My Firefox Extensions – Let Me Show You Them

Considering my stats, and the comment threads, I can safely say that majority of readers here use Firefox. So let’s share the best/favorite extensions out there. Here are the ones I use. You probably already know some of them, but some might be new to you – perhaps you will look through this list and find something cool that you didn’t eve know existed. I hope you share your cool choices in comments.

Adblock or Adblock Plus

Adblock is a must in this day and age. I use Adblock on my laptop and Adblock Plus on my desktop and I don’t see any real difference between the effectiveness of the two. Both have finely tuned filters built up over years of me manually killing every add banner I could find. So most sites I visit these days are add free. I usually white list some blogs which I want to support and which have unobtrusive adds though.

Adsense Notifier

This one will probably be of interest only to people who both own websites, and use Google Adsense. I simply like to be able to peek in the status-bar and know how little money this website is making each month. Thanks for clicking them add things guys!

CuteMenus Crystal SVG

This one is purely aesthetic. It adds nice Crystal SVG style icons to the rather bland Firefox menus (both pulldown and context). I usually run with the standard theme (just make the icons smaller) but this little extension makes it more lively. And there is a small usability boost here – these icons actually help you navigate by using visual cues instead of reading.

Dummy Lipsum

What do you do when you need to populate some web form with random text? Do you drum on they keyboard and type in “asdadffsdf sdf sf” or do you use some form of the Lorem Ipsum text which is typographically similar to English and has been used by typesetting industry for ages?

This extension allows me to generate a random Lorem Ipsum fragment by simply right clicking inside of a textarea or a textbox and choosing an option from the context menu. I use it constantly at work – very convenient.

Fasterfox

Allegedly it makes FF faster by doing all these about:config tweaks that people used to constantly blog about. I have been using it forever, but I never didn’t benchmarked it. I don’t know if it actually makes a difference anymore, but it doesn’t seem to be giving me any problems so meh..

Faviconize Tab

Let’s you reduce the size of selected tabs so that they only show the favicon. I use it all the time at work keeping my google reader, twitter, gmail and Terminally-Incoherent tabs nicely minimized in the corner.

Firebug

Absolutely necessary. I have no clue how people used to code Javascript stuff without it. It is extremely helpful and if you do any web design that requires you to mess around with client side code, definitely get this plugin. It saves lives.

Gmail Manager

Lets me know when I get a new email. WordPress emails me whenever someone posts a comment here.Since I almost always have Firefox open when I’m on the computer and I’m not playing games, I get almost a live feed of what is going on here, and what you guys are saying. I don’t always have time to read and respond immediately but I know that something is up as soon as I glance in the right corner of FF. I use my Gmail account strictly for fun and socializing – so a blue email icon always lets’ me know there is some interesting email and/or blog comment to read.

Google Notebook

I use Google Notebook as sort of a permanent clipboard which persists between my desktop and laptop. I mostly use it for copying interesting quotes, URL’s or making quick todo notes. Not terribly useful but has slightly more functionality than some bookmark syncing strategy.

Greasemonkey

I used to use it more in the past, but both Firefox and web applications that I used kinda caught up by now. So at the moment the only script I have in there right now is the one that removes music from MySpace pages. Not that I browse myspace more often that like 3 times a month, but when I do I don’t want to be assailed by a cacophony of sound.

IE Tab

Let’s me open IE in a FF tab. I used to use that a lot when my work required us to enter time in a crappy IE only online app. Fortunately we no longer use that POS system. I don’t get much more use of it these days but it’s not a bad thing to have.

Image Zoom

I actually don’t know why Firefox doesn’t have this functionality by default. It let’s you zoom images either using presets, by typing in pecentage/dimensions or gradually by using right-click+scroll combo.

It’s All Text

This one puts a little button in the corner of each text-area. If you click it, it opens a text editor of your choice (vim in my case) and populates it with the text from the box. Whenever you save in the text editor, it refreshes the textarea in the browser. So not only do you get to type in your favorite editor (vim key bindings) when you blog or comment. If the browser ever crashes for whatever reason , your text will still be in the opened text editor.

Check it out. I really like this one.

Linkification

Linkify is great – it will take any URL and convert it into a clickable link. It is one of those extensions that you tend to rely on without even realizing it. You only notice how much you were using it when it’s gone.

Live HTTP Headers

This is an extension that is nice to have, but you won’t use it very often. It lets you peek at the HTTP headers in real time. Since I installed it, there were maybe 4 times that I actually needed to use it. It’s probably worth having it just for shits and giggles.

