Good but could easily be much better Rated 4 out of 5 stars
This is a pretty good plug-in and I'm glad I got it, but I have some issues with it.
I don't see any documentation except this page and the Options tab. For that to work, an app must be self-explanatory. This one isn't, in some significant ways. It gives two kinds of output: highlighting in four colors, and a short-lived display in the status line.
1. The highlighting is described on the Colors tab. It labels links as Valid, Invalid, Misc, and Skipped. Valid and Invalid are obvious. Skipped must refer to the Exclusions tab, so why not call it Excluded? But what is Misc? It seems to refer to valid local files, because when I tested by adding a link to a nonexistent local file it came out as invalid; but Misc is a useless descriptor.
[ADDED NOTE: Apparently "Skipped" is also used for links that timed out when being checked. It makes sense to distinguish them from Valid and Invalid links, but lumping them in with links that are skipped because they're on the Exclusions list means that I have to look at each Skipped link to see whether it's Excluded or Timeout. On a 65-page site like the one I'm working with this could get tedious.
I find that the Exclusions apply whether the match is in the hyperlink or in the linked text. That is, using the default Exclusions list ("logout,signout,delete,remove,exit"), all the following come up as Skipped:
2. When I click the toolbar button (a very nice addition!) the status bar of the browser displays a small pale blue disk, which turns deep blue behind a "clock hand" that's paced by a percentage report. On the page I'm currently checking, it finishes at "18 of 18 (100%)". That must mean there are 18 links on the page, and they're all good, right? Wrong, in two ways:
A: This page has 17 links on it. If you count the w3.org link in the "html" tag there are 18; but another page has 5 href hyperlinks PLUS the w3.org link, for a total of 6, not the 5 that LinkChecker reports.
B: This page has the test link mentioned above, to a nonexistent local file. So there are 16 good links out of 17 total, or 17 good out of 18 if you count the w3.org link, and either way the total doesn't report the bad one.
It would be much more helpful to see a report telling me that there is or is not an invalid link. As it is, the status bar display just tells me how far along the search has gotten, and I still have to look down the page at every link to see if it's good or bad, and then look at every Skipped link to see if it's excluded because of text or filename or not (in which case it presumably timed out).
[ADDED NOTE 2008-02-22: It turns out that the results ARE available as a list. Click the Tools menu and you'll see an entry "Error Console". That's not mentioned on the web page. Add one point for the feature, subtract it for failure to document.]