Top Firefox Extensions

Originally posted 2007-04-12 01:23:13.

As we all know. looking for the best Firefox extensions in Official Firefox Add-ons is like searching for  the proverbial needle in a haystack.

I am a Firefox extensions addict and I try a lot of extensions every week. You can see my periodic new extensions in the Firefox Extension Picks series that I feature once in every few weeks.

I uninstall the ones that I don’t like or need and the ones that stick around in my browser make it to this list.

History of this list

I put together this list when I wanted to share these wonderful extensions to my friends new to Firefox. As well as this serves as my own reference when I am setting up a new Firefox browser or for some reason restore my own browser from scratch, this is the list I refer to get my Firefox extension fix. And I hope it will be yours too.

What started as a list of a dozen add-ons is now the most visited page in ShanKri-la featuring 65+ awesome Firefox add-ons. I keep it updated as and when I find the best of the best of Firefox extensions.

Firefox Tips

Here are a few tips for a fun Firefox browsing experience

  • It’s always a good idea to backup your profile, extensions, etc. with FEBE before you try a new extension. Some extensions don’t play well together. (Use FEBE - see below)
  • If your Firefox seems very slow, it could be because you are using a lot of extensions.
  • Remember the Profile Manager option. In Windows, start Firefox from command prompt: firefox.exe -profilemanager
  • Power users can alleviate the overuse of extensions by creating different profiles. I switch between profiles for casual browsing and web development which keeps my Firefox lean and mean.

What type of extensions are you looking for?

I have the created the following categories based on the type of extensions you might be looking for.

  • Starter Pack – If you are just trying out Firefox, here are a few extensions that will introduce you to the power of Firefox.
  • Power User Pack – Aimed at the power users who aren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty and who want to squeeze every bit of power from their favorite browser.
  • Usability – Aimed at improving browser usability by modifying Firefox chrome or the built-in features.
  • Productivity – Extensions aimed at improving Productivity while you use the web for your work
  • Fun – When you turn to the web to have some fun.
  • Blogging - Useful for bloggers. Look at the add-ons and you’ll know what I mean.
  • Social Media - Not all bloggers use all Social Media s this category zeroes in on just the Social Media extensions.
  • Web Developer – Aimed at techie’s like myself who either run a website or do some web development.

Starter Pack

If you are just trying out Firefox, here are a few extensions that will introduce you to the power of Firefox.

  • Adblock Plus - Ever been annoyed by all those ads and banners on the internet that
    often take longer to download than everything else on the page? Install Adblock Plus now and get rid of them.
  • Adblock Filterset.G Updater - This is a companion extension to Adblock or Adblock Plus and should be used in conjunction with it. This extension automatically downloads the latest version of Filterset.G every 4-7 days.
  • ForecastBar Enhanced – Mod of the popular ForecastFox that shows weather information in your status bar. This one features enhanced animated radar map as well and I love it!
  • TabMixPlus - Tab Mix Plus enhances Firefox’s tab browsing capabilities. It includes such features as duplicating tabs, controlling tab focus, tab clicking options, undo closed tabs and windows, plus much more.

Power User Pack

Aimed at the power users who aren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty and who want to squeeze every bit of power from their favorite browser.

