27 Of The Most Useful Firefox Extensions

firefoxFirefox has already more than 1200 extensions. Which ones are useful? After indulging in installing few hundred of them, I choose the 27 best, based on how much I use them every day. I’ve been impressed by many, but these 27 are the ones I use daily. The order is alphabetical.

1. AI Roboform Toolbar : http://www.roboform.com/

When you register to the 101th site and you get your Nth username and password it starts dawing that you need a password manager. Frustrated, and after some searching, I found Roboform. Roboform stores my usernames / passwords and logs me automatically to all the sites, forums, and shops I’m registered with. I use it all the time and it has saved me hours of login and filling forms. Roboform gives a free limited trial version. The limitation of the free trial version is a limit to the number of user-added passwords (less than 10 after the first 30 days of use).

 

Screenshot of the Roboform Firefox Plugin Toolbar

 


2. All-In-One Sidebar : http://firefox.exxile.net/

Great extension that adds buttons for accessing the sidebar views and a sidebar menu. You can view useful info such as installed extensions, downloads, html sources, bookmarks, history and views from various extensions.

 

Screenshot of  the All-In-One Sidebar, Bookmarks ViewScreenshot of the All-In-One Sidebar, Installed Extensions View

3. Colorful Tabs : http://varun21.googlepages.com/main.html

Puts various colors to the tabs. May seem trivial, but it’s actually very useful. It helps you make the memory association of which page is in which tab a little quicker. Looks nice too.

 

View of the Colorful Tabs Firefox Extension

4. CoLT (short for “Copy Link Text”) : http://www.borngeek.com/firefox/colt/

Adds a menu option for copying an html link in full formatted html. Small extension but very useful to bloggers and webpage designers. It also allows you to define you own syntax for the HTML output.

 

Screenshot of the Menu Items that CoLT added

5. Optimise Google : http://www.customizegoogle.com/

Enhances Google Search with various links and features. Many options. The most important are shown below.

 

Screenshot of the Properties Configuration Panel for google Option Firefox Plugin

6. del.icio.us Extension : http://del.icio.us/

Adds a menu that helps del.icio.us users to add and retrieve del.icio.us. bookmarks.

 

Screenshot of the delicious menu options

7. Digg This : http://j.domaindlx.com/diggthis/

Adds a simple menu option for adding bookmarks to the digg service. You can set up digg so that it communicates with your blog and announces the new bookmark.

 

Screenshot of the menu option of the firefox plugin for digg

8. DOM Inspector : http://www.mozilla.org/projects/inspector/

Inspects and edits the live DOM of any web page or XUL application. It renders itself on the sidebar. Very useful to test and debug CSS.

 

Screenshot of the DOM Inspector Firefox Plugin, Document View Screenshot of the DOM Inspector Firefox Plugin, Object View

9. Duplicate Tab : http://twanno.mozdev.org/

Adds a menu option to duplicate a tab with its history to a new tab or window and to merge two windows into two tabs.

 

Screenshot of the menu options by the Dublicate Tab Firefox plugin

10. Fasterfox : http://fasterfox.mozdev.org/

Loads faster web pages by prefetching parts. Renders a small page timer counting in seconds.

 

Screenshot of the FasterFox Page Loading Speed IndicatorScreenshot of the FasterFox Options Dialog

11. Firefox Extension Backup Extension v.3 (FEBE) : http://customsoftwareconsult.com/extensions/index.html

Gives you the option to backup and restore your installed extensions, themes, bookmarks, preferences and cookies. I have used it to pass my installed extensions to other computers. Version 3 allows you to install all the extensions in one step. Adding the CLEO extension to FEBE, gives you the option to save all the extensions in one file.

 

Screenshot of the FEBE Menu Optionsscreenshot of the FEBE Options Dialog

12. Fission : http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?t=370248

Makes the address bar a little more useful by displaying a progress bar. Good idea, not an eye candy, it actually works well and is very useful.

