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April 08, 2005

Firefox, why aren't you using it? Must Have Firefox Extensions

This post is mostly for my non-geek friends that aren't already using the Firefox Web Browser or heaven forbid are not even aware of it.

Firefox is a free, faster, safer, alternative to the Internet Explorer web browser. It has a built-in popup blocker, offers tabbed browsing, and keeps your computer safer from spyware and malicious scripts.

Three new books about Firefox are hitting the shelves: Firefox Hacks, Don't Click on the Blue E! and Firefox and Thunderbird Garage.

There's also a large community of people developing add-ons and extensions for Firefox that add additional functionality and features. (I'll keep this list updated as I discover new ones.)

Must Have Firefox Extensions For Everyone:
  • BBCodeXtra: Adds BBCode/HTML/XHTML formatting to the context menu for forums.

  • Bookmark Duplicate Detector: Detects Duplicate Bookmarks when bookmarks are added and specify where is the previous URL. You can also search and delete duplicates URL already in your Bookmarks.

  • BugMeNot: Bypass compulsory web registration by using BugMeNot via Firefox's right-click context menu. A BugMeNot password is automatically entered and the BugMeNot login is submitted.

  • Down Them All: Filter the extensions of all the links present in a page and download the selected files in just a click!

  • ErrorZilla: Implements a useful error page when a website cannot be reached. Will add "Try Again," "Google Cache," "Coralize," "Wayback," "Ping," "Trace," and "Whois" buttons, along with the Firefox logo to the error page when a website isn't found or a web server is down.

  • Gmail Manager: Allows you to manage multiple gmail accounts and receive new mail notifications. Displays account details including unread messages, saved drafts, spam messages, labels with new mail, space used, and new mail snippets.

  • Google Browser Sync: Continuously synchronizes your browser settings including bookmarks, history, persistent cookies, and saved passwords across your computers. It also allows you to restore open tabs and windows across different machines and browser sessions. (Being discontinued in 2008.)

  • Google Notebook: Clip useful information: You can add clippings of text, images and links from web pages to your Google Notebook without ever leaving your browser window. Organize your notes: You can create multiple notebooks, divide them into sections, and drag-and-drop your notes to stay organized. Get access from anywhere: You can access your Google Notebooks from any computer by using your Google Accounts login. Publish your notebook: You can share your Google Notebook with the world by making it public. (Replaces ScrapBook.)

  • Google Toolbar: The official Google toolbar for Firefox. A MUST have! Adds lots of useful features such as a form filler, a spell checker, Safe Browsing, and makes using Google easier than ever.

  • InFormEnter: Adds a small, clickable icon next to every input field in a web form, from where you can select the item to be inserted - no typing required.

  • No Squint: Zooms and remembers text size selection for each web site.

  • Remember The Milk for Gmail: Remember The Milk for Gmail is a Firefox extension that allows you to manage your tasks in Gmail (complete, postpone, and edit tasks) and add new tasks.

  • Resizeable Textarea: Allows you to resize textareas to your needs. Use it to make the typing area on message boards, blogs, and other forms larger.

  • Restart Firefox: Adds "Restart Firefox" menu item to "File", and a toolbar button for easy restarting. Great for when you install themes or extensions and need to restart Firefox.

  • Sceen grab!: Saves web pages as images by scrolling around and stitching the result together and also will save just a frame as an image.

  • Sort Bookmarks: Adds a menu option to the Bookmarks to either Sort bookmarks by Name, URL, or Last Visit Date.

  • Sort Extensions and Themes: Sorts the list of installed extensions and themes alphabetically.

  • Tab Mix Plus: Enhances Firefox's tab browsing capabilities; move tabs, duplicate tabs, controlling tab focus, undoclosetab and many more great tab browsing enhancements. (Replaces Tab X and Tabbrowser.)

  • TargetKiller: The extension removes the target attribute from links on the fly. By default, it removes all target attributes that are equal to _blank or _new.

  • TinyUrl Creator: TinyUrl brings the functionality into your browser. It takes a long URL as input, and gives you a short URL to use in it's place.

  • VideoDownloader: Adds a small icon on the status bar at the bottom of your Firefox window, and a toolbar button. Just click that and download the video you are watching from Youtube, Google, Metacafe, iFilm, Dailymotion... and 60+ other video sites. Also works with all embedded objects on a web page (movies, mp3s, flash, quicktime, etc.)

