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My Favourite Firefox Addons

Posted on 9th Feb 2010 at 11:01 by Antony Leather with 45 comments

I’m only a fairly recent convert to Firefox for the simple reason I didn’t need too many bells and whistles in a browser before now. It’s no surprise then that I used Google’s Chrome for a while after leaving my IE days firmly behind me, but having had to use Firefox because my online banking didn’t support Chrome at the time, I got hooked and have never looked back.

In particular I loved how customisable it was. Not just the interface but also the addons which both added functionality to the interface and other features besides. Here’s my top five Firefox addons - and don’t forget to let me know yours in the coments.

1. Speed Dial
One of the best things about Chrome is the home page with the speed dial links to your favourite websites. If you have the need for speed these are so much quicker and easier than bookmarks and shortcuts. Thankfully you can mod Firefox to look the same on your home page and even new tabs too using an addon called Speed Dial.

My Favourite Firefox Addons My favourite Firefox addons

It’s very configurable too and you can alter both the number of dial windows, add them to groups and even back them up and change how often their preview images are updated of the web page in question.

2. LastPass Password Manager

This is a godsend if you’re fed up with entering usernames and passwords for forums and the like. LastPass is a secure store of your login details and works with most sites. When you first visit a site, it asks you if you want it to remember the details and won’t ask you again if you don’t. The details are stored securely online so if you reinstall Firefox you just need to download and log in to LastPass for everything to work again. You can login automatically or set a password. A real time saver and pretty secure too.

3. Multirow Bookmarks Toolbar

As an IT journalist I need space for squllions of shortcuts and folders and Multirow Bookmarks Toolbar works a treat. It provides additional rows for shortcuts and the like and becomes scrollable if it gets too long but you can specify the maximum number of rows too. It also manages to look relatively uncluttered.

My Favourite Firefox Addons My favourite Firefox addons

4. Automatic Save Folder

I’ve recently set up a server for downloads and storage and one thing I’d been tangling with for a few weeks was a way to get the server to monitor and capture torrent files downloaded to my main PC. I didn’t want to set my download folder to a location on the server as this would mean uploading all downloads to it. Likewise having the capture folder on my main PC meant there were problems when I rebooted – uTorrent on my server then refused to start capturing from the folder again automatically.

What I needed was a way to automatically send .torrent files to a capture folder on the server and Automatic Save Folder came to my rescue. By right clicking on the link to the torrent file, it automatically saves specific file types, or names or even files from a specific domain to a pre-specified folder. You could even set photos to be downloaded to you’re My Pictures folder and videos to My Videos. Very handy indeed. Unfortunately Firefox 3.6 wasn’t supported when I first found out about it but a beta version has landed and works fine.

5. Cooliris

It’s been around for while but Cooliris is still one of my favourite addons for Firefox. If browsing through scores of images in Google is getting a bit tiresome, this is an awesome way to spice things up a bit.

My Favourite Firefox Addons My favourite Firefox addons

It can take a bit of getting used to but I find it can be much faster at searching for specific images. It can even search databases and image hosting sites like Flickr.

What's your favourite Firefox addon? Do you prefer another browser? Let us know in the comments.

45 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
barndoor101 9th February 2010, 12:21 Quote
Xmarks is my must-have

Video DownloadHelper is also another that i cant live without.

there are a few others, adblock/noscript, greasemonkey, and WOT also help
Xir 9th February 2010, 12:21 Quote
Quote:
The details are stored securely online
Bit of an oxymoron if you ask me :D
Quote:
You could even set photos to be downloaded to you’re My Pictures folder and videos to My Videos
Good, wouldn't want anybody to have a tough time looking for them.
Seiously, you caved in and use the preset folders?
Combatus 9th February 2010, 12:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir
Quote:
The details are stored securely online
Bit of an oxymoron if you ask me :D
Quote:
You could even set photos to be downloaded to you’re My Pictures folder and videos to My Videos
Good, wouldn't want anybody to have a tough time looking for them.
Seiously, you caved in and use the preset folders?

