Archive | Add-ons Reviews

Use Firefox to Customize Your Web

I think everybody, at times, would like to be able to customize certain web sites to better meet their goals.  Now, I am not talking about simple visual edits – like making the background black and the text white.  How about adding keyboard shortcuts for certain web site links and navigation elements?  You an do that and more with the Customize Your Web add-on for Firefox.

So do you want to customize web sites without writing one single line of code?  Check out this video tutorial for a little more information about the Customize Your Web add-on for Firefox.

Some of the other customizations featured include:

  • Removal and rearrangement of elements (cut / copy / paste behavior)
    Modifying of elements in every possible way (changing size, color, default values etc.)
  • Definition of keyboard shortcuts / shortstrings for any clickable element (shortstrings are multi-character shortcuts, e.g. "SO" for a "Sign out" Button)
  • Adding keyboard navigation support for any list of elements  (e.g. for the result entries of search)
  • Insertion of arbitrary HTML and JavaScript code
  • Definition of small macros which are triggered by a shortcut
  • Automatically triggering actions on page load (e.g. for automatic click on a login button or focusing a special field)

I am just having fun playing around with this add-on figuring out all the things I can do with it.  For some, it might seem a little complex, however there is extensive documentation to help you along.

You can pick up the Customize Your Web add-on for Firefox from the Firefox Add-ons site or from Mouseless.de.

Better Custom Google Search in Firefox

Custom Google Search

Are you a big fan of Google’s custom search feature, which allows you to customize your own search engine to fit your needs?  The Custom Google Search add-on for Firefox, in that case, is a perfect companion. 

In a nutshell, this extension for Firefox allows you to create, use and mange your own Google Custom Engines from within the Firefox browser interface. 

Customize Google Custom Searches

You can pick up the Custom Google Search add-on for Firefox on the Firefox Add-ons web site

Hide Bookmarks from the Awesome Bar

Hide from the Awesome Bar!

The Awesome Bar (or address bar, as those “normal” browsers might call it) does a great job at matching a web site saved in your bookmarks or history when you start typing in the Awesome Bar.  By default, Firefox doesn’t give you a way of saying, “Don’t show these bookmarks there” so now somebody has written up an add-on to give you that ability. 

The NotAwesome add-on for Firefox will help you hide any bookmarks tagged with “notawesome” from awesome bar searches.  This way you can totally flag bookmarks you don’t want showing up in the Awesome Bar results.

You can pick up this great add-on via the Firefox Add-ons web site.  (credit for this find goes to Lifehacker, when in turn goes to gHacks too!)

Make New Tabs Open Closer to Your Tab

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Some people may find the fact that Firefox opens a new tab on the far right of your tab toolbar a blessing and some might find it a curse.  It really has to do with how many tabs you are look at, in one single browser.  For those who are cursed today, I have your solution.  The Tabs Open Relative extension changes how new tabs open up, which means no more tab surfing for you.

Once installed, the Tabs Open Relative add-on for Firefox will make all new tabs open to the right of the current tab, rather than the far right of the tab bar.  Of course, this only applies when you are clicking links on a page.  In the case where several new tabs are opened in a row without switching tabs, each subsequent tab will be opened to the right of the previous one, so as to keep them in order.

So if this sounds like the solution to the tab navigating curse you’ve been living under, be sure to pick up this extension via the Firefox Add-ons site.  It is an easy way to fix this tabbed browser nuisance.

Close Button on the Last Tab in Firefox

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Miss having that close button on your last open tab in Firefox? 

Miss it no longer, because of the help of a creative add-on writer and – well, yeah that is it.  The Last Tab Close Button add-on for Firefox will show the close button on the last tab in Firefox, which closes that specific tab, and not the entire browser.

This seems to be a functionality that some were missing, so happy to see it back (for those who might need it).  You can pick up the Last Tab Close Button add-on for Firefox, on the Firefox Add-ons web site.

Make Your Firefox History Like a Tree

View Your Browser History in a Tree Diagram

Tree diagrams are awesome.

Firefox is even more awesome.

What happens when you mix together this much awesomeness?

You get the History Tree add-on for Firefox.  What does it do to your browser? You can use it to find any page you have visited quickly and easily. It also shows your browsing history as a tree of tabs, with thumbnail screenshots of the web pages in every tab you have opened.

