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Tip of the Day
Language: Web
Expertise: Intermediate
Apr 21, 1999

Detecting Browser Plug-Ins

Browser plug-ins, such as RealPlayer, Shockwave/Flash, Quicktime, and others, can add multimedia functionality to a Web site and help attract and retain visitors. If a particular visitor doesn't have a particular plug-in, however, the savvy Web designer will want to provide a different experience--an animated GIF, a Netscape sound, or something along those lines. It's possible to detect the presence or absence of any known plug-in with a JavaScript function, and then deliver content appropriately:
 
    function detect_plugin(name)  {
             if (navigator.plugins[name]) return true;
             else return false;
         }
Just use a simple if statement with the name of the plug-in to put the function to work:
 
         if (detect_plugin("Beatnik") == true) 
             document.write("Beatnik code goes here");
         else document.write("No Beatnik - do something else");
Steve Renaker
 
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