PDF Download

Prevents Adobe from opening PDF files as a browser plugin and gives me a choice of whether I want to open it using the default reader, save it to disk or try to view HTML if possible. It’s a small thing but it really makes a difference when you deal with a lot of PDF files online.

Twitterfox

There are no good Twitter clients for Linux. I was searching for something like Snitter to run on Gutsy. I failed. Instead I found Twitterfox which is the next best thing. It’s small, unobtrusive and just works – lettign me follow tweets as I work without obsessively looking at my Twitter hompeage.

That’s all I have for now. How about you guys? Do you have some cool extensions that I should know about, but I didn’t list them here? Let me know!

[tags]firefox, firefox extensions, mozdev, extension, faviconize, gmail, adsense, twitterfox, greasemonkey[/tags]

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36 Responses to My Firefox Extensions – Let Me Show You Them

  1. Fr3d UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Most of the above I have installed or have heard of/used, but I can tell I’m gonna love “It’s all text” – so useful for all kinds of websites :D

    I wrote this in EditPad Pro! :mrgreen:

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  2. Gunni FRANCE Mozilla Firefox Linux says:

    Vimperator: Lets you control Firefox almost completely through the keyboard. Brilliant once you get used to it.

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  3. Nathan UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Unless Google has changed their TOS since the last time I checked, you’re not supposed to post about how much you make from Adsense. It doesn’t bother me either way (and I certainly don’t plan on reporting anything), but I like this site and I wouldn’t want to see it get blacklisted from Adsense :)

    Nathan

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  4. chris UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I’ve heard of some of the above but never took the time to try them myself. I’ve got tabs open to the sites for ietabs, fasterfox, cutemenus, and it’s all text (Notepadd++ being my editor of choice.).

    I tried AdBlock Plus and couldn’t get used to it. I much prefer AdBlock with the Filterset.G extension. I don’t know if Filterset.G does anything but I rarely have to manually block ads these days.

    I also use NoScript, CustomizeGoogle, DownThemAll (Excellent download manager), Fast Video Download (though I rarely use it), FireGPG, and SwitchProxy (mostly for when I use port redirection at hotspots).

    Thanks for the great list!

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  5. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    [quote comment=”8356″]Unless Google has changed their TOS since the last time I checked, you’re not supposed to post about how much you make from Adsense.[/quote]

    Ah… You don’t say. It just shows how carefully I read these things. Thanks for the warning – I removed the earnings blurb just in case. :)

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  6. astine UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    This was written using “It’s all Text!”

    I like this.

    Oh, and Adblock has always been my favorite extension bar none.

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  7. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    @Gunni – heh, I’m tempted to install vimperator just to make it impossible for anyone to actually browse the web from my laptop. But then again, I kinda like my address bar and I’m just so used to default FF commands…

    @chris – I installed NoScript at one point, and removed it within a day or two. I found that I had to completely whitelist most of the domains I visit, and spent more time actually configuring the damn thing rather than browsing.

    Also it completely broke functionality of some of the bookmarklets that I use (such as “Gmail This” or “Post to Tumbler” and etc) because… Well, they are essentially just clever cross-site scripting hacks.

    So NoScript was just to much hassle for me.

    Customize Google actually looks really cool. Thanks for that one.

    @Adam – Oh, I like Colorzilla!

    And I actually use YSlow but I forgot to count it because it pretty much counts as a plugin for Firebug in my mind. :P

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  8. Steve CANADA Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    I simply like to be able to peek in the status-bar and know how little money this website is making each month. Thanks for clicking them add things guys!

    Er…ads? What ads? Oh…am using Firefox with Blocksite and Adblocker, so I don’t see any ads on your site :)

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  9. Dax UNITED STATES Opera Windows says:

    I am not a Firefox User. But, I use it to test things I develop and I must say that Firebug is invaluable. If you have never used it, you may not think it’s a neccessity. If you have used it before and are trying to solve a problem in another browser (say IE), you’ll mutter several profanities under your breath very quickly.

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  10. Adam Kahtava CANADA Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Mouse Gestures are invaluable…
    – Hold right mouse button, click left mouse button fires the browsers back button
    – Hold right mouse button, click right mouse button fires the browsers forward button
    – right click link, flick mouse up, opens a new tab

    Opera has this stuff baked into their browser, but who uses one of the worlds most standards complaint browsers anymore? :) On a side not IE8 pases the ACID 2 test.