 

Screenshot of the Adsress-Based Progress Bar Rendered By Fission

13. Google Preview : http://ackroyd.de/googlepreview/

Appends website thumbnails to google and yahoo results. Brilliant. Once you have it once you need it. It would be great to have also statistics (alexa, google pagerank, even SEO stats etc) on the right of each link.

 

Rendering of Google Results with thumbnails positioned on the resultsRendering of Yahoo Results with thumbnails positioned on the results

14. IE Tab : http://ietab.mozdev.org/

Allows you to start a tab with the actual IE rendering engine. No excuses about firefox not rendering everything. When a page needs IE, I just select to view it on a IE container in Firefox. Through its options, you can store a list of addresses that get always rendered by IE.

 

Configuration Dialog for IEtabConfiguration Dialog for IETab

15. Mouse Gestures : http://optimoz.mozdev.org/gestures/

Save your wrists from RSI. Use gesture recognition software to decrease mouse movement. I have been using gesture recognition software daily since 2001. It speeds up massively using the computer. Once you spend 20 minutes learning the gestures, there is no turning back. It’s invaluable, guaranteed :). Once you get hooked to it, you can extend it by either making your own gestures or by downloading user-created gestures that already exist for 100s of tasks.

 

Mouse Gestures Table 1Mouse Gestures Table 2Screenshot of Mouse Gesture Plugin

16. Mozlab : http://dev.hyperstruct.net/trac/mozlab

Write your own mozilla extensions and use Mozlab to explore and modify them whilst running. When you install Mozlab you get an option to replicate your browser. Then you can telnet to localhost on port 4242, and access your mozilla client through commands. The demo video of using mozlab is pretty impressive.

17. MyPortal : http://myportal.mozdev.org/

Dynamically creates a page with all your bookmarks. Very useful when you want to go through many of your bookmarks in one session.

 

Screenshot of MyPortal's output rendering for my bookmarks

18. Performancing :http://performancing.com/

Excellent extension for bloggers. Performancing, allows you to instantly blog comments you made to any of the major blog systems, or even your own (if your blog supports Moveable Type or WordPress).

 

Sreenshot of the Performancing Blogging Extension for Firefox

19. RanQuest SEO Toolbar : http://www.rankquest.com/

Ranquest installs a toolbar with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) related tools:

Validation Tools: Server Header Checker, HTML Validator, Code Cleaner, Link Checker

Content Tools: Keyword Density analyzer, Lynz View, Link Explorer, Text Ratio

Meta Tools: Keyword Finder, Meta Tag Analyzer

Popularity Tools: Link Popularity, Search Engine Saturation

The SEO Toolbar also contains menu links for various SEO related task such Whois, Link Stats, Page Report, and for SEO diff-ing between pairs of sites.

 

Screenshot of the RanQuest SEO Toolbar

20. Reveal : http://aluminum.sourmilk.net/reveal/

Shows thumbnail pictures of your active tabs or your history. To see thumbnails of the tabs you need to press F2 or Alt-. Then to see thumbnails to your history pages you press the button Insert.

 

Screenshot of the Reveal firefox Plugin

21. Rite of Tongue : http://hashcolouredtabs.mozdev.org/riteoftongue/

Spell checks the selected word and gives alternative spelling.

 

Screenshot of the menu function for the Firefox Plugin Rite of Tongue

22. RubNub : http://www.rubnub.org/

A YubNub toolbar. If you haven’t heard of yubnub web commands go check them now! The idea is great, and if at some point we can get pipes connecting the various yubnub commands we’ll have the first real web language 🙂

 

Screenshot of yubnub's first pageScreenshot of Rubnub's Toolbar

23. Sage : http://sage.mozdev.org/

RSS & ATOM sidebar reader. Very convenient, allows you to organise your feeds and display them using your own stylesheet.

