Introducing the CC Search Browser Extension

This article is part of a series that introduces the open source projects developed by mentors from Creative Commons (GSoC 2019). Mayank Nader was one of these contributors, and we are thankful for his contribution to this project.

Creative Commons is working to make it easier for users to have easy access CC licensed and public domain works. CCSearch has been released in 2019, a major step towards that goal. This search and indexing tool makes a lot of CC licensed images easily available in one location. CC Search will expand to contain more images. CC is developing a series of interfaces that allow users around the world to access, interact with and use open access content.

This is one example of such an application: The CC Search Web Browser Extension. This plugin is lightweight and open-source. It can be used with any web browser.

Why have we created this browser extension?

To improve their productivity and experience, browsers serve as the portal to the internet. Users frequently install browser plugins. With the CC Search Browser Extension users are able to search and download CC-licensed images without ever needing to visit Flickr, Rawpixel, Rawpixel or another source. What’s the other amazing feature? The CC Search Browser Extension can be used across browsers to provide a user-friendly experience.

Get the latest extension from Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. Opera

Key Features of the CC Search Browser extension:

  • Use to search and filter for CC-licensed content

To filter by type, license, or use-case, you can use extension filters.

  • One-click Attribution

All CC licenses require attribution. It is simple to attribute the author/creator of CC licensed content using an extension. The attribution is available in both the Richtext and HTML formats.

  • Download photos (and attribution

The extension allows you to download the image and use it for your own purposes. If you are downloading several images simultaneously, the text file containing the attribution information is also available.

  • Bookmark images

You can save the images to your bookmarks. Your bookmarks can be viewed and removed from the bookmarks area.

  • Import bookmarks

Your bookmarks can be easily archived and transferred by you as an user. This makes it easy to archive and transfer bookmarks.

  • Customization options available via the user-interface.

This extension allows you to set default filters and other options. To make sure that the popup only shows the necessary information, “Options”, page allows you to declutter it. This “Options” page will host new and improved features.

  • Synchronize your settings and bookmarks between devices

Chrome and Firefox come with a feature to automatically sync browser preferences across devices. To sync bookmarks and custom settings, the extension makes use of this feature. It will make the experience easier and more familiar.

  • Dark Mod

This extension has a dark mode you can turn “on” by clicking an icon in its header. This mode reduces screen glare, and also lowers battery consumption. In the “Options”, page, you can choose to make dark mode the default.

Future plans, development

  • Locate and correct bugs

  • You can add a review or feedback to the “Options” page.

  • Integration


    The extension

  • Create usability improvements

  • You can replace infinite scrolling with pagination and/or voluntary loading.

  • For better results, add search syntax and a guide to search syntax

  • Add more tests and modularization to the code

  • Port all relevant features from the CC Search website application to the browser plugin


The most recent version of this extension can be installed via Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.

Sign up for the community

Feedback and community contribution are essential parts of the development process. We invite you to get in touch with us if there is anything you would like. This open-source project can be contributed to in bug reporting or feature request. code contributions are also welcome.

You can install the extension development version by reading the installation manual on Github .

Finally, come and tell us about your experience on the Creative Commons Slack via the slack channel: #cc-dev-browser-extension.