Must Have Firefox Extensions For Web Developers:
  • Adsense Notifier: Displays your AdSense earnings on the status bar.

  • ColorZilla: Advanced Eyedropper, ColorPicker, Page Zoomer and other colorful goodies useful for web site designers.

  • FireBug: FireBug lets you explore the far corners of the DOM by keyboard or mouse. All of the tools you need to poke, prod, and monitor your JavaScript, CSS, HTML and AJAX are brought together into one seamless experience, including a debugger, an error console, command line, and a variety of fun inspectors.

  • LiveHTTPHeaders: Adds a 'Headers' tab in 'View Page Info' of a web page, adds a tool in the 'Tools->Web Development' menu to be able to display http headers in real time (while pages are being downloaded from the Internet, and allows you to edit request headers and replay an URL (beta).

  • MeasureIt: Draw out a ruler to get the pixel width and height of any elements on a web page.

  • View Source Chart: Creates a colorful chart of a webpage's rendered source code and displays source in its altered state after the dom has been manipulated by JavaScript.

  • Web Developer: Adds a menu and a toolbar to the browser with various web developer tools. Current tools include converting form POSTs to GETs, hiding images, outlining block level elements, and disabling styles - plus many more.

Must Have Firefox Extensions For Photographers:
  • FxIF: Allows you to view the EXIF data contained in JPEG images within the Firefox browser. Just view the image properties to see the EXIF data.

Others to consider:
  • About Site: Gives you one-click access to various services that provide information about the web page you are viewing.

  • Clippings: Saves and manages frequently-entered text for pasting later. Text can be pasted from Clippings into forms and input fields without the hassle of retyping or repetitive copying and pasting. Perfect for pasting in text you always need to retype in forms, web mail (gmail!), blog entries, wiki editing and forum posts.

  • FirefoxView: Open Firefox with the current page or a selected link displayed in Internet Explorer.

  • ForecastFox: Get international weather forecasts from, and display it in any toolbar or status bar with this highly customizable extension.

  • Google Preview: Inserts preview images (thumbnails) of web sites, Amazon products and stock charts into the Google and Yahoo! search results pages.

  • IE View: Adds "View page in Internet Explorer" links to the content and link context menu. Handy for previewing pages in IE, loading up IE-only pages when you run across them.

  • Image Zoom: Adds zoom functionality for images.

  • ImgLikeOpera: Loads only the images that you want. Adds the same functionality as in Opera.

  • LiveLines: Add RSS feeds to Bloglines or Sage with the RSS icon on the status bar.

  • MenuEditor: Allows you to customize the menus in Firefox and Thunderbird.

  • NoScript: This extension allows JavaScript, Java and other executable content to run only from trusted domains of your choice, e.g. your home-banking web site. Such a preemptive approach prevents exploitation of security vulnerabilities (known and even unknown!) with no loss of functionality.

  • PrefBar: A toolbar for quickly accessing and changing common preferences, like enabling/disabling cookies, Java, JavaScript, Images, Flash, etc. Can also be hidden and displayed at the touch of an F-key.

  • Public Fox Firefox Add-On: Public Fox can lock downloads, so no one can download anything while you are away. It also can lock add-ons, so that no one can change your extensions options, install, or uninstall them. It rounds out its protection by locking down all the Firefox options, the "about:config" page and even stops the addition/removal/options of bookmarks!

First Posted: April 08, 2005
Last Updated: June 17, 2008

Posted in Firefox , Google , Software & Downloads by usrbingeek at 2005-04-08 12:00 ET (GMT-5) | 4 Comments | Permalink


I am using Maxthon (MyIE2) and it is much faster, and better that Firefox.

Posted by: Net at April 12, 2005 01:14 PM

Since Maxthon uses IE's code base it is open to all of IE's vulnerabilities and attack vectors. So while it might add some of the features that Firefox offers it doesn't provide the same level of safety and security.

Posted by: #!/usr/bin/geek at April 12, 2005 01:33 PM

Firefox has been my browser de rigeur. Thanks for the headsup a few months back. Using multiple tabs instead of multiple windows is just the beginning.

Posted by: halobb at April 14, 2005 10:01 PM

Because it won't allow me to use my Musicmatch service. I like the Firefox browser; but I want my music, too. I have contacted Musicmatch about this to no avail.

Posted by: pr0vider at April 16, 2005 06:48 AM

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