Most Useful Firefox Addons

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Some Addons integrate search and bookmarking, others provide ways to view and take notes, some make minor, but wonderful adjustments…

All-in-One Sidebar If you like Opera’s sidebar but prefer to stick with Firefox, this add-on gives you the best of both worlds. Once installed, it gives you a panel at the left or right of the browser window which you can use to switch between each browser’s features. It lets you quickly switch between sidebar panels, view dialog windows such as downloads, extensions, and more in the sidebar, or view source or websites in the sidebar.

StumbleUpon – allows you to discover and share great Web content matched to your personal preferences. Whether it’s a website, video, picture, game, blog, or wiki, StumbleUpon helps you find interesting pages recommended by like-minded people with a single click of the Stumble button. After installing the plug-in, click the Stumble button and you’re instantly delivered to a related site that others have given the thumbs-up. The more sites you rate, the better your Stumbles will match your tastes.

Cooliris Previews– Cooliris Previews gives you the power to browse and share Web links and rich media instantly. Just mouse over any link, and the Cooliris preview window immediately appears to show you the content. No more clicking back and forth or losing your search context. To send a link, just click.

Foxmarks A simple plug-in that keeps your bookmarks synchronized throughout multiple computers. these days, who has just one computer, anyway? Foxmarks works quietly in the background; the only thing you notice is that the bookmarks you keep are now consistent from your desktop machine to your laptop to your work machine and so on. Also copies your bookmarks to its home page, so you can also access them from a guest computer (such as your local espresso joint or library!).

Firefox Showcase -provides a new way to manage your Firefox tabs and windows by showing them as thumbnails in a single window, tab or sidebar. Includes a find bar that will filter the thumbnails, and the capability to select the thumbnails in the same way you would select files in your system.

FoxyTunes is a Firefox add-on which gives you the ability to integrate some of the most powerful media players around such as iTunes and Windows Media Player directly into your browser window. You are given the ability to control your media player of choice from Firefox’s status bar or toolbar section.

Answers – Ever run across a word or acronym that you weren’t familiar with? Instead of rushing to a new tab to look it up in an online dictionary, Answers gives you the definition right on the page in a pop-up. It uses, Wikipedia,, and many others. Very handy for following an article or discussion that bandies about terms you’ve never heard of.

GMail Manager -allows you to manage multiple Gmail accounts and receive new mail notifications. Displays your account details including unread messages, saved drafts, spam messages, labels with new mail, space used, and new mail snippets.

Yahoo Mail Notifier -This extension notifies you when new messages arrive in your Yahoo mail account. It’ll display a little pop-up to catch your attention if you want it to. Clicking the icon takes you to Yahoo mail. Notification options include: customizable sound, notification alert, status bar and toolbar icon. Also allows the user to map different mouse buttons to open Yahoo Mail in different tabs, windows, etc.

GreaseMonkey– is other great addon designed for making forefox better. Greasemonkey extension (called ‘user scripts‘) can add more functionality or change the behavior of a web page. These scripts let you control any aspect of a web page’s design or interaction. For instance, you can add video download functionality to video sharing site like youtube, OR disable all ads on myspace OR change the appearance of gmail and lots lots more.

Firebug – Firebug is an essential tool for developers working on Web pages. It allows you to examine and tweak the HTML, CSS and JavaScript contained in a page, all on the fly. Firebug opens either as a panel at the bottom of the page you’re inspecting, or in a separate window.

Session Manager is a handy utility to help you manage your Firefox tabs. If you’re a Web surfer who habitually visits the same sites every morning, all you need do is open the sites in separate tabs and/or windows, and then use Session Manager to save the session under a name of your choosing. After that, every morning start up Firefox and go to Tools > Session Manager, pick your session and voila, all the windows and tabs open up just as you saved them.

Download Statusbar – Manage your Internet downloads from a tidy toolbar, without the download window getting in the way of your Web browsing. Despite its compact size, Download Statusbar packs in more useful features than the standard download window. The fully customizable interface auto-hides when not in use, allowing full control without interruption.

Scrapbook -Collects web scraps of entire pages, snippets, images, media, embeds, etc. Also has a powerful notes feature that allows hand-entered data including javascript and HTML – so is a mini-development IDE. This is great for testing widgets and javascript code. There is also an “Edit before capture” mode that shows a toolbar for for interactive DOM object removal, entering of sticky annotation, remove selection and highlighting. The full power of this add-on is not well known by Firefox users.

Tab Mix Plus is a Firefox add-on which greatly enhances the application’s tabbed browsing features. Included are dozens of options involving tab duplication, merging, focus, and much more. In addition to improving the browser’s tab capabilities, this extension also features its own robust session manager.

Reveal is a Firefox extension that allows you to view your current tabs as thumbnails directly on your screen – as shown with my favorite websites above. So I thought that this might prove pretty useless to me considering that I’m already using tabbed browsing. Why would I need to have mini pictures of these and what purpose would they serve? What’s really great about this extension is the ease of use. Once installed, you just press F2 to bring up the interface. Not only is it that simple, but its pretty too. Your screenshot comes zooming in from the side of your screen and places itself in the middle of your screen with the current tab highlighted.

Sage – turns Firefox into an RSS feed aggregator that makes getting the latest news easy. Using the left sidebar, Sage displays your available feeds, lists your feed history, and then shows stories with summaries and images in the main window.

IE Tab– Extremely useful for those sites that require Internet Explorer and for testing purposes, this add-on loads any Web page as IE would display it, in the Firefox browser. A simple button in the Firefox status bar quickly and easily switches sites to IE and back. You also can specify some sites to always open with IE Tab.

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