of usability.

You can download the latest snapshot from Opera’s Desktop Team blog. However, keep in mind that this is preview build, and has some known (and possibly several unknown) issues.

Shareaholic – a Simple Way to Share Web Pages

shareaholic-iconThe name of this web browser addon tells you who it helps. If you are addicted to sharing cool links or awesome images in Twitter, Facebook or any other social web service, Shareaholic could help.

I tried it out, and it’s helped my sharing output already. Shareaholic supports sending content to over 100 different services.


It’s easy to install and use. Just point your web browser to the Shareaholic home page, and install the plugin. They support Firefox, Chrome, IE, Safari, Opera, Flock and Songbird.

Mozilla Firefox Google Chrome Internet Explorer 8 Safari Opera Flock Songbird Music Player

Once installed, you’ll be prompted to customize it, so that it shows only the services that you use. Clicking on he Shareaholic icon in your browser will bring up the sharing menu.


You might have noticed from the image above, that you can assign keyboard shortcut keys for each service. You can also use it to shorten long URLs. That’s really handy. I also like the simple posts it creates.


If you need more details, watch this video about Shareaholic.

If you have a sharing habit, Shareaholic is an addon you need to try. It’s a lot easier than going through a twelve step program to cure your addiction.

arrow-down-double-3Install the Shareaholic Addon/Extension

Note: We previously wrote about Shareaholic almost a year ago. You may also want to check out a similar addon called AddToAny.

Top Extensions for Opera 11

has always been a browser with a small (as compared to or ) but devoted following that keeps increasing with each iteration of their browser. While their simple mobile version of the browser (Opera Mini) is vastly popular they never saw a similar growth in the desktop market. The folks at Opera Inc. thought it was probably due to the unavailability of Extensions for their browser, and so they added the extensibility of extensions in Opera 11.

So without further ado, here’s a look at the top extensions for Opera 11.


NoAds: NoAds is a NoScript + AdBlock extension. In the words of its creator NoAds = (NoScript + AdBlock)/2. It blocks 99% of scripts on a site that originate from a different domain, blocks text ads and you can even import subscriptions from AdBlock as well as EHH! No more ads.

FastestTube - YouTube Video Downloader

FastestTube: This simple and sweet extension just adds a drop-down menu on any YouTube video page where you can download the video that is playing in many formats. There are some minor problems with the integration with Redirect to HTTPS videos, but that should be fixed shortly.


Reddited: Are you an avid Redditor? Do you scramble up to submit a page to Reddit only to find that it’s already been linked to? Do you hang your head in defeat and rage at the trolls that are laughing at you? Then this is the extension for you. All it does is tell you if the page you’re looking at has been reddited or not. If it has been submitted, it shows you the comment count on the link as well.

Translate Extension

Translate: If you’re one of those anime fans without a drop of Japanese within you, or if you’re the newshound who has to go to various foreign-language sites for news then this extension will do you a world of good. Translate auto-magically detects the language of the page you’re currently working on and will offer to translate the entire page for you. Built on top of Google Translate framework, the translation, although slightly grammatically off, works and works well.

Opera Mini Simulator

Opera Mini Simulator: This one is for the web developers. The add-on loads your focused tab as how it would look under the Opera Mini environment. Though a little slow when simulating, the add-on is quite useful for mobile developers.

GMail [iOS mode]

Gmail [iOS Mode]: Don’t want to wait for the Gmail page to open when all you need is to know if you have unread mail or not? Enter the Gmail [iOS Mode] extension that changes the UserAgent of Opera to an iOS device’s. So you can use the slick and lean Gmail interface on your desktop browser itself!

Do you have any favorite Opera Extensions? Do feel free to share them with me through your comments.

NotScripts: NoScript Extension for Opera and Chrome

A large number of browser exploits take advantage of JavaScript and third-party plugins like Java and Flash. NoScript is a popular multi-award winning Firefox add-on that blocks all such scripts and plugins, and allows you to intelligently and selectively execute them only on trusted websites.

I have always felt that using NoScript borders on the verge of paranoia, since it hinders normal web browsing experience. However, a lot of people obviously don’t mind this, since NoScript can protect users against scary click-jacking exploits, XSS vulnerabilities and even zero-day exploits that haven’t been discovered yet. Many Opera and Chrome users have been requesting similar functionality for a long time. However, most NoScript implementations for the aforementioned browsers have been limited due to the rigid nature of their APIs. Fortunately, Eric Wong has found an ingenious way of make NoScript work within the framework of Opera and Chrome’s extension library.

NotScripts is a NoScript inspired extension for Opera and Chrome, that utilises storage quota allocated to HTML5 applications and UserJS files to offer many of the functionalities present in NoScript. It supports both whitelist (everything is blocked, unless explicitly allowed) and blacklist (everything is allowed, unless explicitly blocked) approaches, and allows you to block scripts either temporarily or permanently.