 

Screenshot of the Sage RSS and Atom Reader for Firefox

24. Search Status : http://www.quirk.biz/searchstatus/

Two useful indicators for the current page’s popularity, the Google and the Alexa PageRank. Adds a small menu with some useful options for finding information about a site.

 

Screenshot of SearchStatus Toolbar and Menu Options

25. StumbleUpon : http://www.stumbleupon.com/

Toolbar with stumbleUpon buttons. StumbleUpon is a social bookmarking site. When you first register you select your interests and it gives you highly voted links by its users. Up until now it has given me
links worth bookmarking three out of five times.

 

Screenshot of the StumbleUpon Toolbar

26. VideoDownloader : http://videodownloader.net/

Video Downloader is an extension that allows you to quickly download video files from video sites like youtube, google video etc. You can save the video and play it locally if you have the correct video player. You can usually download freeware video players for the various formats but you can also convert the video formats.

 

Screenshot of the Video Downloader Firefox Plugin

27. WebDeveloper : http://chrispederick.com/work/webdeveloper/

Very useful extension for web developers. It creates a toolbar menu with 100s of useful options.

 

Screenshot for the Web Developer Firefox Extension

After these extensions this is how my browser looks like:

Screenshot of my firefox browser after all the extensions

I dont mind the busy GUI when its elements are genuinely useful 🙂


 

47 thoughts on “27 Of The Most Useful Firefox Extensions

  1. Thank you thanassis, that was briliant. I got 4 of them!

  2. Here is the best one:

    Super Drag and Go
    http://morphis.eu.org/

    Drag a link up to open in a tab in the foreground
    Drag a link down to open in a tab in the backgroundground

    I go crazy without this extension.

  3. this is the absolutely most essential extension. Not only drag a link, but drag hi-lighted text to search the currently selected search engine in a new tab!

  4. Regarding FEBE, there is a way to mass-install all of your extensions, using CLEO.

    CLEO is a Firefox extension that works with FEBE to package any number of extensions/themes into a single, installable .xpi file.

    http://customsoftwareconsult.com/extensions/cleo/cleo.html

  5. Sorry but the link I posted above is for the original relaese which only works with v.8 to v1.0.

    Here is a link to a newer one:

    http://www.peoplegraphics.org/toolbox/dragandgo/superdrag15.htm

    btw also forgot to mention that it was a great article hehe.

  6. 11. Firefox Extension Backup Extension (FEBE) : http://fasterfox.mozdev.org/

    Is it just me or is there something wrong with that link?

  7. Thats a lot of extensions! I have a few that I need, and I think they were all included 🙂

  8. This is a great list. I often check this regularly updated list of 50 Best Firefox Extensions for Power Surfing.

    http://www.quickonlinetips.com/archives/2005/12/50-best-firefox-extensions-for-power-surfing/

  9. ok, two things on this.
    First, the funny thing is that I have thid behaviour already installed without superdrag. It must be part of the mouse gesture package.
    Second, I did try to install it anyway, just to see weather I would get any new cool features. Unfortunately, it crached my firefox at installation time, and after restarting firefox, it was not on the installed plugin list… Bizzare, it must be a version compatibility thing, or it claches with an existing plugin?

  10. thank you 🙂 I’ll try it as soon as I can and let you know. It’s a problem having to install 50+ firefox extensions one by one.

  11. try it again. It must be a problem on your side. I’ve tried the link again just now and it’s fine.

  12. cool 🙂 I do use 25 extensions on top of the list of 27 but I thought they wouldn’t be very useful to everyone so I did not include them. I got many comments under the digg submission with many suggestions for additions to the list. I’ll give them a test and I’ll update if I find something worth mentioning. The CLEO that Rhin mentioned above seems a perfect candidate for inclusion.

  13. thank you, It seems, I may have missed some very good extensions. Well, take the article as work in progress 🙂

  14. Why don’t you just use Opera; it has 90% of the above included by default, plus some additional useful features. And if you can think of anything useful that’s not in Opera, mention it to them and they’ll include it in the next version.

