Thursday Tech Tip – My Firefox Extensions

Posted on Thursday, Apr 23, 2009

firefoxAs you know, I’ve decided to return to Firefox after an attempt to use Google Chrome as my main browser. One of the main drivers for this decision was the wealth of customizations that Firefox affords you, through the use of browser extensions. Here’s a simple list of the Firefox extensions I am currently running.

Adblock Plus – This is a required extension to survive surfing the Web these days. Automatically updates from a central list for blocking, but also lets you override ad blocking on sites you want to support (like Good Old Rock, maybe?).

BBCodeExtra – Simple extension that offers right-click functionality to format text as either HTML or BBCode (the formatting code used on popular web forum software such as phpBB). I love the ability for it to automatically format the code for an image or link based upon what is in your clipboard.

CustomizeGoogle – Provides some minor tweaks to the Google interface. One thing I like is that your search results in Google Images will point directly to the image, which is nice. Also filters out some annoying search results.

Firebug – If you’re a web developer, this is a must-have extension. Lets you do neat things like digging deep into the properties of an element on a page, but also runs a console that shows exactly what pieces and parts are downloading/rendering on a page, helping you figure out what portions might be slowing a page down.

Google Reader Notifier – Sticks a little icon in your status bar that tells you when you have new articles in your Google Reader feed. Useful!

Greasemonkey – I don’t use this as much as I used to, but it can be really helpful. Allows you to install “userscripts” which will customize the formatting and display of a website. For example, there are scripts that remove all custom formatting from MySpace pages, which is kind of necessary if you are going to view MySpace without clawing your eyes out.

Greasefire – Companion to Greasemonkey; when you are on a site that has a useful (or at least compatible) user script, this will inform you and let you install it right there.

Linkification – Isn’t it annoying when you view a webpage that has the text for a URL, but it’s not clickable? And then you have to copy it to your clipboard and paste it into the URL bar? Well, if you don’t find that annoying, this exension is useless to you. But, if you’re like me, you’ll appreciate how Linkification will automagically turn text links on a page into clickable ones.

RetailMeNot – Simple tool that will alert you to any coupon/discount codes available for the site you are currently visiting.

Tree Style Tab – I’m still trying this guy out. If you’re rocking a widescreen display, vertical screen real estate is at a premium. This extension moves your tabs from taking up valuable space at the top of the window, and puts them in a sidebar on either the right or the left side of the window, where space is plentiful. Definitely takes some getting used to, but I’m feeling pretty positive about it. I could see this being a lifesaver on a netbook.

Xmarks – Formerly “Foxmarks”, this is a bookmark syncronization service that keeps all of your bookmarks in sync on all of your computers. It can also (optionally) sync saved passwords and cookies, so your surfing experience does not skip a beat when moving from your work computer to home. I love this extension like a fat kid loves cake.

What are YOUR essential Firefox extensions? Which ones can you not live without? Let me know in the comments!

comments powered by Disqus