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Friday, June 30. 2006
Firefox has already more than 1200 extensions. Which ones are useful? After indulging in installing few hundred of them, I choose the 27 best, based on how much I use them every day. I've been impressed by many, but these 27 are the ones I use daily. The order is alphabetical.
1. AI Roboform Toolbar : http://www.roboform.com/
When you register to the 101th site and you get your Nth username and password it starts dawing that you need a password manager. Frustrated, and after some searching, I found Roboform. Roboform stores my usernames / passwords and logs me automatically to all the sites, forums, and shops I'm registered with. I use it all the time and it has saved me hours of login and filling forms. Roboform gives a free limited trial version. The limitation of the free trial version is a limit to the number of user-added passwords (less than 10 after the first 30 days of use).
Great extension that adds buttons for accessing the sidebar views and a sidebar menu. You can view useful info such as installed extensions, downloads, html sources, bookmarks, history and views from various extensions.
3. Colorful Tabs : http://varun21.googlepages.com/main.html
Puts various colors to the tabs. May seem trivial, but it's actually very useful. It helps you make the memory association of which page is in which tab a little quicker. Looks nice too.
4. CoLT (short for "Copy Link Text") : http://www.borngeek.com/firefox/colt/
Adds a menu option for copying an html link in full formatted html. Small extension but very useful to bloggers and webpage designers. It also allows you to define you own syntax for the HTML output.
5. Optimise Google : http://www.customizegoogle.com/
Enhances Google Search with various links and features. Many options. The most important are shown below.
6. del.icio.us Extension : http://del.icio.us/
Adds a menu that helps del.icio.us users to add and retrieve del.icio.us. bookmarks.
7. Digg This : http://j.domaindlx.com/diggthis/
Adds a simple menu option for adding bookmarks to the digg service. You can set up digg so that it communicates with your blog and announces the new bookmark.
8. DOM Inspector : http://www.mozilla.org/projects/inspector/
Inspects and edits the live DOM of any web page or XUL application. It renders itself on the sidebar. Very useful to test and debug CSS.
9. Duplicate Tab : http://twanno.mozdev.org/
Adds a menu option to duplicate a tab with its history to a new tab or window and to merge two windows into two tabs.
10. Fasterfox : http://fasterfox.mozdev.org/
Loads faster web pages by prefetching parts. Renders a small page timer counting in seconds.
11. Firefox Extension Backup Extension v.3 (FEBE) : http://customsoftwareconsult.com/extensions/index.html
Gives you the option to backup and restore your installed extensions, themes, bookmarks, preferences and cookies. I have used it to pass my installed extensions to other computers. Version 3 allows you to install all the extensions in one step. Adding the CLEO extension to FEBE, gives you the option to save all the extensions in one file.
12. Fission : http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?t=370248
Makes the address bar a little more useful by displaying a progress bar. Good idea, not an eye candy, it actually works well and is very useful.
13. Google Preview : http://ackroyd.de/googlepreview/
Appends website thumbnails to google and yahoo results. Brilliant. Once you have it once you need it. It would be great to have also statistics (alexa, google pagerank, even SEO stats etc) on the right of each link.
14. IE Tab : http://ietab.mozdev.org/
Allows you to start a tab with the actual IE rendering engine. No excuses about firefox not rendering everything. When a page needs IE, I just select to view it on a IE container in Firefox. Through its options, you can store a list of addresses that get always rendered by IE.
15. Mouse Gestures : http://optimoz.mozdev.org/gestures/
Save your wrists from RSI. Use gesture recognition software to decrease mouse movement. I have been using gesture recognition software daily since 2001. It speeds up massively using the computer. Once you spend 20 minutes learning the gestures, there is no turning back. It's invaluable, guaranteed . Once you get hooked to it, you can extend it by either making your own gestures or by downloading user-created gestures that already exist for 100s of tasks.