  15. thanks, I remember installing opera few years ago and I was not impressed. Ofcourse things probably changed since. I’ll give it a go and let you know.

  16. RE: Firefox Extension Backup Extension (FEBE): Version 3.0 does restore your extensions and themes all at once. Simply select multiple items using the shift/control click method. FEBE also has a sister extension named CLEO (Compact Library Extension Organizer) that will package your extensions/themes into a single, installable xpi file. Note: The link you have for FEBE is incorrect. Should be: http://customsoftwareconsult.com/extensions/index.html

  17. Thank you so much for this post! 😉

  18. thanks, I’ve updated the article to include the new version of FEBE. I was using FEBE v.2.0. Birlliant that this is available now with the new version.

  19. surprised that milewideback isnt on here – its pretty awesome. i guess it gets precluded by the gestures one, but anyone reading this should definitely try it – its easy and hella helpful.

  20. interesting that StumbleUpon is one of your favorites…that’s probably one of the only ways i would’ve found this site. 2 thumbs up for StumbleUpon!

  21. I haven’t really got into the social thingy yet in StumbleUpon. But I love using the stumble button, It returns brilliant results almost everytime

  22. Great post!

    It’s great to see RoboForm listed as #1. I can’t live without it.

    For those switching to Mac, you’ll want to try 1Passwd. When I first switched there was nothing like RoboForm, so I had to write it:)

  23. I would add the GreaseMonkey extension, it alter the content and behavior of any website through user scripts which work inside the browser:
    http://greasemonkey.mozdev.org

  24. Uma pequena selecção das extenções mais úteis do Firefox.

  25. Haha, I got here through StumbleUpon, too. I can’t believe you don’t have FoxyTunes, though! It’s my favorite extension!

  26. Thanks for commenting!
    Lots of people like Foxytunes. I did not install it because I’m rarely listening to music whilst browsing. I’ll check it out soon though.

  27. thanks, I’ve installed GreaseMonkey and checking it out. Do you use it daily?

  28. Cool stuff, I already use most of them and I think they’re absolutely fantastic.

    I use a little over 60 extensions. They make my life a whole lot easier.

  29. it’s true. After trying firefox with all its plugins there is no turning back to other browsers. I have now more than 80 plugins installed. I’ll soon add a new article with all the updates.

  30. WebDeveloper : http://chrispederick.com/work/webdeveloper/

    Very useful extension for web developers. It creates a toolbar menu with 100s of useful options

  31. I think, there are useful extension for bloggers. It’s blog submitter: http://www.submitemnow.com

  32. Great list. i had never heart the duplicate tab. i installed it and it works well. You rock!

  33. Don’t forget firebug too. Excellent tool for web developers!

  34. I’ve installed firebug few months ago and I was really impressed! Brilliant extension! After a year of using and testing firefox extensions I need to review the article and add many new ones that I’m using. For example, I just started using iOpus iMacros and I’m very impressed with it. I can record browsing sessions, and play them back! fantastic.
    thanassis

  35. Thank you!
    I use some of them already. But Google Preview will be of use.

  36. It’s not just great… It’s really cool!

  37. Yeah, this is fantastic!

  38. your list fucking sucks

  39. Great list. I couldn’t live without the web developer toolbar. Still don’t get why people still use IE 😡

  40. Its a nice article…
    The visual tutorial is very nice and easy to understand…
    It will gives many useful information about the the FireFox extensions…
    Thanks for valuable information……
    Expect more like this….

    Inform me about new features….

  41. Lolz…. Opera has these features from times I dont even remember !!….
    Opera is faster and much more efficient than the HYPEBOX that is Firefox….
    Grow up people …. switch to opera !!

  42. Don’t forget Firefox’s flash fill, awesome tool.

  43. Very good list of plug ins which i never thought could be available. I also tried few and very impressed with all of it.
    Can you also provide something helpful in finding blogs carrying do follow links?

  44. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Thanks for the post.

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