Addicted to novelty since 2001

My Top Five Firefox Extensions

As you probably know, Mozilla Firefox is the open-source and (in my and many others’ view) superior Internet browser. If you’re still using Internet Explorer, now’s the time to change. You’ll be happy you did–these folks are.

One great aspect of Firefox is the multitude of free, easy-to-install extensions which add functionality to your browser. I rely upon a number of these extensions, so I thought it’d be worth making another silly year-end list about my favourites:

5. Greasemonkey – It’s kind of a meta-extension, enabling all sorts of DHTML or ‘user scripts’ that can modify a page’s behaviour.

4. Performancing – A nify WYSIWYG blogging interface for Firefox. It works smoothly with my installation of MovableType. Unfortunately, the WYSIWYG interface currently doesn’t correctly render paragraph tags in the HTML, so I still have to manually embed them. If that worked, this would probably be at #1.

3. SpellBound – A spell-checker for online forms. As regular readers know, I don’t use it consistently, but it’s very useful and accessible via the right-click menu.

2. Adblock – Can I get an amen? Granular control over when and how you want ads blocked.

1. SessionSaver – How did I do anything in my browser before this badboy? I’m an idiot, so I frequently close tabs (or the entire app) before I want to. If you close Firefox (or if it crashes), it’s a pain to reconstruct the six tabs that you had open. SessionSaver always returns me to a state exactly as I left it.

Honourable mention goes to LinkChecker and Google Pagerank (though the latter isn’t available for Firefox 1.5). What extensions can’t you live without (gosh, that’s awkward phrasing)?

7 Responses to “My Top Five Firefox Extensions”

  1. Patrick Dinnen

    Extensions are great indeed, I had to check which I had installed because I take them for granted. Three I’d add to the list are TinyURL creator, ColorZilla (an eye dropper for taking colour readings) and extensions.

    Also, looks like v0.9.6 of the Pagerank tool does work with FF 1.5, which is good because I’d miss it.

  2. Ian King

    Four “musts” not mentioned here:

    All-in-One Gestures: I got hooked on mouse gestures while using Opera, and this extension made the switch to FF a reality. Once you get the hang of it, you find that you move the mouse far less to do the same actions.

    Web Developer: invaluable for tweaking page layouts and analyzing their structure — whether it’s your own work or someone else’s.

    Word Count: Surprisingly handy if you are dealing with copy displayed in a Web browser.

    BugMeNot: Saves seconds and privacy every time I run across a “free registration required” site. Over the course of a year, it adds up to minutes, I tell you!

    Less vital, but darned handy: ColorZilla, MeasureIt (outline an area and see its dimensions in px), Plain Text Links (select a plaintext URL and you get the option to open the link), Allow Right-Click.

    The extensibility of Firefox is a big reason for why I switched — I’ll get the features I like, without bloating it too much.

  3. DJR

    I’m sorry, but I can’t sing the praises of Firefox. Extensions are great, but when the core product works so poorly, the existence of fantastic extensions is of little value to me. Firefox crashes on me a minimum of twice a day. This was true of all 1.0x versions and of 1.5. 1.5 regularly consumes 100% of my CPU while sitting in the background doing nothing. I can also count on FF hording 150+ MB of memory as it approaches its mean time between crashes. Both of the latter gripes force me to restart the browser regularly as it brings the rest of my system to a crawl.

    So, why do I use it? Tabbed browsing is the only reason. Once IE incorporates tabbed browsing, I’m afraid the great firefox experiment will be over for me.

  4. Ross

    My wife has been swearing by SessionSaver for some time now, so with the added endorsement of I decided to try it out – but the .xpi file seems to not be there, or not working, for the latest Firefox version. Bummer.

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