Usage Note: This is an experimental add-on, only for Windows at this time.  So you will need to login to the Firefox Add-ons site to grab it or click the check mark box next to Let me install this experimental add-on.

This is a great Firefox add-on if you spend a lot of time navigating through the pages you just visited.  Pickup the History Tree add-on for Firefox and check out a different view of the pages you have visited.

Most Downloaded Bookmark Add-ons for Firefox

Popular Bookmark Add-ons for Firefox

So which bookmark add-ons for Firefox are downloaded most often?  Here are the top ten most downloaded bookmark extensions for the browser.

    • SmarterFox – Browse faster by speeding up common tasks – faster downloading, searching, visiting favorites, copy & paste, and more.
    • Xmarks (formerly Foxmarks) – Xmarks is the #1 bookmarking add-on. Install it on all your computers to keep your bookmarks and (optionally) passwords backed up and synchronized.
    • Delicious Bookmarks – Delicious Bookmarks is the official Firefox add-on for Delicious, the world’s leading social bookmarking service.
    • StumbleUpon- StumbleUpon discovers web sites based on your interests, learns what you like and brings you more.
    • Speed Dial – Quicker direct access to your most visited web sites and saved links.
    • Google Toolbar – Not sure why people are still using this, however it did make it on my list of non-evil toolbars, so go figure.
    • Brief -  Brief makes reading RSS feeds as easy and intuitive as it gets. Designed to have exactly the right set of features, it is powerful and simple at the same time.
    • Fast Dial – Much like Speed Dial, this add-on gives you a quick visual way to access a number of web sites all from one page; showing thumbnails for each.
    • iMacros – Automate Firefox. Record and replay repetitious work. If you love the Firefox web browser, but are tired of repetitive tasks like visiting the same sites every days, filling out forms, and remembering passwords, then iMacros for Firefox is the solution you’ve been dreaming of!
    • Multirow Bookmarks Toolbar – This add-on does exactly what you would expect, it gives you multiple bookmark rows.  Yes, I like it when they name add-ons about what they do. 

    There you have it, these add-ons have been downloaded more times than any other, and all will help you in one way, shape, or form with your bookmarks.  Have another favorite that you think deserves to be on the list?  Leave a comment, and tell me why.

    Tweak Your Firefox Download Manager

    Change the Firefox Download Manager

    Want to tweak the way the download manager from within Firefox works?  You can now tweak the way downloads are handled in a number different ways with the Download Manager Tweak add-on for Firefox.

    The main thing you might notice, right off the bat, is the ability to changes download manager’s appearance and allow the download manager to be opened in a window, tab, or sidebar.

    A few more options available to you are:

    • The ability to always ask where to save a file or always save files to one default location
    • Open the download manager after a delay of X milliseconds
    • Show or hide the toolbar on the bottom of the window
    • Show or hide the infobar, attached to the folder
    • Disable or enable the download manager theme changes
    • and much more!

    This is an add-on for Firefox I could seriously see adding to my default add-ons list I put on every personal Firefox install I do, it is that cool.  The Download Manager Tweak extension is free to download, so give it a shot – and let me know how much you enjoy it.

    Remember the Sage RSS Reader for Firefox?

    Sage-Too - the RSS Browsing Return?

    Sage was once one of the more popular RSS feed reading add-ons for Firefox.  However, time went by, years went on and these days it is not making much news.  However, if you still need a lightweight feed reader, there is now Sage-Too.  This is a continuation of the original project to keep it up to date with today’s Firefox browser versions. 

    Some of the features include:

    • Reads RSS (2.0, 1.0, 0.9x) and Atom feeds
    • Feed Discovery
    • Integrates with Firefox’s bookmark storage and Live Bookmarks
    • Imports and exports OPML feed lists
    • Newspaper feed rendering customizable via style sheets
    • Technorati and RSS search engine integration

    It also has support for the following locales: Argentine Spanish, Catalan, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Slovenian, Spanish, and Swedish.

    As they say in their own words, “It’s got more of what you need and not much of what you don’t.”  You can give it another shot, or take your first trip down lightweight RSS reading road by downloading it on the Firefox Add-ons web site.

    Also, don’t forget to start your RSS feed collection with the best Firefox feed out there today, http://feeds.feedburner.com/firefoxfacts.  Never leave your RSS feed reader without it!