Make the Most of Firefox

A number of months ago I wrote about some of my favorite Firefox extensions. Well, the list of extensions I use has expanded, so I figured I’d add to the previous list. Extensions are some of the best things about Firefox, but sadly many people never use extensions. The reverse can also be true, as some people clutter their browser with too many memory-sucking extensions and themes. Some people may consider my 15 extensions too many, but I actually use all of them and my machine can handle the load (I’m using 310MB of memory as I write this – that’s with 14 tabs open in one window too). Highlighted here are a few more of the extensions I use, followed by the ones I previously posted about and still heartily recommend.

Tab Mix Plus – I have no clue how I managed before I installed this extension. Tab Mix Plus allows for the complete customization of your tabs. You can color, re-name, lock, and do even more to your tabs. It allows for much easier tab navigation using the Ctrl+Tab keyboard combination. I’ve also found the optional session saver to be better than Firefox’s default one. A must-have for users who frequently manage multiple tabs.

Download Statusbar – This extension nicely integrates downloads into Firefox by unobtrusively appearing at the bottom of your browser window instead of in a separate pop-up window. It can be configured to show you the download speed and a progress bar for each item you are downloading. It is easy to open or clear finished downloads and hides itself when all downloads have been cleared.

Better Gmail 2 – This is a great extension for Gmail users. It adds extra features such as custom icons for attachments showing what the file type is for each, the ability to display labels in a folder-like hierarchy, and the option to force an encrypted connection every time you access your Gmail account.

PDF Download – Ever click on a link not knowing it was to a PDF file and have to wait for it to load or watch it crash Firefox? This extension simply notifies you whenever you click on a PDF link and asks you if you want to download it, view it as html, cancel, or go ahead and open it as normal. It never hurts to have more control over your browsing.

Adblock Plus – A must-have for clean Web browsing, this extension allows users to easily block single image ads or the frames in which they appear.

Nuke Anything Enhanced – This handy extension allows you to right-click on any object or highlighted portion of the page and choose “Remove this object” which them removes it from the page until you refresh the page or right-click again and choose “Undo last Remove.” This is very handy for removing specific images or portions of text temporarily.

Flashblock – This extension blocks all Flash animations and ads from playing and replaces them with a Flash icon that changes to a play icon when you scroll over. Clicking this play icon allows the animation to play. There is also an “allow always” option for sites you frequent.

FoxyTunes – This extension allows you to control any media player from iTunes to Windows Media Player from within the browser with a toolbar located in the bottom right corner.

IE Tab – It is quite sad that Firefox runs Internet Explorer better than Internet Explorer runs itself, but such is the case. This is useful for those stupid Microsoft websites that make you use IE to view the pages. It is also useful if you want to be logged in to two Gmail accounts simultaneously. For those of you who create Web content, this is also useful for testing cross-browser compatibility. This is not available for you Mac users, but Safari View allows for running Safari in Firefox.

Web Developer – This is for those of you interested in being able to pick apart a Web site from within the browser. Easily view CSS, see what the page looks like without the style sheet applied, view source code, validate code, find broken image paths, and tons of other useful tools built into one handy toolbar.

To view the list of extensions you have installed with your copy of Firefox, go to Tools > Add-ons and choose Extensions.

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