Was thinking more about organisation than knowing where to find them and no, I have different folders, just thought it was easier to get my point across ;)
Orionche 9th February 2010, 12:36 Quote
Was looking for a Multirow-type addon for ages. :| Cheers for posting that...
oMonarca 9th February 2010, 12:39 Quote
+1 for Xmarks!

Down Them All is also pretty good. Simple Boss Key too >_>
Krikkit 9th February 2010, 12:42 Quote
Xmarks, FireSomething (for lols), Firesizer, IEView (for those pesky sites that still don't work), and oldbar. :D
proxess 9th February 2010, 12:58 Quote
xmarks, adblock plus, downthemall, firegestures, autohide statusbar and auto menubar.

Also multiproxy switch and create an SSH tunnel to home for use at work ;)
scawp 9th February 2010, 12:59 Quote
Opera created speed dial not Chrome
Gunsmith 9th February 2010, 13:01 Quote
you forgot ad block plus
Mr T 9th February 2010, 13:49 Quote
I can't live without Smoothwheel makes scrolling so much nicer. I use chrome at home but am still stuck with FF at work due to all my dev tools.
mclean007 9th February 2010, 14:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir
Good, wouldn't want anybody to have a tough time looking for them.
Seiously, you caved in and use the preset folders?
Would that make him a bad person? What's wrong with using the preset folders?
Cupboard 9th February 2010, 14:11 Quote
I use Snaplinks (or Multi Links) - they both allow you to draw a box round a bunch of links and open in tabs, both have their advantages.

Xmarks for password sync mainly, thinking about changing to Weave for the tabs sync - when it existed Google Browser Sync was good for that.

Distrust - a bit like the In Private mode but I can keep all my currently open tabs open - really helpful - and for while it is turned on, your history works as usual

Close n forget - had a Stumble Upon site you don't want in your history? Click the button and it all goes away.

I have changed my Awesomebar to be on the same row as all the menus to save space, I cannot get enough!
proxymoron 9th February 2010, 14:50 Quote
What Scawp said - Speed Dial was in Opera way, way, before any of the other browsers chose to copy it.
do_it_anyway 9th February 2010, 15:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunsmith
you forgot ad block plus
Awesome add-on, but I doubt they "forgot it". After all, they rely on advertising on the site. Then posting about an ad-removal add-on would be foolish.

On topic- I.E.Tab (which I assume is similar to krikkits IEview mentioned above) is an absolute must have. It even works with some (shockingly old and poor) website's i use that for work that "only" work on IE6.
Spiny 9th February 2010, 15:30 Quote
In order of favouritism:

downthemall
xmarks
1-click youtube downloader
url shrink easy
foxyproxy
add to search bar
adblock plus
l3v1ck 9th February 2010, 16:21 Quote
NoScript FTW.
knuck 9th February 2010, 16:22 Quote
nice list, nice thread

looks like I have stuff to test :)


my input:
-download statusbar (much more convenient than the default download window)
-mixtabplus (i use it to put my tabs at the bottom of firefox)
-the rest were named already :)


edit: wow lastpass is impressive ! Hhighly recommended to anyone who was hesitating to try it. Give it a shot, you won't regret it
phuzz 9th February 2010, 16:52 Quote
in the order I install when faced with a new install:

Adblock Plus (seriously, how can anyone use the web without this?)
XMarks (sync your book marks between desktop and laptop, bonus points for allowing you to have slightly different bookmarks at home and work)
Gmail Notifier (because I can't be arse to keep checking my inbox)
Download them All (allows some changes in your download folder, but also handy for downloading all 20 pictures on a particular page etc.)
FxIF (displays EXIF in the image properties)
Popup Alt (gives you the IE mouse over text)
robyholmes 9th February 2010, 17:10 Quote
Xmarks for me, very good!

The uTorrent thing is interesting. Have you looked in to the 'WebGUI' that utorrent offers? It allows you to control Utorrent through your browser on another PC in the LAN. You can copy a link location and just paste it in there and it will download it for you. Also useful to check on status or pause the download when you want to game at night (Downloads at night on my schedule). Also means you can access it on any PC.
Herbicide 9th February 2010, 17:45 Quote
ABCTajpu for šṕéçĭäł characters
Ubiquity (when they update it for 3.6...)
Tineye search plugin
Combatus 9th February 2010, 18:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by robyholmes
Xmarks for me, very good!