  • CLEO package – CLEO is (Compact Library Extension Oraganizer) an extension that helps you create your own extension package (as a .xpi file) from your favaorite extensions (backed up using FEBE). When you want to move your extensions to another computer or three, just copy the custom xpi package you created and open it. Voila! You have cloned your Firefox extensions..
  • Firefox Environment Backup Extension (FEBE) – Schedule and automatically back up everything about Firefox.. bookmarks, profiles, saved passwords, form history, etc. No more fear of re-installing Firefox or breaking it with a new extension. You can even upload your backups to your Box.net account.
  • Foxmarks Bookmarks Synchronizer – Use Firefox on multiple computers? Install this extension, create a Foxmarks account an forget about keeping your bookmarks in sync. Foxmarks will do it for you.
  • Greasemonkey – Allows you to customize the way a webpage displays using small bits of JavaScript. Ex. some of the best Google Greasemonkey scripts for Gmail and Google Reader should get you started on your way to becoming a Greasemonkey script addict!
  • OpenSearchFox – Add any website’s search box to your Firefox search bar by right clicking in the searhch box in a website! It doesn’t appear in the Firefox add-ons site anymore but this link takes you to the download page and it works great even in Forefox 3.0.1.
  • Menu Editor – TinyMenu mentioned in the next section helps save real estate but it increases the number of clicks to get to your menu option. Menu Editor lets you completely customize your menus. Hide and rearrange options you don’t need making your Firefox menus work for you.
  • Remove it Permanently (RIP) – Permanently hide content from web pages using the context menu. Very powerful to customeze your web experience. A powerful options panel that lets you fine tune your preferences to your liking.
  • SecureLogin – It uses the Firefox’s built in password manager and disables automatic pre-filling. It highlights the form fields if it detects a saved password and with a customized click or a keyboard shortcut, it fills the username/password as well as signs you in, in one short step. Very useful! I, however, recommend using a more powerful password manager such as Passpack.
  • Stylish – Stylish is for CSS where Greasemonkey is for Javascript. Completely customize the looks of websites with Stylish scripts. Browse UserStyles.org to find the ones you like. One of the popular example is Re-Designed Gmail Stylish script.
  • Update Notifier – If you can’t wait to know when a Forefox extension has been updated so you can upgrade it right now. Also, provides a useful ‘Restart Firefox’ option in its menu to restart with one click.
  • Site Launcher – An experimental add-on thats a must-have for thos who love keyoard shortcuts. Just think Launchy for Firefox. You can launch your favorite sites with just a few hotkeys. Read the full Site Launcher review here.

Usability Add-ons

Aimed at improving browser usability by modifying Firefox chrome or the built-in features.

  • Back to Top – Back to Top helps navigate long pages. Go to the top or bottom of a page with a single click. Using right clicks and control clicks you can scroll a page or line at a time.
  • Download Statusbar – Download and view status of downloads in a tidy statusbar. No more annoying download window blocking your browsing experience. A full view as well as a tiny view for screen real estate usage.
  • Edit Middle – Firefox 3 introduced the Awesomebar. Now whatever you type searches even the middle of the url.
  • HashColoredTabs+ – Adds a colored favicon square for those sites without a favicon. This helps you identify tab contents based on a distinct visual cue.
  • FaviconizeTab – If you are in the habit opening a dozn tabs anytime you are browsing, this can be save you some real estate in your tab bar. You can also preset certain to sites to always show just the Favicon and not the name of the site in the tab.
  • FireGestures – Allows you to execute common commands (like page forward/backward, close tab, new tab) by mouse gestures drawn over the current webpage, without reaching for the toolbar or the keyboard…
  • It’s All Text! – If you hate the little comment boxes in blogs or little text boxes where you need to type a long reply or complaint, this extension is for you. It adds a little edit button to the box and on clicking will take you to your favorite editor and on saving will transfer the content over to the box in the web page. Very handy.
  • Smart Bookmarks Bar – Do you customize your menu bar to save screen real estate? Now you can hide your bookmark names in the toolbar and show just the favicon saving a lot of space. On mouse over, you’ll see the name of the bookmark for those without a favicon.
  • Tiny Menu – Replace the standard menu bar with a tiny menu popup… Save real estate by  customizing the toolbars while shrinking the menu space with this.

Productivity Pack

Extensions aimed at improving productivity while you use the web for your work. Supercharge it now!