16. Mozlab : http://dev.hyperstruct.net/trac/mozlab
Write your own mozilla extensions and use Mozlab to explore and modify them whilst running. When you install Mozlab you get an option to replicate your browser. Then you can telnet to localhost on port 4242, and access your mozilla client through commands. The demo video of using mozlab is pretty impressive.
17. MyPortal : http://myportal.mozdev.org/
Dynamically creates a page with all your bookmarks. Very useful when you want to go through many of your bookmarks in one session.
18. Performancing :http://performancing.com/
Excellent extension for bloggers. Performancing, allows you to instantly blog comments you made to any of the major blog systems, or even your own (if your blog supports Moveable Type or WordPress).
19. RanQuest SEO Toolbar : http://www.rankquest.com/
Ranquest installs a toolbar with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) related tools:
Validation Tools: Server Header Checker, HTML Validator, Code Cleaner, Link Checker
Content Tools: Keyword Density analyzer, Lynz View, Link Explorer, Text Ratio
Meta Tools: Keyword Finder, Meta Tag Analyzer
Popularity Tools: Link Popularity, Search Engine Saturation
The SEO Toolbar also contains menu links for various SEO related task such Whois, Link Stats, Page Report, and for SEO diff-ing between pairs of sites.
20. Reveal : http://aluminum.sourmilk.net/reveal/
Shows thumbnail pictures of your active tabs or your history. To see thumbnails of the tabs you need to press F2 or Alt-. Then to see thumbnails to your history pages you press the button Insert.
21. Rite of Tongue : http://hashcolouredtabs.mozdev.org/riteoftongue/
Spell checks the selected word and gives alternative spelling.
22. RubNub : http://www.rubnub.org/
A YubNub toolbar. If you haven't heard of yubnub web commands go check them now! The idea is great, and if at some point we can get pipes connecting the various yubnub commands we'll have the first real web language
23. Sage : http://sage.mozdev.org/
RSS & ATOM sidebar reader. Very convenient, allows you to organise your feeds and display them using your own stylesheet.
24. Search Status : http://www.quirk.biz/searchstatus/
Two useful indicators for the current page's popularity, the Google and the Alexa PageRank. Adds a small menu with some useful options for finding information about a site.
25. StumbleUpon : http://www.stumbleupon.com/
Toolbar with stumbleUpon buttons. StumbleUpon is a social bookmarking site. When you first register you select your interests and it gives you highly voted links by its users. Up until now it has given me links worth bookmarking three out of five times.
26. VideoDownloader : http://videodownloader.net/
Video Downloader is an extension that allows you to quickly download video files from video sites like youtube, google video etc. You can save the video and play it locally if you have the correct video player. You can usually download freeware video players for the various formats but you can also convert the video formats.
27. WebDeveloper : http://chrispederick.com/work/webdeveloper/
Very useful extension for web developers. It creates a toolbar menu with 100s of useful options.
After these extensions this is how my browser looks like:
I dont mind the busy GUI when its elements are genuinely useful
Posted by thanassis in Tools/Links at 15:32 | Comments (35) | Trackbacks (0)
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Thank you thanassis, that was briliant. I got 4 of them!
Here is the best one:
Super Drag and Go
Drag a link up to open in a tab in the foreground
Drag a link down to open in a tab in the backgroundground
I go crazy without this extension.
this is the absolutely most essential extension. Not only drag a link, but drag hi-lighted text to search the currently selected search engine in a new tab!
ok, two things on this.
First, the funny thing is that I have thid behaviour already installed without superdrag. It must be part of the mouse gesture package.
Second, I did try to install it anyway, just to see weather I would get any new cool features. Unfortunately, it crached my firefox at installation time, and after restarting firefox, it was not on the installed plugin list... Bizzare, it must be a version compatibility thing, or it claches with an existing plugin?
Sorry but the link I posted above is for the original relaese which only works with v.8 to v1.0.
Here is a link to a newer one:
btw also forgot to mention that it was a great article hehe.