The uTorrent thing is interesting. Have you looked in to the 'WebGUI' that utorrent offers? It allows you to control Utorrent through your browser on another PC in the LAN. You can copy a link location and just paste it in there and it will download it for you. Also useful to check on status or pause the download when you want to game at night (Downloads at night on my schedule). Also means you can access it on any PC.

Yep I use the Web UI, very handy and yes it can allow you to manually start a torrent but I'm lazy! I want it to automatically load them from the monitoring folder. While this can be located on another PC on your network, if you turn that PC off and on again, I've found it no longer captures torrent files until you restart utorrent.
teamtd11 9th February 2010, 19:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by scawp
Opera created speed dial not Chrome

+1
cyrilthefish 9th February 2010, 19:53 Quote
hmmm.

Adblock plus
British dictionary
Coral IE Tab
Downthemall
Download Statusbar -replaces the horrible separate downloads window
Flash Video Downloader
Linkification - plain text URLs converted to clickable links, very handy
WildThing 9th February 2010, 20:27 Quote
Hmm, one word mate, Opera. ;)

Speed Dial - Opera

LastPass Password Manager - Opera (Magic Wand)

Multirow Bookmarks Toolbar - OK you win on this, although I think on that screen you posted it just looks messy. My bookmarks in Opera are tidier. :p

Automatic Save Folder - This sounds pretty cool actually, I remember last time I used FF I did not like the download manager. Maybe things have improved. Also, Opera has a built in torrent client.

/Opera fanboy rant over. :)

p.s. Opera!
Jack_Pepsi 9th February 2010, 21:50 Quote
I use FlagFox amongst others, but ol' Flaggy hasn't been mentioned so I thought I'd drop that one in 'ere for you all.
The_Beast 9th February 2010, 22:10 Quote
Stumble upon
flash block
ad block
fox tabs
downthemall
smooth wheel
webmail notifier
Tyinsar 9th February 2010, 22:23 Quote
>>> Tab Mix Plus <<<


That, one of the gestures add ons, and Add Block Plus ALWAYS get installed as soon as FF is.

The rest, meh, I'll install them when I need them but those 3 are essential to me.
talladega 9th February 2010, 23:27 Quote
heres what i use. BOLD the best ones

Adblock Plus
AutoPager
Configuration Mania
Download Manager Tweak
Fastest Fox
FlashGot
Google Redesigned
Photobucket Uploader
Save Image in Folder
Smart Search
Xmarks
Yet Another Smooth Scrolling



for those that use Video DownloadHelper, do you have any problems with YouTube? When I had that addon installed it was great except youtube wouldnt work proper. I could watch a few videos then youtube would stop loading. I finally figured out that DownloadHelper was causing it.
cyrilthefish 10th February 2010, 03:09 Quote
Must say i find it interesting the amount of people that have smooth scrolling addons installed.

Personally, i disable smooth-scrolling completely, as i like the fact that one unit (resistance *click* on the scroll wheel) of scroll on my logitech scroll wheel = one unit of page scrolling.
Also helps CPU usage on my drastically underpowered laptop when using it too :)
knuck 10th February 2010, 03:58 Quote
yep

I didn't know there were add ons for smooth scrolling so I gave it a shot and disabled it almost immediately. I got use to firefox's wheel scrolling and I find it more precise and easier on the eyes
|V| 4 L k i 3 R 10th February 2010, 05:04 Quote
AdBlock Plus
Delicious Bookmarks
Tree Style Tab (Side tabs instead of at the top)
sear 10th February 2010, 05:08 Quote
For a more secure password manager, try using PasswordMaker. Rather than storing your passwords locally, it generates them based on a master password of your choosing, the web site's URL, and an encryption method you can customise quite minutely. You can easily create 32-bit or larger passwords for use with your banking, for example. The convenience of it is really great and means you don't have to remember a unique password for every web site, yet still have the benefits of using one.
Xir 10th February 2010, 09:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclean007
Would that make him a bad person? What's wrong with using the preset folders?


