Archive | Add-ons Reviews

Show the Status Bar in Full Screen Mode

See the Status Bar in Full Screen Firefox

Ever needed to see your Firefox status bar when browsing in full screen mode (you can get into full screen mode by hitting the F11 key on your keyboard).  If you answered, “Yes, tell me more!” do I ever have that add-on of your dreams.

Simply called Full Screen Status Bar, this add-on for Firefox shows the status bar in full screen mode.  It is a very simple tweak that should make many full screen web browser users very happy.

Pick it up for yourself, and give it a shot at the Mozilla add-ons web site.

Track Your Browsing Habits with about:me

Tracking Yourself with about:me

Ever wanted to know more about what you are doing while you are doing it?   You just did it, so why would you need to know what you did if you are the one who did it?  Exactly.  The add-on, about:me, makes sense once you see it in action.  It provides a fun way to see personalized patterns in browser usage.  You can spot trends in your browsing history and download activity. 

Here is a little more about the add-on from the developer:

The "Activity Stats" section graphs the websites you visit most, including the individual pages you visit most within each top-level site. This section also graphs your hourly browsing activity, which can reveal patterns in websites you visit most at various times of the day.

Appealing to some of the geekiest Firefox fans, the only way you can access the add-on in question is to type in about:me into the address bar.  It pays tribute to Firefox’s other hidden jewels such as about:config, and my favorite about:robots.

Get to stalking yourself today, and give the about:me add-on for Firefox a try.

6 Ways to Capture Better Web Site Screenshots

Take Better Screenshots

Taking a screenshot of the various web sites out there on the Web is usually done for a slew of reasons.  Sometimes it is done to help you debug a web application, other times it might be done to show off a future design.  No matter what your reason, I have six great Firefox add-ons that will make capturing an image of a web site a very easy thing to do.

Screenshot Pimp – Need a screen shot? Screenshot Pimp lets you easily save images of web pages with multiple options for selection, output destination, and image type.

Abduction! – Adds a right click option to take screenshots of an entire web page or just part of a web page to save as an image.

FireShot – This is a Firefox extension that creates screenshots of web pages (entirely or just visible part). Unlike other extensions, this plugin provides a set of editing and annotation tools.

Talon: Screen Capture & Aviary.com Quick Launch – Take screen shots and edit images directly from your browser with Aviary.com applications.

Snapper – This add-on allows users to designate an area of a web page for a focused snapshot, cutting out the additional work needed for cropping unnecessary information.

Screengrab – It will capture what you can see in the window, the entire page, just a selection, or a particular frame.  You can then save the screen capture as a file or to the clipboard.

Have another favorite, or which of these tools have suited your needs the best?  Be sure to let us know in the comments which one you like best.

TechCrunch Crashes Firefox 3.5, I Ask Who Cares?

TechCrunch is Embarrassing

As somebody who usually writes in order to help the masses in one way or another, no matter if it is to inform or entertain, it really bugs me when I see people complain about something, but then do nothing to fix the thing they are complaining about.  Recently on TechCrunch I saw a feature about Firefox 3.5 crashing for one of the writers.  I though, hey – maybe they’ll have some interesting information on how to get around or troubleshoot the issue; maybe I should check it out. 

Let us check out this post together shall we?

Ever since the new Firefox 3.5 came out about a month ago, I’ve been using it as my main browser. Generally I am very happy with it.

Hey, that is cool.  I have been too!  I can “relate” with that.

But there is one persistent bug that might push me to another browser: it keeps crashing on me.

Oh, really? Hate to hear that, wonder what is causing the crashing?

This usually happens when I have too many tabs open (like 15 or 20, which is not unusual for me towards the end of the day). The whole thing will just freeze and I’ll have to force the browser to quit.

Well, that is odd.  I usually run the same thing or more during my day and have yet to have that problem.  Then again, I am only running a handful of extensions too.  So maybe that is where the problem is?

Without basic stability, none of the other great features or add-ons really matter much.

Yeah, that is true – but, did you try to fix your problem?

I realize that Firefox 3.5 is a just came out of beta, and to be fair, it has become slightly more stable over the past month (it was crashing every day in the beginning, now it is just every few days).

So, you didn’t do anything to fix it?

I’ve been patiently waiting for the crashing to stop as Mozilla releases patches and updates.

Did you try to fix it?

I’m on a developer build, so maybe I’m just asking for crashes.

You are just waiting for somebody to do it for you magically?  Well, maybe your not the only one – go ahead and give me a few quotes from somebody else. Go ahead, the floor is all yours.

But plenty of other people are complaining as well.

Wait a minute, did you just quote Twitter? Ok, so there are 2 and a half pages of people saying Firefox 3.5 crashes.  Also worth noting that there are 15 pages people who say they love pirates.  Oh and you can’t forget the page and a half of people who think toast is god.

