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(computer science)
A small software application that extends the capabilities (such as multimedia, audio, or video) of a browser.


A file containing data used to alter, enhance, or extend the operation of a parent application program. One of the first uses of this term was in Silicon Beach's SuperPaint application (late 1980s?) for the Macintosh. It had a Plug-ins folder containing different tools and effects.

The Netscape Navigator World-Wide Web browser supports plug-ins which display or interpret a particular file format or protocol such as Shockwave, RealAudio, Adobe Systems, Inc. PDF, Corel CMX (vector graphics). The file to be displayed is included in a web page using an EMBED HTML tag.

Plug-ins, both commercially and indepently authored, can usually be downloaded for free and are stored locally. Plug-ins come in different versions specific to particular operating systems (Microsoft Windows 3.1, 3.2, and Macintosh are available).

Compare applet.

Plug-in Plaza.

PC Mag Plug-ins.


Software that is installed into an existing application in order to enhance its capability. For example, plug-ins are widely used in image editing programs such as Photoshop to add some special effect. Plug-ins are added to Web browsers to enable them to support different types of content (audio, video, etc.). The term is widely used for software, but can also refer to a plug-in module for hardware.

Plug-In, Add-On, Extension
Although the terms "plug-in," "add-on" and "extension" are used synonymously, a plug-in implies adding new functionality, whereas add-on and extension imply more of a modification to an existing function. These distinctions are not evident in the literature however. See plug-in free and browser plug-in.
References in periodicals archive ?
Through new relationships fostered by this program, we hope to help authors stand out among the over 40,000 plugins and roughly 10,000 themes in the rapidly growing and expansive ecosystem, raise the bar for plugins, drive more downloads and delight customers with quality offerings.
To access Google adx integration plugin, the revive ad server should possess a DSP plugin for RTB bidding process.
That, combined with our belief that user-generated content has relevance at every point of the purchasing funnel, led us to develop the Stackla Plugins directory.
Created for United Kingdom-based EASYSKETCH, the plugin accelerates the kitchen design process for architects, interior designers, kitchen designers, and do-it-yourselfers who use SketchUp.
Help Desk Responses The Help Desk Responses plugin allows IT professionals to add a series of auto-responses to their ticketing system so they can more quickly respond to support requests from end users.
Text messaging has become one of the most popular ways to communicate, and we believe our new Outlook plugin will make texting even more accessible and convenient to use.
Worldwide Computer Products News-28 February 2002-CodeWeavers launches latest version of CrossOver Plugin (C)1995-2002 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD http://www.
Other hybrid app technologies offer native plugin capabilities, but developers soon find that the available plugins are frequently out-of-date, largely unsupported, and more trouble than they are worth.
This architecture takes on the security concerns that, up to now, have not been adequately addressed when working with big data in a distributed computing environment," according to Database Plugins founder and CTO Steve Guilford.
Additionally Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator V5 also includes new functionality including configuration plugins, report plugins and performance based storage.
NCS OpenStack Plugin: The NCS OpenStack plugin contains a complete service model of the OpenStack Neutron topology as well as models for the underlying network topologies such as VLAN, GRE, VXLAN.
Changes to Facebook social plugins may be imminent and this analysis shows how significant these features have become on the Web today," said Jim Yu, CEO of BrightEdge.