  • PDF Download – Allows to choose if you want to view a PDF file inside the browser (as PDF or HTML), if you want to view it outside Firefox with your default or custom PDF reader, or if you want to download it!
  • Better Gmail 2 – A compilation of the best GMail Greasemonkey and Stylish enhancements in one extension from Lifehacker.com. A must have for a power Gmail user.
  • Black Canvas Gmail Signatures – Another must have for the power Gmail user. Lets you create multiple HTML signatures for friends, business and others with live preview.
  • GMail Manager - Allows you to manage multiple Gmail accounts and receive new mail
    notifications. Displays your account details including unread messages, saved drafts, spam messages, labels with new mail, space used, and new mail…
  • InformEnter – It adds a small clickable icon (that can be turned off with a right click) next to every form field. You can configure it to fill in semi-automatic mode with any frequently used field values for e.g. not just usernames & passwords, but address, website url, multiple email addresses, phone numbers etc.
  • OPML Support – OPML Support adds OPML import/export functionality to the Firefox Bookmarks manager. OPML is a file type that is widely used to distribute lists of RSS/newsfeeds…
  • Web Search Pro - Search the web the way you like… Lets you add your favorite search engines from their vast repository. Don’t find one you want, you can request and they will add it. To truly understand it, see the kinds of sites you could right to your search bar.

Fun Add-ons

When you turn to the web to have a little fun.

  • Better Flickr – Another great Lifehacker extension that adds the best of Greasemonkey & Stylish scripts just for Flickr. A must have for a Flickr user.
  • FoxClocks – Lets you keep an eye on the time around the world or even just your local time by adding an icon in your statusbar.
  • FullerScreen - Really full screen… You still have access to the tabs and the status bar in this Full Screen mode. Use F11 to toggle between the modes.
  • PicLens – Lets you view pictures in full screen with a single click in various popular sites like Flickr, Facebook, Google Images, Yahoo Images, etc.
  • Woot Watcher – Woot Watcher monitors the Woot! web site, and keeps you updated with the current item, price, and if it is sold out. During Woot-offs, it will also let you know what percent of the item is…

Blogging Add-ons

If you are into blogging, some of these extensions could make blogging that much fun and easy. Check out the add-ons and you’ll know what I mean.

  • Adsense Notifier – Displays your Adsense earnings on the…
  • Copy as HTML Link – Creates an HTML link to the current page using the selected text and copies it. Highly useful.
  • Copy Plain Text – Copies text without the formatting.. no more embedded html in your copied text.
  • Feedburner Subscribers – If you are not displaying your Feedburner chicklet in yoru site, you can keep track of subscribers right from your browser with this extension.
  • FireUploader - Lets you upload  Files, photos videos to online services such as Flickr, Picasa, YouTube, Google Docs, Box.net, Facebook, Webshots, etc.
  • Google Notebook – Add text clippings, images and links to your Google Notebook and share them with friends.
  • Niche Watch Tool This wonderful SEO extension provides you the technical information required to beat your competitor websites in serps.It gives you backlinks number, indexed pages, keyword occurences on the page, page rank, all in anchor, all in title and all in text rank for both domain and webpage information.
  • Screengrab! – Save entire webpages or a particular selection or a frame as images. Excellent tool to get screenshots of different things for blogging. Various image formats like jpg, png, etc. available as well for saving..
  • ScribeFire – ScribeFire (previously Performancing for Firefox) is a full-featured blog editor that integrates with your browser and lets you easily post to your blog.
  • SearchStatus – Displays Google Pagerank, Alexa, Compete ranking, etc. Fast keyword density finder, highlighting keyword/nofollow, backward/related links, etc.
  • Update Scanner – No RSS in a website? Add the page you are interested in to this extension and get notified right in your status bar when the page has been updated. You could also use a bookmarklet such as Page2RSS to get updates via email.
  • WordPress Helper – A must have for the WordPress power user. It puts the WordPress codex, forums and other WordPress relevant information in your fingertips via the context menu. Also, checkout our Top WordPress Plugins list that features some of the 65+ best WordPress Plugins!

Social Media Add-ons

Not all bloggers use all Social Media so this category zeroes in on just the Social Media extensions.