NotScripts is still not perfect, and as mentioned earlier, taking a whitelist approach might create usability problems. Nevertheless, NotScripts is the best implementation of NoScript I have seen for either browser.

[ Download NotScripts for Chrome | Opera ]

Opera 11 Extensions: Quick Preview

A short while ago, Opera Software released Opera 11, which finally introduced extension support the venerable desktop browser. Soon after launch, the extension gallery went down, so I wasn’t able to preview the extensions in my earlier article. Fortunately, Opera sorted out the issues quickly and the gallery is back online.

As mentioned earlier, extensions for Opera are simply web applications that adhere to the W3C Widget specifications. They are developed using existing web technologies, and interact with the browser through certain methods made available in the API. Opera expects their implementation to be secure and fast. In fact, all extensions submitted to the gallery will be checked to keep out the buggy and malicious ones.

Extension Installation

Installing as well as uninstalling extensions is a breeze. Like Chrome, Opera doesn’t require a restart for either installation or uninstallation. However, users upgrading over an existing installation should note that extensions don’t seem to get installed properly, if you are using a modified toolbar configuration.

Notification of Installation Completion

Extensions might or might not have a user interface. If the extension has a user interface, it is generally exposed through a button that brings up an overlay screen. The buttons can update themselves dynamically based on the context. For example, a reddit extension button can display the number of upvotes the currently open page has received. Installed extensions can be managed through a dedicated Extensions tab that can be opened from the Opera Menu. Surprisingly, there isn’t any panel for extensions. However, this will be probably added in the future.

Opera 11 Extensions Tab

To kick things off, Opera is showcasing about fifteen extensions for Opera 11. However, in terms of quality, the showcased extensions are frankly all over the place. Some of them are useful, some of them are interesting for demonstration purposes, and some of them are a bit pointless. Listed below are some of extensions I found useful:

i) Fastest Tube – YouTube Downloader: This extension is very similar to the Download YouTube Videos as MP4script for Firefox, Opera, Chrome and Safari. It simply adds a download button to YouTube video pages (next to the embed button). You can download the videos in standard or HD resolutions in FLV as well as MP4 formats.

ii) Translate: This extension is quite obviously inspired by the automatic translation feature of Google Chrome. Whenever you open a page that is not in English, a notification will appear offering to translate the website to English.

Opera 11 Extensions: Translate

iii) Reddited: It adds a button for quickly submitting a page to reddit. If the page has already been reddited, it will display the number of upvotes the page has received and link to the submission.

Opera 11 Extensions: reddited

iv) miniFeed: This extension leverages the Facebook touch website to enable you to quickly check your Facebook stream and even post updates without having to open a new tab.

v) Opera to Phone: If you have an Android device (with FroYo), you can push any link from your Opera browser (for desktop) to the phone with this extension. Again, this functionality is quite obviously inspired by the Chrome to Phone extension provided by Google. In fact, it even utilizes the same Android app.

You can check out all the available extensions at More extensions should start appearing soon. StumbleUpon and LastPass extensions are already under development. Don’t forget to share share your favourite extensions with us.

Opera 11 Alpha Released with Extension Support

The first alpha build of Opera 11 is here. Opera 11 boasts of all the benefits of the Opera 10.7 trunk, and introduces a major new feature – extensions. As revealed in last week’s Up North Web press event, Opera 11 finally allows developers to build add-ons that can interact with the browser and add new features.


To kick things off, the folks at Opera have created about fifteen extensions, which are available for installation from the Opera Extensions Gallery. Unlike Firefox, which allows extensions to pretty much configure any and every aspect of the browser, Opera’s Extensions are essentially web applications (written using HTML, CSS and JavaScript) that can interact with certain aspects of the browser exposed through the API. This is quite similar to the way Chrome handles extensions. As a result, extensions are expected to be more secure and have minimal impact on performance. If you are a developer, check out the video embedded below or head over to for more information. It’s worth keeping in mind though that the API will in all likelihood be expanded in the future to support more functionality.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t check out any of the extensions first hand as at the time of writing this article, Opera’s extensions gallery was getting hammered and was unreachable.

Opera 11 will also benefit from the speed improvements introduced in the Opera 10.7 snapshots. Although, I didn’t conduct any benchmarks of my own, I expect Opera to hold onto its healthy lead over Chrome and other browsers in the performance department.

Browser Performance Benchmark (via BetaNews)

There are a few minor UI changes also. Again, anyone who used the 10.7 snapshots will already be familiar with these. Opera has added a new Mail Panel to quickly switch between different accounts or RSS Feed sources., and the personal bar has been replaced with a new bookmarks bar, which appears below the address bar.

Opera 11 continues Opera’s push towards supporting latest web technologies. New in this version is support for HTML5 server-sent events and websockets. Several dozen bugs have also been squished since the Opera 10.6 release.

You can download the alpha build for Windows, Mac and UNIX from