Simon’s Backup Weblog


Pimp My Browser

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on December 16, 2005

One of the good things about Firefox is the ability to add new features through extensions. If there’s something you’ve wanted a browser to do, then there’s probably a Firefox extension already written to do it…

Here’s my list of extensions (all working on Firefox 1.5). With links so you can install them too!

  • Forecastfox – instant weather forecasts all the time!
  • Google Toolbar for Firefox – it’s the Google Toolbar. You need an explanation?
  • PDF Download – manage whether PDF files are rendered in the browser (you can even view them as HTML), or if you’d rather download them for future reference.
  • IE View – launches the page you’re viewing in Internet Explorer – a useful tool for debugging pages, and testing code.
  • BugMeNot – get past those pesky log ins for sites like the New York Times…
  • FlickrFox – integrated Flickr browsing.
  • Tabbrowser Preferences – I mainly use Firefox for the tabs. This extension makes using them a lot easier.
  • Web Developer – see just how that page was put together – including DHTML and CSS features.
  • Allow Right-Click – disable JavaScript right-click blockers, so you can get the URIs of images and print pages…
  • Bookmarks Synchronizer – I can keep my bookmarks on a public web server, and make sure all three of my machines have the same bookmarks.
  • del.icio.us – manage social bookmarks from inside the browser.
  • Viamatic foXpose – see all your tabs – in one view. More useful than you might think at first…
  • SessionSaver .2 – saves open tabs when you close the browser, so you come back to the pages you were at last time.
  • Clip to OneNote – adds the selected content to a OneNote side note. Only useful if you use OneNote as your standard note taking application!
  • Restart Firefox – one button restart for when you install a new extension or theme! With SessionSaver, you’re back the way you were in seconds.
  • DownThemAll! – download everything from a page, faster than using Firefox’s own download tools.
  • IE Tab – embeds IE in a Firefox tab, ideal for debugging web sites and working with IE only sites (Windows only).
  • FireFTP – a full FTP client, right there in the browser.
  • Colorful Tabs – colours tabs, making it easier to see the active tab, and switch between sites and pages.
  • How’d I Get Here – takes you back to where you started to explore a site – even across tabs.
  • Blogger Web Comments – keep an eye on what one small part of the web is saying about the page you’re viewing.
  • Spell Bound – form field spell checker.
  • Fasterfox – network speed tweas for Firefox.

What are you using? And why?

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15 Responses to 'Pimp My Browser'

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  1. stillcarl said,

    BugMeNot.

    DOM Inspector. “A poweful tool for viewing and manipulating documents.” (I haven’t a clue why I installed this, or even if I actually use it!:)

    Scribe. “Adds Word Processor like functionality to web forms, including opening and saving form entries as files.” (Must learn how it works – right-click doesn’t offer a Save-As I see…)

    Dictionary Tooltip. “Press ctrl+shift+D [or] double-click after selecting a word to see its meaning.” (Accesses a swag of online dictionaries. This I use sometimes, though it’s a bit slow on my slow broadband.)

  2. sbisson said,

    DOM Inspector is part of the default Firefox install. I find Web Developer does more of what I need anyway, so I uninstalled it…

  3. andrewducker said,

    TabBrowser Preferences is really not advised anymore. TabMix Plus is the new standard.

  4. akicif said,

    Have just upgraded to FF1.5, most of my extensions either don’t work or need updating, and when trying to update them I get a strip along the top of the window saying software installation has been disabled, click here – where “here” opens the options panel which doesn’t have an option to enable software installation….

  5. sbisson said,

    It should be a dialog box that lets you add the site in question to a list. When that’s done, clost the dialog and click the install button…

  6. sbisson said,

    Never heard of it, and it’s not on the FireFox most popular list…

    I’m also a tad unsure of installing something that’s a 0.2 release…

  7. cobrabay said,

    Most of the ones I use are on you list, plus Chatzilla (an IRC client), Undo Close Tab, and Gmail notifier. Hadn’t heard of PDF Download, I really must give it a go.

  8. andrewducker said,

    I’ve been using it for months.

    Wired recommend it for doing TabStuff:
    http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,69806-1.html?tw=wn_story_page_next1

    I moved across to it because the TBP page had a large caveat saying “This extension is a great big kludge with known compatability problems. If you aren’t actually wanting to use every bit of the functionality we recommend TabMix” and then went to TabMix Plus because it had slightly more functionality and worked with 1.5 first.

  9. akicif said,

    Nope – that dialog box is there, the site’s on the list, but installation doesn’t want to happen. In fact, it won’t even install from a downloaded local copy.

    I’m thinking of downgrading to an earlier FF.

  10. sbisson said,

    Odd. I’d take it to the Mozilla support forums – there may be a preference that has got corrupted in the upgrade…

  11. akicif said,

    Have tried to uninstall (by deleting the directory, as it never seemed to have installed properly) and reinstalled – strangely enough all my various links and preferences came back, so unsurprisingly, the problem hadn’t gone away. Will stop playing and go back to work for a while before doing the forum thing….

  12. anonymous said,

    Not sure how I ended up here, but that list is useful, and reassuring, as I use many of the same non-developer ones. I also use:-

    Flashgot (works with a download manager such as leechget), which is important for me on dial-up, as it allows interruption of downloads.
    Duplicate tab – does what it says
    Lasttab – allows easy AltTab movement through tabs (although maybe that’s in there anyway).
    Sessionsaver .2 – I LOVE this, as it means I can turn of firefox with interesting but unread windows and when I turn it back on they’re all there for later.
    Dictionary search – I can’t spell.
    Reload Tab on double-click – as named.
    Hashcolouredtabs – sounds like colorful tabs. I end up with little site icons for sites that have them and same coloured tabs for those from the same domain. And they spell colour how I like it.
    Open link in.. – easy control of where lnks open.

    Some of these may duplicate functions already present in Firefox: I’ve just been blindly grabbing well regarded extensions.

  13. silver_notebook said,

    Not sure how I ended up here, but that list is useful – and reassuring, as I use many of the same non-developer ones. I also use:-

    Flashgot 0.5.9.99 (works with a download manager such as leechget), which is important for me on dial-up, as it allows interruption of downloads.
    Duplicate tab 0.7 – does what it says
    Lasttab 1.5.1 – allows easy AltTab movement through tabs (although maybe that’s in there anyway).
    Sessionsaver .2 – I LOVE this, as it means I can turn of firefox with interesting but unread windows and when I turn it back on they’re all there for later.
    Dictionary search 1.5 – I can’t spell.
    Reload Tab on double-click 1.0.4 – as named.
    Hashcolouredtabs 0.3.3 – sounds like colorful tabs. I end up with little site icons on top of tab for sites that have them and same coloured tabs for those from the same domain without site icons. And they spell colour how I like it.
    Open link in.. 1.4 – easy control of where lnks open.

    Some of these may duplicate functions already present in Firefox: I’ve just been blindly grabbing well regarded extensions.

    apologies for previous anonymous posting

  14. akicif said,

    Kinda-sorta – 1.5 doesn’t let you untoggle it. You need to do the about: config thing….

  15. jaq said,

    I use WebmailCompose, which makes mailto: links open in my webmail client.

    (And a few that you mentioned, too).


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