  • Better GReader – A compilation of Google Reader GreaseMonkey and Stylish scripts that enhances Google Reader.
  • Delicious Bookmarks – Yes, the weird dots are gone in Delicious.com. This is the official add-on for Delicious. Sidebar, tags and all the goodies for a Delicious.com user. (my delicious profile)
  • Digg Toolbar – For the power Digg.com user. Digg, submit content and get notifications of popular content without ever visiting Digg.com.
  • Feedly – A fun social startup webpage extension. It integrates with Google Reader, Twitter, Facebook, etc and gives you a magazine style start page. You can even annotate, share stories and leave comments in blogs right from the Feedly page.
  • Sage RSS Reader – Sage is a lightweight RSS and Atom feed aggregator extension for Mozilla Firefox. It’s got a lot of what you need and not much of what you don’t.
  • Shareaholic – A catch-all extension for social media sites. Supports multiple web 2.0 sites such as StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious, Facebook, etc. If you have a social media sharing addiction, this is just for you!
  • SimpleDelicious – Access to your del.icio.us bookmarks right from your browser menu. It synchronizes your bookmarks seamlessly and makes adding and deleting bookmarks very simple.
  • StumbleUpon – StumbleUpon lets you “channelsurf” the best-reviewed sites on the web. It is a collaborative surfing tool for finding and sharing great sites. This helps you find interesting webpages you wouldn’t think to search for. (my StumbleUpon profile)
  • TwitterFox – One of the earliest Twitter add-ons I used. It’s nice and works well. But, there are a lot of other Twitter add-on options you can choose from.. I prefer using Adobe AIR clients such as Twhirl or TweetDeck for Twitter as they povide more options.

Web Developer Add-ons

Aimed at techie’s like myself who either run a website or do some web development.

  • Aardvark – Powerful and user-friendly selector utility for selecting elements and doing various actions on them. It can be used for cleaning up a page prior to printing it (by removing and isolating elements), for making the page more readable, and (most appreciated by web developers), for analyzing the structure of a page.
  • Colorzilla – Advanced Eyedropper, ColorPicker, Page Zoomer and other colorful goodies…
  • EditCSS – Stylesheet modifier in the Sidebar. Great to save your own custom stylesheet in a browser and view the changes realtime. I prefer Firebug for this but some people might find this handy.
  • Firebug – A must have. Firebug integrates with Firefox to put a wealth of development tools at your fingertips while you browse. You can edit, debug, and monitor CSS, HTML, and JavaScript live in any web page… (check out FireBug Lite bookmarklet that works in IE & Opera)
  • FireCookie – A Firebug extension for Firefox that lets you view and manage cookies.
  • FireFTP - FireFTP is a free, secure, cross-platform FTP client for Mozilla Firefox which provides easy and intuitive access to FTP servers.
  • FirePHP – Lets you print to your Firebug console with a PHP function call. You need to have the ‘Net’ panel enabled and also download a PHP library from www.firephp.org.
  • FlagFox – Just shows the flag of the country the web server is in for the website you are currently viewing.
  • IE Tab – Switch to IE for ‘those sites’ that work only on Internet Explorer without leaving Firefox. Mark it and it will remember next time you visit those sites.
  • MeasureIt – Draw out a ruler to measure height or width of any element in a web page. A must have.
  • Pallette Grabber -
  • Server Spy – Server Spy indicates what brand of HTTP server (eg. Apache, IIS, etc.) runs on the visited sites. When a tab is selected, the corresponding server name is shown on the right-hand side of the browser’s status…
  • ShowIP – Show the IP address of the current page in the status bar. It also allows querying custom services by IP (right mouse button) and Hostname (left mouse button), like whois, netcraft. Additionally you can copy the IP address to the clipboard.
  • Tamper Data – Use tamperdata to view and modify HTTP/HTTPS headers and post parameters…
  • View Source Chart – * Creates a Colorful Chart of a Web Page’s Rendered Source Code * Displays Source in its Altered State After the DOM has been Manipulated by JavaScript.
  • Web Developer – Adds a menu and a toolbar with various web developer tools.
  • Xinha Here! – Portable WYSIWYG editor! No matter what site you’re visiting you can launch a WYSIWYG right in your browser.
  • X-Ray – See the tags on a page without viewing the sourcecode. …

Best of Firefox coverage

Firefox is something I care a lot about and here are some of the best of Firefox coverage here so far that might help you. You could also browse other Firefox posts with the Firefox tag.

Hope you enjoyed this list. Check back later to see new additions. If you found it useful, I’d appreciate it if you could take a moment to share this via your favorite social media site so more people can benefit.

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Updated: Aug 21, 2008

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