Archive | Add-ons Reviews

Introducing Jetpack for Firefox

Ever wanted to write your own Firefox extension, but thought the process was too drawn out or difficult to do?  Jetpack is looking to use open Web technologies to enhance the browser.  The idea here is that if you can make a web page, you will be able to build an add-on for Firefox.

This video does a great job at giving you a basic walk-though of what Jetpack development looks like thus far:

Mozilla Labs Jetpack – Intro & Tutorial from Aza Raskin on Vimeo.

Overall, I am really excited about this!  I always love to tweak away at Firefox using tools like Greasemonkey and Stylish (which Jetpack reminds me of, in a sense of being simple ways to extend the browser).

Word of warning, this is an extremely early release of the software, that is still being designed and developed.  This version that is out now is pretty much just for the developers and testers who want to start getting their hands dirty.

Grab Jetpack, and play around with it yourself.  It might not be for everybody, however should really help to inspire those of us who like to tweak around with our browser to make it work for us.

Strip Everything but the Content with TidyRead

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Want to remove all the clutter from your favorite site to read, and get right to the text?  TidyRead, an extension for Firefox, removes all the extra stuff from a web page or article that can make reading on the Web difficult at times.

This browser add-on does a simple, yet effective, job of stripping away the extra content from news or blog article pages, leaving you with nicely formatted text to enjoy.  Since the new version is overlaid on top of the old version, switch between the two is very easy.  You also have the options to customize it to suit your own reading style too (white on black, black on white, white on green, ect).

Well worth trying out, if you find some of the content on the Web a little hard on your eyes.  You can pick up TidyRead on the Firefox Add-ons web site.

Reframe It in Firefox

Want to be able to comment on any web site out there on the Web, without the permission of the web site in question?  Reframe It opens up a new portal of communication, by allowing you to communicate through specific comments next to the web site you are referencing. 

Why just send a simple text-based note, when you can send that and the web site you are talking about all in one swift, easy to access movement?  Here is the extension in action:

Reframe It Screenshot

It also supports sharing via Facebook, Twitter, RSS, HTML, and direct email so you can quickly share your comments.

Reframe It allows you to simple say what you want to where you want to.  This extension would be perfect (as an example) if you were working on a web site re-design, and wanted to show your boss the areas you wanted to work on.  Another example, would be citing research, when working on an article.

You can learn more about Reframe It via the Reframeit.com web site and pick up the Firefox add-on for the service on the Firefox Add-ons site.

Shareaholic – Share the Best of the Web via Firefox

I have looked at Shareaholic, the super-charged link sharing tool for Firefox, before in the past, however, there have been many new features and renovations since the last time I checked out this power house of a Firefox extension.

I thought it would be worth the effort to re-introduce you to this fine add-on for Firefox.

What is so Special About Shareaholic?

Easy Customization for How to Use Shareaholic The main idea behind Shareaholic, is to be the ultimate add-on for the link sharing addict.  It works with Facebook, Twiter, MySpace, digg, Gmail, StumbleUpon and more; giving you instant access to reach for all your link submitting and sharing needs.

One nice feature new to me, since the last time I checked out this add-on is the ability to customize how the add-on is displayed in Firefox.  You can have it show up in the URL bar, in your context menu, or as a button in the navigation panel.

By far, this is one of the best add-ons to get your hands on if you are a social network junkie, and need any easy way to submit to them all.  With that said though, you can easily customize which social sites are viewable (or not) in the options too. 

Pick the Social Networks You Want/Need to Use

Any Firefox add-on that lets me customize how to use it, so that I can make it suit my own needs even more is a winner in my book.  De-clutter your browser and pick up Shareaholic up on the official web site, Shareaholic.com or via the Firefox Add-ons site.

Quickly Capture and Save Screenshots

Pict Uploader for Firefox

I am always taking screenshots of this, that and the other for all the various writing projects I have going on the Web.  For me, finding something that makes that job even a little ‘bit easier, is a great thing indeed.  This is where the Pict Uploader comes into play.

This Firefox add-on integrates with your browser to provide a way to make screenshots with one click, and if you wish upload them to the Pict.com image hosting service. 

Here are some of the other features Pict Uploader will provide:

  • Capture screenshots of websites
  • Capture screenshot of whole website
  • Capture screenshot of visible area
  • Capture screenshot of custom selected area
  • Edit screenshots
  • Save screenshots in jpg/png formats

Well worth trying out, especially if you do any daily screen captures.  You can pick up the Pict Uploader on the Firefox add-ons web site.

