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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 ?
He further added that "We are happy to announce the launch of 'Clever All in One Report Templates' - an Odoo based plugin that makes the task of report creation extremely easy in Odoo.
The Questa VRM plugin pulls in important information about regression runs and displays it in the Jenkins cockpit, enabling users to easily observe, analyze, and report the latest regression results, as well as regression trends over time.
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.
The value proposition is simple: If your multimedia data is important enough to protect it from walking out the door, you should contact Database Plugins.
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.
The new native plugins will give us even more options to expand the capabilities of the platform and offer broader app functionality to our clients.
Even plugins that have very limited features are being sold for amounts that make no sense.
The firm that routes around 10% of all Internet traffic, CloudFlare, has announced that it has launched its own custom WordPress plugin that can enable WordPress users to apply a basic set of security and webperformance levels to their sites.
We now have full support of Cordova APIs and plugins on iOS, Android, and Windows 8.
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.
He concluded "Show All Reviews plugin will save the valuable time of customers.