3 must-have Internet Explorer add-ons for developers

April 21, 2008

Every developer has their own tools that they use in work. Those tools make work easier and when we get used to exploiting them, life becomes unimaginable without them. Whether debugging web applications or going deep with CSS, browser add-ons become irreplaceable in work.

I will show you my must-have IE add-ons and I strongly recommend you to try those (if you haven’t already). Although many developers use FireFox because it has a large number of add-ons, the tools I’m going to show you may change the way you think about development with Internet Explorer. I use both browsers because that way I have all I need for development.

1. Web Development helper

This is my favorite web development tool. It provides a set of utilities that help with Web development, especially when using Ajax. It is created by Nikhil Kotari, a software architect in the .NET Developer Platform group within the Developer Division at Microsoft.

Web Development Helper

It has several common features:

And a few helpful ASP.NET related features:

My favorite feature is HTTP Logging. It logs HTTP and HTTPS requests initiated by the browser or Ajax scripts. It provides you with all the information about Ajax postbacks shown under request and response details. That means you can see the actual information that is sent to the server and you can see the markup or JSON objects that are sent back to the client.

Web Development helper works with IE version 6 and above and is completely free. It requires .NET Framework 2.0 to be installed. You can see more details and download this tool from Nikhil’s website.

2. Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar

Although this tool has a “toolbar” keyword in its name, it is not actually a toolbar. It is an add-on that comes with a bunch of features that will help you analyze your web pages. Those features include:

IE Developer Toolbar

Please note that IE Developer Toolbar is not compatible with IE 8. IE 8 has its own developer tools. More information and download details can be found on the download page.

3. Inline Search

This tool is a clone of FireFox inline non modal search feature. Many IE users (including me) complained about its old-fashioned search window so I hope you’ll like this one!

Inline Search

For more information and download details, please visit Inline Search home page.


I hope we’ll have a chance to see more great add-ons in the future. It becomes clear that browsers are just not enough anymore, and that a little spice-up with add-ons and extensions is more than welcome.

I discuss these topics on twitter too. In case you feel nostalgic, my RSS feed is still working.


  • Andre Tagesgeld (May 9, 2008)

    Very good list of IE add-ons. I basicly switched to Firefox a while ago because of the fantastic extensions like firebug, webdeveloper, measureit, etc – I´d like to have all of them for IE, too. Your list is a nice start

  • Janko (May 9, 2008)

    Thanks, Andre. I completely understand your reasons for switching to Firefox. For same reasons I use both browsers. I’ll keep you up to date and post about new and interesting stuff.

  • Shahid (June 21, 2008)

    Thanks Janko. Other two helpful add-ons are: HttpWatch (www.HttpWatch.com)
    and Debugbar (www.debugbar.com)

  • MrDX (September 3, 2008)

    Wow awesome, I never knew this was possible in IE! Thanks heaps!

  • Fertiggaragen (March 30, 2009)

    I like the IE Addon for Firefox. But is there also an opportunity to use it as IE8

  • Jayvardhan (May 11, 2009)

    Thanks a lot for listing these.

    I was searching for a tool which will automatically resize my IE windows. In firefox we have such addon.

    After reading your post I came to know the IE developer toolbar has it.


  • Tomas Matejka (May 19, 2009)

    Another useful tool for webdevs is http://www.fiddler2.com/fiddler2

    Btw: "Inline Search" is great, thanks for tip !