Glims: Supercharge Your Safari Interface

As the range of features in Safari grow with every release, it has started to encompass the additional functionality offered by many third party plugins. There are still a decent number of extra features which you’re able to add on though, and one decent app which supports Safari 4 is Glims.

This review will be taking a look at the functionality offered by Glims, which includes adding a range of search engines to your toolbar, integrating website screenshots into search results, full-screen browsing, website icons in tabs, and a whole host of other bits and pieces.

Installing Glims

Installing the add-on software is as simple as downloading it and running the installer. After re-starting Safari, all the additional features and options should be available to you. If you decide that Glims isn’t for you, uninstalling it requires you to quit Safari and delete the following two folders:

/Library/InputManagers/Glims/
~/Library/Application\ Support/Glims/

A small uninstaller is also available, and can be downloaded from the FAQ page.

A decent range of configuration options are available through Safari preferences for turning particular features on and off:

Changing Glims Settings

Changing Glims Settings

Search Enhancements

searchenginesMany of the enhancements provided by Glims fall into the bracket of initiating web searches and browsing results. One of the main additions is a large selection of search engines to the toolbar field.

These include extra search engines, Wikipedia, Amazon, eBay, MacUpdate and a bunch of other sites. All of these sites are configurable through the Preferences screen and it’s easy to add your own.

In addition to the more functional search input, you’ll also see an enhancement to Google (or Yahoo) search results. Glims is able to display a site screenshot to the left of each result, giving you a visual representation of a page before you click through to it. You’ll either find this incredibly useful, or incredibly distracting – each to their own:

Thumbnail Search Results

Thumbnail Search Results

Various enhancements to the toolbar search results are present, though these aren’t quite as necessary on account of many already being integrated into Safari 4.

Tab Enhancements

There has been a whole host of controversy about Apple’s decision to move tab placement to the top of the window in Safari. It seems to have died down now, as people get used to the new interface. Glims adds a few extra features and functionality to your tabs.

First is the addition of website icons (“favicons”) to the left of each tab title. This gives a quick visual reminder of a particular tab’s contents. I quite like this feature despite the fact that it leads to a slightly more cluttered interface – from a usability perspective, it makes it far quicker to scan across for the tab you’re looking for:

tabsicons

Another feature is the ability to close a tab by placing your mouse over it and clicking the middle mouse button. It means you’re no longer required to search for the fiddly close icon.

An absolutely genius addition is an ‘Undo Close Tab’ feature, which can re-open a tab if you’ve accidentally closed it. Hitting Cmd+Z, or selecting Edit > Undo Close Tab will re-instate whatever you were previously viewing.

Other Interface Tweaks

Another feature which works very well is full-screen browsing. The option is added as a menu bar item (Safari > Full Screen), and does exactly what it says. I’m surprised this isn’t a default option in Safari, as it makes reading through a long article far more enjoyable. This is especially the case when coupled with the Readability bookmarklet to eliminate all the unnecessary clutter on a page.

Quite a few other enhancements exist – too many to go into detail with in this review. If you’d like to read more, head over to the Glims site for the full feature list. Others to look out for include full localization, various bookmark actions, other options for managing tabs, and enhancements to the functionality of the downloads window.

Conclusion & Limitations

After having Glims installed for a few days, I’m drawn between wanting to keep it and remove it. Certain features I really love – tab icons, using the middle mouse button to close a tab, and multiple search engine support are brilliant. Others I’d prefer not to be present, such as images in Google results.

Fortunately, it’s easy to turn particular features on and off through the Safari Preferences, so you can customize the app to your heart’s content. Do let me know what you think – I’m interested to know whether you’re already happy with a different Safari add-on.


  • http://www.robindewever.nl Robin

    I have used Glims a few month ago, but never found a way do remove it. Which is quite a disadvantage, if you ask me. For the rest, I think it’s excellent!

    • Gianmarco Simone

      It’s wrote in the post:

      “If you decide that Glims isn’t for you, uninstalling it requires you to quit Safari and delete the following two folders:
      /Library/InputManagers/Glims/
      ~/Library/Application\ Support/Glims/”

      • http://www.robindewever.nl Robin

        I know, but that didn’t work! I searched for all things Glims on my computer, but they were just not there (even when I chose to show hidden files). Strange, very strange.

        Hope I’m the only one though.

    • http://davidappleyard.net David Appleyard

      That’s certainly odd… Have you tried the info at: http://www.machangout.com/faq ?

  • http://www.robindewever.nl Robin

    Hey, that sounds like a solution there. I solved the problem by formatting my MacBook and installing a clean OS (which brought some extra speed advances as well), but this one might have done the trick as well. Thanks!

  • http://www.machangout.com Jim Murieta

    in the FAQ there is a link to the uninstaller.

  • Grof Flek

    Thanks for opening my eyes on this one. I’m absolutely loving this plugin! It adds much of the wanted features to Safari (i missed those since coming from Windows and Firefox combination). :D

    As eBayers would say “A++++ Great doing business with.” ;)

  • http://www.suberapps.com Ben

    Glims is the best Safari plugin I would recommend to anyone. If you only can install one, make it this.

  • http://simplyblog.net Miguel Wickert

    What other plugins beside Glims do you all recommend? Is this considered to be one of the better plugins for Safari? Thanks for sharing,

    -Mig

  • Iestyn lloyd

    Trying it on Safari 4, but I still prefer Inquisitor, please hurry and update it to support Safari 4.

  • bill

    This plugin is really great and highly recommended. I love the “add bookmark here” in the bookmarks bar (if you have a folder with bookmarks there).
    There’s also Safari Stand, which is also free, but I disabled it after installing glims.

  • Pingback: | Basic Revision

  • Pingback: | Clay Carson

  • ubrgeek

    I had been using Saft, but this did everything that I was looking for and I didn’t have to deal with the annoying thing of a new version of Saft being needed for each Safari patch/update. And the price is great ;)

  • Pingback: How Glims and Keyboardr Changed My Workflow

  • http://www.nulloid.com ROb

    I’ve been using GLIMS for a while after moving from Safari Stand/Inquisitor and it works a treat. My only problem with the program is the developers inclusion of their affiliate id on “Amazon or eBay result that we formatted.” Although it states it clearly in the acknowledgements page and I don’t have a problem with the linking, I just find the wording a little vague.

    “When you use our plugin and click on an Amazon or eBay result that we formatted, you support our project. Amazon and eBay gives us a small percentage in referral fees on all qualifying revenue made through their links.”

    Glims really is a great extension to Safari, it would be nicer maybe if the affiliate links were optional.

  • would like a little more control over glims

    i kinda like it and agree w/ you on much. My main beef is that I can’t modify any of the search engine queries (number of results) in their default settings. How do I do that with glims?

    with inquisitor I could modify the default search engines to produce 100 results per page or 50 or whatever i wanted so I don’t have to change it every time i restart safari cuz i always empty my cookies.

    anyone know how I could do that?

    great site & thanks!!

  • Pingback: Glims for Safari | Clay Carson's Blog

  • Doug

    If I install Glims will it allow my duck duck go to act as a stand alone search function, similar to the way it performs on my iPhone? …thks doug

theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow