Plug-ins are small add-ons that can be integrated into a program in order to extend the capabilities of the browser. In the “old days” you could view information that your browser did not understand by downloading “helper application”, which ran separate from your browser, and required opening up another application – what you lost was the context of how these particular media were used. With Plug-ins, these extended functions give you access to files not originally intended for viewing in conjunction with Web pages you see.

The beauty of this is that you can see different types of information “wrapped up” with the traditional, old-fashioned Web page to create a dynamic Web presentation. Many plug-ins give you the capability to view a wider range of media types as embedded inline objects. As a result, static Web pages will have a more interactive, multimedia feel through the addition of plug-ins that will allow for inline video. Plug-ins are easy to install (but take more time to download) – once you’ve found the one you need, click on the download link from your favorite plug-in site. Once downloaded to your system, a simple double-click on the executable program (or.exe) file will start the process to install; just follow the program’s direction from there, and you’re set! An excellent resource for finding out all the latest news on what plug-ins are available and where to find them is the Plug-in Plaza section of Browser Watch at