Download an Entire Facebook Photo Album

Download Your Facebook Photo Album In need of a way to download all the images you may have uploaded to your Facebook photo album?  Sure you could go through each image, click by click and download each one individually.  Why do that though, when you have FacePAD.  This extension will let you grab all the photos from any album you need on Facebook.

Better known as the Facebook Photo Album Downloader, FacePAD will not only let you grab your own photo album, but will also let you download your friends’ photo album, event albums, and group albums with the click of a button. 

Here is a video from the developers on how to use FacePAD:

You can learn more about the add-on and get more help on how to use it via the Firefox Add-ons site.  If you want to backup your Facebook photos or save a few that a friend has uploaded, the Facebook Photo Album Downloader will be a great timesaver for you.

Get Firefox Ready for Spring Storms

Now that spring is here, everybody is keeping an eye on the sky.  Tornados, thunderstorms, and more are taking over the countryside, so time to take a look at some of the best weather related extensions for Firefox to help you stay in the know with watches, warnings, radars and severe weather.

1-ClickWeather

This add-on for Firefox enables users to view their current weather conditions, doppler radar, and international satellite maps.  It will also gather warning and 10-day forecast information from weather.com. 

1-ClickWeather for Firefox

WeatherBug

An old familiar name, Weather Bug will also live in your Firefox browser status bar and give you live and local weather conditions.  It is also a little less cluttered looking, which is always a nice thing. 

WeatherBug for Firefox

Forecastfox

Gathering information from AccuWeather.com, Forecastfox is highly customizable and very unobtrusive.  You can use your US zip code or you can easily find your town or city by using the built in search tool.

Forecastfox in Firefox

Forecastbar Enhanced

Formerly known as Forcastfox Enhanced, this popular Firefox add-on gives you a little ‘bit more as far as weather information goes.  This adds 12 improved radar images for US locations and 4 for international locations and the ability to supply a URL to use images from other sites.

Forecastbar Enhanced in Firefox

How do you keep up to date with your weather information?  Personally, I have my personal area bookmarked at the Weather Underground web site.  Have any other favorite extensions or bookmarklets you like to use?

Shrink a Link with Foxy URL

Need a new way to shorten your links?  Foxy URL hopes to be the extension you turn to, in that situation.  This add-on for Firefox keeps it nice and simple.  After you install it, you just add the icon for it to your navigation toolbar.  Once that is done, click on the icon and your link is shortened.

Foxy URL link shortening in action!

Click the “copy to clipboard” button and you are ready to share your link with the world.  That is it.  No fancy features, no unwanted fuss.  You can pick up the Foxy URL add-on for Firefox at the Firefox Add-ons site or via their own web site at FoxyURL.com.

Download Anything with FlashGot

FlashGot for Firefox A popular add-on for Firefox, to help you download all the links, movies and audio clips on a single page at maximum speeds, is FlashGot.  Created by the same man who brought us NoScript, this lightweight and reliable external download manager will let you download a plethora of information with a single click. 

While this extension has many good features, my favorite might be the FlashGot All.  By selecting this from the menu (or by hitting Ctrl+F3) you can grab all the links found on a current page and dispatch them to the default download manager.  Another nice feature included is the FlashGot Media option.  Watching a video on YouTube?  Quickly download it by hitting Ctrl+F7, via the right click menu or from under the “Tools” Category in your menu bar.

FlashGot might simply be the best integration/add-on for your download manager.

Master’s Guide to Reloading a Tab in Firefox

Reload a Tab, Any Tab!There are a number of different ways you can reload or refresh a window in Firefox.  For such a simple task, you would have never imagined that people have put so much work into making it easier.  The truth of the matter though is they have, and I want to share with you all the tab reloading secrets that I know of (and hopefully you can share your own favorites with me).

Here are the add-ons to help you with your page loading and re-loading.

Now, I know a lot of people will say, “How hard is it to hit the refresh button in your browser?” So with that in mind, here are a few additional ways to reload that web page in question.

Refresh That Tab! Reloading Keyboard Shortcuts

Windows/Linux: F5 or Ctrl + R = Reload a Page

Apple: F5 or Cmd + R = Reload a Page

Extra Tip: Another way to reload that tab you are on is to left-click on the tab, drag it into the browser window and the release.  That will give it a quick refresh too.

How do you reload your browser window?