Hmmm mostly paranoia i guess. :D
These are the standart folders programmes look for when looking for music/pictures/documents.
If every media player knows where to look by default that can be handy, but these programmes tend to do things like:
Hey, it's all there, want me to organise it? Want me to categorize it? Wanna look for similar things on the web? Lemme check if it's all legit M'kay? Dont mind me sending a list to my dev. now, do you?
Just makes me nervous.

Also I find it very disturbing that there are lots of people who simply don't know where their data is. Well, its stored on the computer...somewhere, and as long as I use programm XXXX It'l find it!

Like windows vista photo import, which by default downscales and rerenders your pictures when importing them. :|
Xtrafresh 10th February 2010, 11:05 Quote
i switched from FF to chrome for the smoother interface and generally better 'feel' of the whole thing, and the one and only thing i really missed was mouse gestures. I simply flew through my sites with that enabled, and i kept trying to use it even though it wasnt there for quite a while...
AKHandyman 10th February 2010, 19:50 Quote
NoScript is a must have for everyday surfing along with AdBlock Plus. Dittos for Xmarks and I like Smart Marks Toolbar as well.
Kris 11th February 2010, 11:57 Quote
mm Opera indeed, for the following reasons:

1. Speed dial: they created it, and it works like a charm
2. mouse gestures: really, how can you browse the web without them? :)
3. Switching between the tabs with mouse right click + scroll, the best way of using it.
4. Opera takes less memory than Firefox in my experience
5. Tabs can be small thumbnails, showing active content.
6. irc client built in, as I see no reason to use an additional program for it when i don't need
7. download manager is much better than in firefox (i really don't like the new window that pops up, it's not very user friendly imho).
8. trash can, for the tabs you've closed and sometimes need again.
9. good browsing history system for when you want click 'back', but lets say 20 times :)

Ok those are the pluses of Opera for me anyway :=)
sHORNY 11th February 2010, 13:16 Quote
This is the best one still in the early days but will get better and better :) here :)
l3v1ck 11th February 2010, 17:36 Quote
FireFTP.
An FTP add-on that's really simple to use.
Combatus 11th February 2010, 19:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sHORNY
This is the best one still in the early days but will get better and better :) here :)

Chrome is great but as I mentioned in the blog, my internet banking site doesn't support it yet, which is how I got into FF.
Quote:
Originally Posted by l3v1ck
FireFTP.
An FTP add-on that's really simple to use.

Was going to be my no.6 but didn't have room :D
mi1ez 12th February 2010, 10:14 Quote
Video Download helper.
Adblock Plus.
Greasemonkey (of course!)
fire.fm
web dev toolbar.
fireftp
download them all

All indespensible tools!
Omnituens 12th February 2010, 16:26 Quote
anyone know of an add-on that makes firefox ignore Mouse4 and Mouse5?

These are the best transmit keys in vent/ts/etc, but if you have the cheek to try to browse and transmit at the same time.... yeah.
Nexxo 12th February 2010, 21:36 Quote
Weave Sync (X Marks on steroids)
Fast Dial (Speed dial, but with heavily customizable graphics)
FX Currency Converter
Download Statusbar
Tab Scope (preview tabs through a Vista-like popup)
Skibo1219 21st February 2010, 10:26 Quote
First, the standards should be; Adblock+, Wot, Noscript. 2nd set worth getting are; Compact Menu, Download Status bar, Image zoom, and Smart bookmarks bar. The rest should be things that can play video any and all videos and flash games, I use the Veoh plug in and Move Media player and the MS Media player for FFox, these 3 cover 95% of the media and last but not least TextAloud Firefox plugin for those really lazy people to dont even want to try reading...
cybergenics 23rd February 2010, 17:22 Quote
I use, Clean and Close, Adblock plus and add additional filters in particular a Russian one, which blocks stuff you might run into when googling images and stuff (no not those type of images) and one that is very useful, No Squint, No Squint is a zoon feature that remembers what site you have been on and sets the text size, handy for those sites with titchy text !
Weter 27th February 2010, 07:29 Quote
Excellent list, but where is Handy Password? It is much more effective than LastPass.
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