Now, before you paint me as some Firefox loving wing nut, I can admit Firefox might have some flaws, and some people might be having problems with it.  However, when you have a megaphone the size of TechCrunch try to at least help people who might be in your same shoes rather than trying to paint a perfectly fine browser as an unstable mess. 

Match Your Tabs to the Sites Your Browsing

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There are a number of different add-ons that will change the way your Firefox tabs look.  How would you like to have one that made your tabs match your web site you are browsing.  FabTabs does that.

How does it work?  I’m happy you asked…

FabTabs is kind of an experimental extension for now that will color your Firefox Tabs in a way you have never seen before. By taking a small screenshot of the website you are currently viewing, and calculating the most commonly used color from that screenshot, it tries to take the 1 essential color from the website and applies it to the tab.

Sounds like a good idea.  If your looking to make your tabs appear more like the pages your surfing, pick up the FabTabs add-on for Firefox.

Create a Link List from Your Open Tabs

The URL Lister add-on for Firefox gives you the ability to grab all the open tabs you have, and collect them as a series of links, formatted in three different formats, so that they can be copied easily.

Instant Link List from Your Open Tabs

To use, all you need to do is right-click on one of the tabs, and select URL Lister.  Next, you will see a box (like the one above) that will give you URLs (one per line) for each tab you have open.  This makes it super easy to copy and save the links for later. You also have the choice to save the list as plain text URLs, a HTML coded list (for use in a web page), or a Linked List, which would give you the list of links with both HTML code around them an the traditional “list” HTML tags too. 

This extension will also open a number of links.  So if you have a list of links you need to open in bulk, paste them into the text box, and hit the “OK” button. After doing so, you should have each URL open up in its own tab.

You can grab the URL Lister add-on at the Firefox Add-ons site or learn more about it at the author’s official site.  If you love lists and links, you will love this browser link lister.

The “Better” Firefox Add-on Collection

Better Firefox Addons

It is no secret I am a big fan of Gina Trapani’s line of “better” add-ons for Firefox, so I can tell you I was more than excited to see that they had been rolled together as an add-on collection, so you can grab them all at once. 

Which extensions make the list?

Better Gmail 2 – Add useful extra features to Gmail, like hierarchical labels, an unread message icon on your browser tab, file attachment icons, and more.

Better Amazon -  Highlight Amazon listings with free shipping, automatically enlarge product images, clean up book pages, shorten URLs and more on Amazon.com. Enhances Amazon.com with a compilation of user scripts and styles. All scripts copyright their original authors. Click on the script homepage in the Help tab for more information.

Better Flickr -  Adds collapsible header and sidebar, event title text wrap, colored weekend days, week numbers, and skins to Google Calendar.

Better GReader -  Preview web pages inline in Google Reader, collapse the header and sidebar for more reading area, add favicons to feed subscriptions and more with Better GReader.

Better YouTube – A compilation of some of the best Greasemonkey user scripts for YouTube in one interface.

Go pick up the Better Pack of Firefox Add-ons and find out what is so great about them yourself.

Drag and Load Content Quicker in Firefox

Looking to make drag and dropping a little more functional in Firefox?  The Firefox add-on QuickDrag will let you load URLs, do web searches and more just by highlighting text, grabbing it and dragging it to the right location. 

Here is what QuickDrag looks like in action, as well as more details on how you can use this great extension for Firefox to speed up your browsing.

How to Use QuickDrag in Firefox

Now, some might look at this add-on and say that is not much, however after you start using it, you really start to realize how much more functionality this adds – just be adding a few tweaks to the browser.  For more help, you might also check out the author’s FAQ.

You can pick up the QuickDrag add-on via the Firefox Add-ons web site.

Give Firefox a Highlighter

There have been several highlighter extensions I have seen over the years for Firefox, however this one might be my favorite.  The ultra light-weight Highlights add-on for Firefox simply highlights selected text on web pages with a right-click of the mouse.

Highlighter for Firefox

To highlight text on a web page, select the text, right-click (‘Ctrl+Click’, on Mac OS X) and select ‘Highlight’ menu from the popup.  The default yellow highlight color can easily be changed, by clicking the “Highlights” icon on the status bar, and choosing the color picker.  To remove the highlights, simply refresh the page.

No matter if you are doing research or you just like to highlight interesting points while you read, the Highlights extension is an excellent way to mark your spot on the Web.

Instant Google Shortcuts with GButts

Do you use a lot of Google services?  The Firefox add-on, GButts, will help you get quick and easy access to any Google service you want, next to your address bar or anywhere else you might need it.

Here are all the Google services you can quickly show or hide via the extension.

Add a Google Service Button, Anywhere!

You can customize how much space you want to save with the options across the bottom (by making the menu a toolbar or a drop down menu).  You also have the option of a horizontal or vertical menu.  You can then right-click on your toolbar, go to “Customize” and then drag and drop the GButts Toolbar you created on to your toolbar layout – anywhere you might need it.

If you are a heavy Google user – the GButts add-on should be right up your alley.