Firefox Extensions Revisited

Just over a year ago, I wrote this post, which talks about some of my favorite Firefox extensions (plug-ins). A year has passed and Firefox 3 has come out, so let’s take another look at some of my favorite extensions:

AdBlock Plus – My all-time absolute favorite extension, AdBlock Plus blocks 99% of the ads you’d see in your web browser. Unlike a lot of other ad blockers, AdBlock also re-renders the page without any kind of “placeholders” for the ads, so all you get is the content you want. It also has an automatic list update feature, which keeps new ads at bay. I’ve gotten so used to this extension over the years that it’s jarring to use a browser that doesn’t have AdBlock.

Save [Thing] In Folder – These are the handiest Firefox extensions ever!  There are two versions of this extension, “Save Image In Folder” and “Save Link In Folder”. Both work the same way, but on different objects. For example, you normally save image files in Firefox by right-clicking an image and choosing “Save Image”, then selecting a folder using the standard Open\Save box. With “Save Image In Folder”, you choose which folder(s) you want to save your pictures in. You then give each folder an alias, like “Default”, “Data Drive” and “Server”. When you see an image you want to save, simply right-click the image and choose Save Image In Folder > Default or Save Image In Folder > Server to save the picture. Save Link In Folder works the same way, but with hyperlinks. You simply right-click a link and choose Save Link In Folder > Desktop or Save Link in Folder > Server to save a linked file. It’s so much faster than the default way of doing things that I can’t believe that this isn’t the default way of saving files in Firefox!

LinkAlert – Firefox (still) doesn’t play nicely with PDF files. Clicking on a PDF link can slow Firefox down to a crawl. Thankfully, this handy little extension changes the cursor in Firefox when you hover over a certain type of hyperlink. Although it was originally created solely to warn you about PDF links, LinkAlert has been updated to include all kinds of icons, such as icons for music, image, compressed and script files. It’s not a vital plug-in, but it sure is nice.

Copy Plain Text – This is perhaps the least exciting extension ever, but it’s easily one of the most appreciated. As the name suggests, this extension adds an option to the Firefox context menu that allows you to copy highlighted text without any formatting. This is a godsend to those of us that frequently paste text from web pages into WordPress or Microsoft Word.

QuickJava – Another unglamorous but much appreciated extension, QuickJava adds two small buttons marked “J” and “JS” to your Firefox status bar. To disable Java or JavaScript on a page, just click either the “J” or “JS” button (or both). To re-enable Java or JavaScript, just click the button(s) again. This is handy for sites that use JavaScript to disable copying picture files or text.

IE Tab – Allows you to switch between the Firefox and Internet Explorer rendering engine within Firefox. This is great for web developers that want to see how their sites look in both Firefox and Internet Explorer, as well as for the occasional web page that only works in Internet Explorer.

DownThemAll – DownThemAll allows you to download every image or multimedia file on a page, or every image or multimedia file linked from a page. This is great for photo galleries or in any situation where yu want to download everything on a page. DownThemAll has customizable filters, so you can easily filter for .OGG or .FLAC files, or what have you.

Clone Window – One thing that new Firefox users don’t like is that the browser, by default, opens new windows and tabs in blank windows, instead of the cloned windows they might be used to from Internet Explorer. Clone Window lives up to its name by cloning the current window when you open a new tab or window.

Reload Every – Have you ever sat at your computer, manually reloading a webpage? Automate it with Reload Every, an extension that will reload a given tab every 5, 10, or 30 seconds, or 1, 5, or 15 minutes, or at a custom schedule you specify.

Right Click Link – Nothing fancy, this extension will attempt to load highlighted text as a URL. This is handy for when a web site address is shown on a page, but not as a hyperlink. Instead of cutting and pasting the text into a new tab, with this extension you just need to highlight the text and select “Open”.

SearchLoad Options – Tweaks the behavior of the Firefox search bar. My favorite feature is that it forces search results to open in a new tab (or window). It can also clear the search box after x seconds, and reset the searchbar to Google (or another engine) after x seconds.

* * *

I no longer use the following extensions. Some aren’t compatible with Firefox 3.x, while others simply don’t work well (or at all), or are unnecessary eye candy.

DownloadManagerTweak – Not compatible (or needed) with Firefox 3.x.

Firefox Extension Backup Extension – Not compatible with Firefox 3.x.

Compact Library Extension Organizer – Not compatible with Firefox 3.x.

RSS Editor – Not needed (by me) since upgrading this site to WordPress.

FireFTP – This extension just doesn’t work that well. I get multiple timeouts and kicks when using this with various FTP sites. FileZilla works fine, however.

Firefox Showcase – Works like the “Quick Tabs” feature of Internet Explorer 7. Completely pointless.






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