I’m a Firefox evangelist. Aside from testing sites in Internet Explorer on PCs and Safari on Macs, I use Firefox exclusively on both platforms. The big reason why? Extensions. If you’ve wisely made the switch to the fox but aren’t making full use of extensions, you’re missing out on a lot of its power.
Here are the extensions that I use, and why:
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This one is a companion to Adblock Plus, and it keeps your filter list automagically up to date so you don’t have to!
Ever get annoyed at sites like the New York Times where you have to register for a free account just to read an article? The companion extension to BugMeNot.com, with this one you can just right click in a login/password field and it will look-up a user name for you and log you in, presto-chango. You’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
I might not use Safari for most of my mac browsing, but I do like some of its features. Especially that the URL address bar doubles as a progress bar when a page is loading. Great visual feedback. “Useless” but I love it.
If, like me, you use gmail for the bulk of your e-mail and you’ve got more than one gmail account, you need this extension. It sits in the corner of your status bar and can keep you logged in to multiple gmail accounts at one time, and with one click open the account in a new tab. Indispensable.
Here’s another one that once you start, you can’t stop. To my knowledge, first implemented in the Opera browser, mouse gestures allow you to navigate pages without having to click on specific buttons. For example, I hold down the right mouse button and slide left to navigate back a page. Or right click and slide right to go forward. There’s lots of commands, but just those two are addicting — I find myself trying to use the gestures in Finder or Windows Explorer! Give it a shot. Note: this one isn’t officially supported for macs anymore, but it works just fine on my mac. Your mileage may vary.
I don’t like having PDFs open as a “page” in my browser. It’s always seemed clunky to me, and sometimes could even lock up the whole program. Enter PDF Download. When you click on a PDF link, it pops up a menu and asks you what you’d like to do with it: download it, open it in your PDF viewing application, or view it as HTML. Very nice.
The new way to waste time on the internet. Click the “Stumble” button, and off you go to a recommended site in a category of your interest. Terribly addictive and fun.
and lastly, for anyone with a hand in web development,
Have a great Firefox extension you can’t live without?
Let us know and leave a comment!
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