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  11. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    [quote comment=”8362″]Er…ads? What ads? Oh…am using Firefox with Blocksite and Adblocker, so I don’t see any ads on your site :)[/quote]

    LOL! Good for you! Not so good for me since I probably don’t get any page impressions from you (and that does make me a sad panda) but not really a big deal since I don’t actually live of this site. The ads just help me to pay hosting. ;)

    @Dax – I was doing just that last week or so. There was some weird IE only bug in the current JQuery release and it took me hours to figure it out. I really wished I could have had Firebug for IE at that point.

    @Adam

    Well.. I always a mouse with at least 5 buttons so back and forward are done with my thumb. Opening a new tab is just hard coded in my brain as CTRL+T – and it makes perfect sense to do it with your keyboard because usually after you open a new tab, you will be either typing in or pasting in a url. :P

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  12. chris UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I configure my toolbar to show the New Tab button so I just click on it to open a new tab. I also set Google as my home page and middle-click on the Home button when I need to open Google in a new tab. I just don’t like my last search showing up in the Google search bar so I never use it.

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  13. Adam Kahtava CANADA Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    With the mouse gesture, the link you selected is opened in your new tab.

    So… there’s no reason to start typing, and you’ve just eliminated the need for pasting a url. :)

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  14. chris UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Just in case this is a hidden feature not many people know about … you can open a link in a new tab by middle-clicking on it. On a laptop, you can simulate a middle-click by pressing both the left and right mouse buttons at the same time.

    And, BTW, this It’s All Text plugin is pretty sweet!

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  15. Adam Kahtava CANADA Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    @ChrisDude that’s way easier.. Tx! Any mouse shortcuts for forward and back?

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  16. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    Yeah, middle clicking is the way to go. I’m always surprised that people don’t know about this feature because it is so deeply rooted in my muscle memory now. I even middle click links when I’m testing something in IE6 and usually it takes me 2-3 click to realize why it’s not working.

    On, and middle click also works in IE7.

    Back and forward can be also done with Backspace and Shift+Backspace or Alt+Right Arrow and Alt+Left Arrow. If you want to use a 3 button mouse then the gestures are probably the way to go for mouse based back and forward though.

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  17. chris UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    The only way I know of to use the mouse for forwards and bakwards navigation (which I rarely use since I open almost everything in a new tab) is to right-click on an empty space and select either back or forward from the right-click menu.

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  18. StarHawk UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Some good ones here i’ve not tried before. Thanks for the heads up!

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  19. ExxonValdeez UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    I also use Faviconize Tab, Greasemonkey, and Firebug. NoScript is a must for me as well as Stylish, Better Gmail 2, Session Manager, and Google Browser Sync which is nifty if you like having the same session on every computer you use.

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  20. Alphast NETHERLANDS Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    I use Googel Toolbar and Google Notebook. I also use Greasemonkey (practical for some script in IGoogle) and ImageZoom. I use three extra dictionaries: English US, Dutch and French (having to work in the three languages on a daily base). I also use the LinkedIn companion.

    In the strange stuff that I find extremely useful: Restarter (which add a Restart Firefox to the File Menu); Download Statusbar (which manage multiple downloads in an unobtrusive way); Forecastfox (weather forecast, very useful when you live in the Netherlands); and FoxMarks (to be able to sync my bookmarks between home, laptop and work).

    To be honest, the only ones I could not live without are FoxMarks, Google Toolbar and the dictionaries.

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  21. Steve CANADA Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    There. Just surfed your site with IE and clicked on all the ad links :)

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  22. STop DENMARK Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    I use over 15 extensions… Here are a few, which have not been mentioned here yet: Google Preview adds valuable graphics to your search. Web Developer and HTML Validator are handy if you do some web design. Launchy lauches about anything (another browser, for instance) from FF. With Tab Mix Plus you control your tabs and sessions. Add Bookmark Here: throw your bookmarks in the right places, right away…
    And when I’m sick of it, I use Dillo!

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  23. Adam Kahtava CANADA Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    My newest favorite FF Add-on (as of today):

    Vimperator – Makes Firefox look and behave like the Vim text editor.

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  24. chris UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    This is a bit off topic but that’s one thing I really like about Bloglines … you can control your feed list using vi-like keystrokes.

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  25. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    [quote comment=”8374″]The only way I know of to use the mouse for forwards and bakwards navigation (which I rarely use since I open almost everything in a new tab) is to right-click on an empty space and select either back or forward from the right-click menu.[/quote]

    Get a 5 button mouse, then do back-and-forward with your thumb. :) That’s what I do.

    @ExxonValdeez – how is the Session Manager better than the build in manager in FF 2.0.x?

