If you don’t know yet what Firefox is, read this. If you don’t know what Firefox Extensions are, don’t feel bad, it’s not uncommon. An extension is a bit of software that can be incorporated into the web browser by YOU to do something that YOU want Firefox to do, but that the Firefox people didn’t think enough people would want to put in.
For example, I want a little weather ticker in the bottom of my browser. Enough people DON’T want that that the Firefox people didn’t include it. But somebody wrote ForefastFox, so I can click a link to make that a part of my browser.
There are literally thousands of extensions, to do almost anything you can think of, but I have 10 installed. Here they are, with why I like them:
- All-in-One Gestures
"Gestures" allow you to control your browser by pressing a mouse key and moving your mouse a certain way. For example, when I want to go "back", I simply hold down the right mouse button and move my mouse to the left. This extension has dozens of things you can do, but forward and back are pretty much all I use.
Sage is an RSS news reader. It checks my favorite web sites for new content and lets me know if there is any.
This one lets you control what different keys on the keyboard do. For example, to refresh the page you can press F5, or Control-R. I prefer Alt-R. With this I was able to reset that. You can reset almost every keybinding there is.
FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. It’s an old fashioned (insecure) protocol for moving files around on the internet. It’s most often used for publishing your website. If at all possible use SCP for that, WinSCP is a good client.
Barring your ability to use anything else, fireFTP is really a very good ftp client.
- WebDeveloper Toolbar
This one is only useful for people who build web sites. If you build web sites, and you know what you’re doing, get this, and you’ll understand why I have it. ’nuff said.
- cunAform HTML editor
I don’t really use this one, but I keep it around so I remember it in case someone else needs it. It’s really a very good HTML editor, give it a shot. You don’t even have to install it to try it, the demo link on their page calls it.
Ever looked at a directory of mp3’s or images and need to get them all, and have to click each one, and "save as" every time? This one lets you say "I want all the images from this site", or "I want all of .." whatever. It’s very flexible, you can specify all of whatever filetype you want.
- Tabbrowser Prefs
Firefox lets you open pages in tabs in the current browser if you wish. This extension lets you expand your options for things like how to open them, whether they load in the background, etc.
This one allows you to put weather data in a variety of places in Firefox. I like it in the status bar in the bottom right. It can do current weather and tomorrow’s weather forecast. It gets its data from weather.com, so you can use it for anyplace they do weather for. I wish it got weather from WUnderground, but them’s the breaks.
- HTML Validator
Another one really only useful to web developers, this one checks the validity of the code on the page you’re viewing, and has an icon in the bottom with various indicators. If you double click that indicator, it brings up the source (in the normal view source window), but with frames at the bottom listing what’s wrong, and how to fix it. If you click a specific error, it jumps to that place in the source.
And that’s it. I’m pretty picky about extensions really, I don’t like a lot of stuff installed that I don’t really use. Feel free to browse the library and see if there’s anything you want.
To install an extension, all you have to do is click the install link and follow the directions. Firefox does all the work!