I’ve now been using Firefox for almost a year now. Let me continue to sing its praise for you people who aren’t using it. It’s an amazing browser, something that Microsoft needs to mimic in its new IE7 update coming later this or next year. So many awesome features, all without a lot of hassle. Let me give you the essential extensions that you must use with Firefox as well as additional features you won’t wanna miss!
The essential extensions
- Adblock – This should be the first extension you need to download and use in Firefox. With this powerful tool, you can now block any image or flash image that you want. Don’t you hate all of those pop-up ads? or the pop-in ads that are usually flash? Well, Adblock is going to block all of those ads. Once you block it, it won’t come back. Period! You can also block websites like the notorious doubleclick domain.
- Google Toolbar – Do you run the Google Toolbar on Internet Explorer? Now you can do the same with Google’s new toolbar built specifically for Firefox! Use it to quickly search google for anything. You can also use it to search for and highlight certain words in the website on demand. Built in extra popup ad protection!
- CustomizeGoogle – This very useful Firefox extension adds really great functions to Google. When you search for anything, it will give you the option to view the same search in other search engines such as Yahoo, MSN, and many others. It also takes away all the annoying ads that can polute the Google results.
- PDF Download – Have you ever clicked on a link and suddenly Adobe Acrobat Reader opens without you realizing that you clicked on a PDF file? Yeah, that can be very annoying! With this extension, you can control how you want to download PDF files, including canceling the download all together! It will allow you to download it or open in a new tab if you decide you do want to see it!
- ieview – There might always be websites which are incompatible with Firefox and only compatible with Internet Explorer. Thus, ieview allows you to right click anywhere on the page and view the same page in Internet Explorer with just two clicks.
- Bugmenot – Do you enjoy visiting websites like the New York Times or CNN or ESPN or another complicated website? Most of these require some form of registration to take advantage of additional features, which although serves some kind of purpose, is usually unnecessary. Thus, Bugmenot allows you to right click on any username and password form on these websites to search a huge database of random profiles. Using one of these profiles to sign in will save you the hassle of having to register to a website which you might never visit again. Not all websites are lucky enough to have an active bugmenot account, but this might still save you a few minutes of hassle if you are fortunate enough!
- Plainoldfavorites – I used to hate having two different bookmark folders, one on Firefox and one on IE. Now, with this extension, I bookmark all favorites to one folder because Firefox now integrates the IE Favorites folder onto Firefox! Centralization, baby!
- keyconfig – Is there a certain keystroke you love to use with Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera or another browser that’s not the same with Firefox? Well, with this powerful extension, you can now go back to using that extension the way it should be used! That’s right, I can now push the combination ctrl-o to open a website rather than a file location in Firefox! That makes me very happy!!
Other useful extensions
- ForecastFox – Wanna know the weather right now, tonight, tomorrow and up to 2, 3, 5, or more days? This really easy to install extension allows you to do just that! It doesn’t take up any extra room either because it stays on the bottom of the browser where usually nothing exists! And, it even has hourly notifications to keep you aware of the temperature and condition outside!
- Tabbrowser Preferences – This extension helps streamline using tabs in Firefox. It’s a great extension especially if you’ve finally embraced the tab feature. Instead of using the ctrl-t stroke to open a new tab, a new little green image appears on the top left side and opens new tabs in a just a click. It’ll also change tab behaviors like you want.
- FirefoxView – Sometimes, you might already be browsing in Internet Explorer for one reason or another. However, because of the many cool features of Firefox, you might want to switch to Firefox. With this extension, it makes doing this a right-click away. That’s right, while in Internet Explorer, right-click on any page and select view in Firefox! Basically the opposite of ieview!
- Image Zoom – This tool allows you to zoom in and out on any image, such as jpg, gif, png, etc., that loads in the browser.
There are many other extensions but I think these are the mere essentials that most people might want to use for Firefox. Your Internet experience should be as hassle free as possible, and these extensions will be your first step towards this freedom from many problems!