    @Alphast – Heh, I also have an extra dictionary in there (Polish one). :)

    Also, what does Google Toolbar have that is so useful? I never really saw point of installing it.

    [quote comment=”8381″]There. Just surfed your site with IE and clicked on all the ad links :)[/quote]

    Thank you and dziękuję!

    @STop – Launchy extension? I just use the original Launchy, which works in and out of FF or it’s clone Katapult when I’m on linux. :)

    [quote comment=”8383″]My newest favorite FF Add-on (as of today):

    Vimperator – Makes Firefox look and behave like the Vim text editor.[/quote]

    I’m still contemplating installing that one. I guess I will have to give it a whirl. :)

    [quote comment=”8384″]This is a bit off topic but that’s one thing I really like about Bloglines … you can control your feed list using vi-like keystrokes.[/quote]

    Yeah, I used to use them but I switched to Google Reader a long time ago and I haven’t looked back since.

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  26. Steve CANADA Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    I noticed you mention you use Adobe? Why not switch to foxit pdf reader? Way smaller, no bloat, and does the same thing.

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  27. STop DENMARK Opera Windows says:

    @ Luke – I’m afraid I expressed myself terribly! Launchy/Katapult and the Launchy extension are two completly different things. The extension does stuff like “Open current page in Opera” or “View source in Vim”, etc… Works with both Lenux and Windoze.
    I use it for instance to launch a page in different versions of IE (IE4, 5, 6 & 7 in Windows, IE5 & 6 in Wine/Linux).
    (and btw, yes, you can install multiple IE versions, for testing purpose.)

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  28. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    @Steve – I use both actually. I needed Adobe lately to open some funky documents created with the latest Adobe Acrobat that had embedded forms and other objects – so they were not really PDF files as per standard. It sucks, but what are you going to do. :(

    @STop – ah, ok. That makes perfect sense. And you know what – I think I actually had this extension installed at one point long time ago. It might have been called something else though. :P

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  29. ths UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    noone mentioned “secure login” so far? this is a great enhancement for autofilling of forms, but it prevents password stealing with evil JS.
    If you have to install Mozilla apps for a living you might want to look at the CCK wizard which is an XPI packager for your own customizations (written by an IBM colleague).

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  30. chris UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I just found another one, well, rather re-found another one. It’s called User Agent Switcher (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/59) and it let’s you change the User Agent of your browser.

    I’ve used this in the past when testing mod_rewrite rules for Apache. It’s not something you’d normally use on a daily basis.

    Today I was searching for the answer to an Exchange question and ran across an Experts-Exchange page where even the Google cache link wouldn’t show the solutions.

    I did a quick search and ran across this blog post:
    http://www.clazh.com/how-to-access-experts-exchange-and-bypass-without -registering/

    Apparently, you can simply change your browser’s UA to mimic one of Google’s search bots to get around EE’s silly block.

    One thing to note (which I found trying to get back to this site): change your UA back to default or Terminally Inchoherent.com will block you! :)

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  31. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    [quote post=”2325″]One thing to note (which I found trying to get back to this site): change your UA back to default or Terminally Inchoherent.com will block you[/quote]

    That’s probably the Bad Behavior plugin which doesn’t allow bots to post comments. I’m not blocking the Googlebot from indexing. I just won’t let it add comments here. ;)

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  32. Fr3d UNITED KINGDOM Safari Mac OS says:

    I’ve used UA Switcher for ages, great plugin :D

    You only need to change it back to a “normal” browser – Bad Behaviour doesn’t (and can’t) detect if you’re using Firefox or Safari etc ;)

    I posted this using Firefox on my Vista PC, but look what the “Posted using…” says ;)

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  33. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    [quote post=”2325″]I posted this using Firefox on my Vista PC, but look what the “Posted using…” says[/quote]

    LOL! Cheater!

    But yeah, Bad Behavior only blocks bots. It lets normal users with normal user agents (even if spoofed) through without questioning.

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  34. joey UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Nice list! I use quite a few of those everyday. A few that i use or have used, that may or may not have been mentioned in comments are:

    The Filterset.G updater for Adblock (works with Adblock Plus too i believe). It keeps your block list up to date…works too. Batchdownload…will download all the images or image links on a site…useful for grabbing multiple wallpapers or something. Paste and Go 2…allows you to copy a url, right click on the address bar and “paste and go”. A little more convenient for me than ctrl-v, enter sometimes. Spiderzilla…useful for mirroring a site.\

    Some that were mentioned and i also use…Downthemall, Fast Video Download, Foxmarks, and Gmail Notifier.

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  35. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    IMHO Linkify > Paste & Go

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