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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 ?
"The Frontify plugin for Adobe XD is an exciting addition to the Plugins Panel; where creative flow and user needs have clearly taken precedent," said Adobe Director of Partner Ecosystem, Vijay Vachani.
The FCPX Disintegrate is one of the most powerful final cut pro x plugins available in the market today.
* It is also compatible with multi-site, NGINX, Windows Servers(IIS), Apache, premium and child themes along with other security plugins.
The company said the use of the ESET DEM plugins means that there
* Get started more quickly with community-recommended plugins: A new quick start UI provides solution-oriented plugin bundles.
Esta plataforma permite que las aplicaciones sean extensibles al tener una arquitectura modular basada en modulos o plugins, utilizando el contenedor de plugins de Eclipse Equinox como implementacion del conjunto de especificaciones OpenService Gateway Initiative (OSGi) (Alliance 2013).
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.
Database Plugins provides the most secure environment for the storing, streaming, transcoding, editing and rendering of multimedia content to and from the Oracle database.
The new ElectricCommander plugins are tailored specifically to handle the complexity of Android device software development.
MobileSphere, Boston, Mass., a leading-edge provider of global communications solutions, has announced a new text messaging plugin for 2007 Microsoft Office OutlookR messaging and collaboration client as well as older versions of Outlook.
Fundamentals of Pneumatics is available at no charge to any internet user, Mac or PC, with the proper browser plugins. The software will check the user's system to verify the existence of the necessary plugins, and if not installed, will download the proper plugins.
Mercury's Application Programming Interface (API) is an open architecture based on Extensible Markup Language (XML) that allows any third-party software developer to write plugins which add various features to Mercury, allowing the product to function as both data input for appraisers and final data output for appraisal users.