My Useful Firefox Addons

LBSIG, July 2007

As of this morning, there are 2,245 official Firefox extensions — each of which changes the behavior of Firefox in some way — as well as 317 official themes, which "merely" change the appearance. All these are available for one-click download and installation at https://addons.mozilla.org, or from within the browser, by selecting Tools --> Addons. I certainly can't claim to have looked at all of them, but here are a few which I have found useful enough to keep on my system.

This doesn't even count the hundreds of customizing options that are built into Firefox, very few of which are accessible though the Edit --> Preferences menu. (Most of the rest can be found, in exceedingly cryptic form, by entering about:config in the location bar instead of a normal URL. Make sure you know what you are doing, or at least, that the directions you are following come from someone who knows what they are doing, before trying this!)


Extensions:

Adblock Plus
Blocks many ads. Uses a downloaded list of known ad sites, which you can add onto.
Adblock Plus Element Hiding Helper
Makes the Adblock menu easier to use.
ColorfulTabs
As the name implies. Eye candy perhaps, but it pleases my soul.
Cooliris Previews
Shows a preview of a link when the cursor hovers over it.
Download Statusbar
Much neater replacement for default Firefox download popup.
Fasterfox
Tweaks Firefox for better performance. Warning — can greatly increase your bandwidth usage.
Favicon Picker 2
Allows you to pick icons for bookmarks.
FireFoxMenuButtons
More choices for customizing menus.
Flashblock
Replaces any Flash content with a placeholder, which can be clicked if you really want to see the item.
Forecastfox
Weather conditions and forecast, continuously updated. Exceedingly useful for hackers who seldom look out the window at the Real World.
Fullerscreen
REAL full-screen toggle, not the wimpy one available in Firefox.
Google Toolbar for Firefox
The "real one", from Google itself.
Image Toolbar
One-click storage of images from web pages.
Image Zoom
Context menu items for re-sizing images. The page reflows to account for the new size.
Linkification
Checks for things that look like URLs or Email addresses in page text and turns them into clickable links. For example, www.prismnet.com/~dierdorf, dierdorf@prismnet.com, and www.google.com are not
coded as links on this page.
Mouse Gestures
Page navigation and much more via the mouse. Very customizable.
Nuke Anything Enhanced
Kill any item on a page. Useful for making a page pretty before printing.
Remove It Permanently
Remembers things that have been killed for a given page. Not really needed if you have Platypus (below).
Split Browser
Allows split screen (horizontal and/or vertical) with each pane showing a different tab.
Toolbar Buttons
More button options for menu customizing.
Ubuntu Forums Menu
Adds menu for easy linking to various Ubuntu resources.
ZoomFox
Shows any image in a separate tab, with easy navigation and zoom capability. (Not compatible with Greasemonkey)

Class of Its Own

Greasemonkey
Gives you the ability to customize absolutely anything. The customization is attached to a particular URL, so the changes will take place every time the page is displayed. (It offers delete, move, copy, change font, and much more on an element-by-element basis.) Thousands of ready-do-download scripts for popular web sites at http://userscripts.org. Greasemonkey scripts are written in JavaScript, and there is at least one book simply about how to create them. BTW, the author has an earlier version of this book available for free on the web.
Platypus
Easy tool for generating Greasemonkey scripts without having to know JavaScript.

John Dierdorf dierdorf@prismnet.com
Last modified: Tue Jul 10 06:06:48 2007