Regarding FEBE, there is a way to mass-install all of your extensions, using CLEO.
CLEO is a Firefox extension that works with FEBE to package any number of extensions/themes into a single, installable .xpi file.
thank you I'll try it as soon as I can and let you know. It's a problem having to install 50+ firefox extensions one by one.
11. Firefox Extension Backup Extension (FEBE) : http://fasterfox.mozdev.org/
Is it just me or is there something wrong with that link?
try it again. It must be a problem on your side. I've tried the link again just now and it's fine.
RE: Firefox Extension Backup Extension (FEBE): Version 3.0 does restore your extensions and themes all at once. Simply select multiple items using the shift/control click method. FEBE also has a sister extension named CLEO (Compact Library Extension Organizer) that will package your extensions/themes into a single, installable xpi file. Note: The link you have for FEBE is incorrect. Should be: http://customsoftwareconsult.com/extensions/index.html
thanks, I've updated the article to include the new version of FEBE. I was using FEBE v.2.0. Birlliant that this is available now with the new version.
Thats a lot of extensions! I have a few that I need, and I think they were all included
cool I do use 25 extensions on top of the list of 27 but I thought they wouldn't be very useful to everyone so I did not include them. I got many comments under the digg submission with many suggestions for additions to the list. I'll give them a test and I'll update if I find something worth mentioning. The CLEO that Rhin mentioned above seems a perfect candidate for inclusion.
This is a great list. I often check this regularly updated list of 50 Best Firefox Extensions for Power Surfing.
thank you, It seems, I may have missed some very good extensions. Well, take the article as work in progress
Why don't you just use Opera; it has 90% of the above included by default, plus some additional useful features. And if you can think of anything useful that's not in Opera, mention it to them and they'll include it in the next version.
thanks, I remember installing opera few years ago and I was not impressed. Ofcourse things probably changed since. I'll give it a go and let you know.
surprised that milewideback isnt on here - its pretty awesome. i guess it gets precluded by the gestures one, but anyone reading this should definitely try it - its easy and hella helpful.
interesting that StumbleUpon is one of your favorites...that's probably one of the only ways i would've found this site. 2 thumbs up for StumbleUpon!
I haven't really got into the social thingy yet in StumbleUpon. But I love using the stumble button, It returns brilliant results almost everytime
It's great to see RoboForm listed as #1. I can't live without it.
For those switching to Mac, you'll want to try 1Passwd. When I first switched there was nothing like RoboForm, so I had to write it:)
I would add the GreaseMonkey extension, it alter the content and behavior of any website through user scripts which work inside the browser:
thanks, I've installed GreaseMonkey and checking it out. Do you use it daily?
Haha, I got here through StumbleUpon, too. I can't believe you don't have FoxyTunes, though! It's my favorite extension!
Thanks for commenting!
Lots of people like Foxytunes. I did not install it because I'm rarely listening to music whilst browsing. I'll check it out soon though.
Cool stuff, I already use most of them and I think they're absolutely fantastic.
I use a little over 60 extensions. They make my life a whole lot easier.
it's true. After trying firefox with all its plugins there is no turning back to other browsers. I have now more than 80 plugins installed. I'll soon add a new article with all the updates.
WebDeveloper : http://chrispederick.com/work/webdeveloper/
Very useful extension for web developers. It creates a toolbar menu with 100s of useful options
I think, there are useful extension for bloggers. It's blog submitter: http://www.submitemnow.com
Great list. i had never heart the duplicate tab. i installed it and it works well. You rock!
Don't forget firebug too. Excellent tool for web developers!
I've installed firebug few months ago and I was really impressed! Brilliant extension! After a year of using and testing firefox extensions I need to review the article and add many new ones that I'm using. For example, I just started using iOpus iMacros and I'm very impressed with it. I can record browsing sessions, and play them back! fantastic.
Don't forget Firefox's flash fill, awesome tool.
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