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Cassandra's recommended Firefox extensions - Her Most Regal Majesty, the Queen of Snark
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Cassandra's recommended Firefox extensions
Firefox is a pretty darn cool web browser, and one of the coolest things about it is that it's incredibly customisable through the addition of extensions. The downside of extensions is that there's a lot of them out there, and it's not at all easy to find useful ones. So here are the extensions I find useful. They're all available from http://addons.mozilla.org/.

  • Adblock and Adblock Filterset.G updater

    Firefox's ability to cut out banner ads is one of its most useful features. However, there's always new ad sites poping up, and making your browser ad free requires effort. Adblock is a plugin that takes a lot of the donkey work out of this, and Adblock Filterset.G updater automatically downloads a well maintained list of ad sites, meaning that keeping your browser ad free becomes zero effort.

  • All in one sidebar

    The sidebar. Nice idea in principle, but so annoying that I used to just live without it. All-in-one sidebar makes it much easier and more convenient. It provides a toolbar for quick access to all the things you might want in a sidebar, and it makes hiding and showing the sidebar a simple matter of clicking on the left of your browser. As a bonus it replaces the extensions manager with one that lists your extensions alphabetically, and also combines the functions of the reload and stop buttons, freeing up more valuable screen real estate.

  • Copy plain text

    While preserving the formatting of stuff copied to the clipboard from web pages is sometimes useful, most of the time I just want the text and have to remove the formatting by hand. This extension provides a menu item for "just the text, ma'am.". (Not yet available for 1.5 beta.)

  • Flashgot

    Firefox's download manager is one of its weakest features. Without the ability to pause downloads or restart them if it's stalled, it can be a real pain when downloading large files. I haven't found an extension that replaces it with something better, but this is the next best thing. It supports lots of different download manager programs, but the one I currently use is Free Download Manager.

  • IE View

    "We don't believe in choice, if your webbrowser doesn't support ActiveX, you're stuffed." Sometimes pages just don't work in Firefox. I feel dirty every time I fire up IE, but at least this little extension means it's just a right click away from the offending page.

  • Linkification

    Bad HTML and a lot of forum software often displays URLs without a link attached, requiring a copy and paste to put the link into your address bar. Linkification identifies URLs in web pages and automatically makes them clickable. A small annoyance removed.

  • NoScript

    Javascript, curse of the internet. On the one hand lots of nifty features rely on it (much of LJ is a good example) and on the other hand, all sorts of malicious software uses it. So whether you set it on or off, either situation is less than ideal. This extension disables it by default, and re-enables it for sites you need it for with a quick menu selection, either permanently or just for this session. It also optionally disables Flash for non trusted site, removing the final potential source of annoying ads that Adblock doesn't reach.

  • Outside bar

    I'm old fashioned. I like my browser window to be longer than it is wide, like a piece of paper. Outsidebar removes another sidebar annoyance by causing the sidebar to pop up to the left of the browser window, thus not changing the size of your browsing window when you activate the sidebar. Nice. (Not yet available for 1.5 beta)

  • Password Save

    Allows you to get all those web site passwords out of the Password Manager. Handy if you want them on another computer.

  • Sage

    I'd played with Thunderbird's RSS aggregator and found it overly clumsy. Sage, by contrast is a pleasure to use, and makes checking news sites a much quicker and more painless process, allowing you to quickly get to the content that actually interests you.

  • Littlefox

    Technically a theme rather than an extension, this changes the Firefox user interface so that it doesn't take up so much room. Particularly useful on small screens.

So - do you have any Firefox extensions you regard as indispensible?
7 comments or Leave a comment
mattmachell From: mattmachell Date: September 26th, 2005 11:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Given my work, Web Developer is a godsend. Similarly MeasureIt and LinkChecker.

I use DeepestSender to post to LJ.
angoel From: angoel Date: September 26th, 2005 11:54 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure what it's called, but the extension that takes the URL in the clipboard and opens up a new tab containing it when you press ctrl-shift-v is one that I use constantly.
metame From: metame Date: September 26th, 2005 12:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Fine idea for a thread...

My free-cents-worth

Image Zoom - handy occasionally, allows any image to be zoomed etc.
XPather - add in to the DOM inspector, for we XML geeks.
Forecastfox (weather) - cute rather than desperately useful
mobbsy From: mobbsy Date: September 26th, 2005 01:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Flashblock - many ads seem to be in flash these days, as do many annoying things. I can live with an extra click to get to Flash content.

Popups Must Die - seems to block popups that the built-in blocker misses. I was starting to see a few popup ads defeat firefox until I installed this.
sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: September 26th, 2005 01:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
The popup thing was why I moved to the 1.5 beta. I've seen much less of them since then.
uitlander From: uitlander Date: September 26th, 2005 04:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
IE view - (very handy when sites have been coded by the clueless)
Tab X - puts a close box on each tab... means I actually close the tab I intended to.
PDF download - handy at times, lets me decide how I want to open things.
Fox Clocks - handy for knowing the time in our overseas offices... and also Antartica, cos I'm just nosy that way.
Fox Forecast - Weather - I have profiles for assorted places I visit regularly.

Ad Aware borked my extensions config, and almost forced a complete re-install. It conflicts with one of the above listed ones. Getting rid of it proved quite challenging with no extension manager, but once it went everthing else went back to normal. Not something I'll be installing again in a hurry.
pjc50 From: pjc50 Date: September 27th, 2005 04:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
I use Mozilla rather than Firefox, as I find the unified address/search bar much better than the Firefox two too small boxes. With that I find the DOM inspector is fantastic when writing websites or doing stuff with Javascript. I find the middle-button-anywhere-in-window X paste that opens a URL really useful.

One thing that I'd like to be able to do is view files of unknown or "unhandleable" MIME type in the browser as if they were plain text. This feature seems to have been taken away...

Oh, and I use a "small" theme on my laptop to save screen area.
7 comments or Leave a comment