Firefox Extensions Revisited Revisted

I first wrote an article on this site about Firefox extensions on July 2nd, 2007. I wrote an updated article about them on August 30th, 2008.

A lot of time has passed since then, and so I thought I’d revisit my favorite extensions again:

AdBlock Plus – AdBlock Plus is still the premiere ad blocking solution for Firefox. Although some sites have figured out ways around it (and other sites have learned to detect it, and block content to visitors using it), it’s still an absolute requirement for any Firefox install I use.

Coral IE Tab – I’ve long been a fan of the IE Tab extension, which lets you use the Internet Explorer rendering engine within Firefox. But the current version of IE Tab caused newer versions of Firefox to crash on my system, so I found Coral IE Tab, which is an offshoot that not only does everything IE Tab does, but adds a few key features (like allowing AdBlock Plus to work on IE Tabs in Firefox, or swapping cookies between Firefox and IE, so you don’t have to log in to a site again after switching engines… Nice!).

Extended Copy Menu – Copy Plain Text was one of my favorite extensions; as the name suggests, it allows you to copy plain text from web pages, so you can paste unformatted data into programs like Microsoft Word. Sadly, Copy Plain Text isn’t updated often enough to keep up with new builds of Firefox, so you have to tweak it every time a new version of the browser comes out. Or you could just use Extended Copy Menu instead, which not only lets you copy plain text, but also the HTML code underlying a web page.

FlashGot – FlashGot allows you to download Flash objects from almost any web page. Sure, there are plenty of websites and apps out there that will let you download videos from YouTube… but FlashGot works on almost any webpage that uses Flash video. So if you want to download a music video from an obscure record label’s site, FlashGot is what you need.

Right Click Link – This simple extension adds the ability to highlight a bunch of text on a page and open it in a new window. It’s useful for message boards that “de-link” links to adult content or any other time a web address is given as plain text.

Save File To – I used to be a big fan of “Save Link in Folder” and “Save Image In Folder”, two extensions that allow you to save files in pre-defined folders. So if I wanted to save a picture, I would have right-clicked it and chosen “Save Image in Folder” > “Celebrities” (or what have you), bypassing the default “Save As…” dialog entirely. But the latest version of the extension removed one of my favorite features (adding the same drop-down to Firefox’s “Save As” box), so I had to look for a replacement. Save File To not only adds a drop down to the Save As box, it handles both images and links in the same extension. It also optionally supports subfolders, so if your “Pictures” alias has subfolders, you can choose to download the pictures to the root folder, or the subfolder (or not). Nifty!

QuickJava – this ancient extension (last updated December 31, 2006) puts two buttons on the Firefox status bar which allow you to toggle Java and\or JavaScript on or off. It’s still one of my faves.

Link Alert – Displays an application-specific icon when you hover over links, so you know in advance if you’re clicking on a PDF or Word link or what have you. Although the current version claims to be incompatible with Firefox 3.6, it works just fine on my system; additionally, the author has a beta of 1.0 on his site (see linked page) which fully spports 3.6.

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