Archive | Add-ons Reviews

Hide Firefox’s Find Bar After the Job is Done

1227892988 Firefox’s find bars (yes, there are two of them) are often classified as the good one that is hard to remember, and the not so good one that is easy to remember. 

The good one nobody remembers, is hitting the “/” key while browsing a page.  If you hit Ctrl+F you get the not so good one that is easy to remember.  This is the one that we all use most often.  The Hide Find Bar add-on for Firefox merges the greatness of these two searches into one.

How does it do that?  It is very simple.  It allows you to hide the find bar after a certain interval of inactivity has elapsed.  So, when activity in the find bar has been idle for a certain interval it will automatically disappear. 

You can try it out for yourself, all you need to do is download the Hide Find Bar extension from the Firefox Add-ons site.

Add Live (Suggesting) Search to Firefox

Ever wanted to add Microsoft’s Live Search to your Firefox browser?

No, me neither – but they have released and add-on to help you do just that. 

Live Search in Firefox

The Live Search add-on is a little late to the dance, however I am not going to totally shoot them down.  At least they are making the effort, right?  What does it do?  It gives you the “suggestion” feature for search terms when you search using Live search via the Firefox search box. 

Definitely, if you are a fan of Live search, give this a shot.  All three of you should be extremely happy.

Google Toolbar Give us Chrome’s Thumbnails

Want to get Chrome’s thumbnail preview page when you open a new tab in Firefox?

Google has ported one of Chrome’s most popular features to Firefox, the personalized new tab screen.  The only catch is that you have to use the Google Toolbar to get it.  Your new tab page looks exactly like Chrome’s after the install of the Google Toolbar 5 Beta. 

Chrome's New Tab Screen in Firefox

When do you get this fantastic new edition?  This happens when you launch a new tab( hit Ctrl+T, or you double click on the empty space to the right of your tabs).  You can check out all the other features of the Google Toolbar Beta 5 on the official web site:

I stopped using Google Toolbar myself once the search box was added to most browsers.  I mean, why do I need two search boxes in one browser window?  That is a post for another day though.  However if you want to check out this new ported over feature – be sure to pick up the beta off Google’s web site.

Searching Inline with Select-n-Go

Want to be able to browser for information from a page without leaving that page to go to a new tab?  If you want to save space or have easy access to a slew of search tools – you may want to look into adding Select-n-Go by Cleeki to your own Firefox installation.

To use it, all you have to do is highlight some text on the screen.  Then you get this cool window in a window effect. The main purpose here is to:

  • Minimum annoyance: no change of web page appearance, no unwanted tab switching, no unpleasant popups, etc.
  • Maximum efficiency: minimum operations, seamless connection, easy activation/hiding, etc.

You can do Google, YouTube, eBay, and Amazon.  If that is not enough for you – you can extend it even further by adding your own channels to it.

Select-n-Go Preview

In a nutshell, the add-on launches a browser window inside of your browser window. 

Now I promise though, that is not as annoying as it might sound.  True, it might not be the most visually appealing thing, however it does reduce your tab switching (back and forth) when searching for information Online.  You can pick up Select-n-Go by Cleeki on the Firefox Add-ons web site.

Force Firefox Menus to Stay Open

Stay-Open Menu is an add-on for Firefox that will keep menu items open, even if you click elsewhere.  It is a pet peeve for some, to have to do all this re-clicking if you need to access more than one thing from the menu.  This extension enables multiple selections from bookmarks menu, history Menu, or address bar dropdown list, without reopening menu or using sidebar.

Stay-Open Menu Add-on for Firefox

When you middle-click a bookmarked item in the bookmarks (or in the history) you will open that web page up in a new tab, and the menu stays open, so you can do more clicking inside of it.  You can then click all the links you need to click and open up.  Once you are finished, hit the Esc button to close the menus (or you can click somewhere outside the menu, as well).  Here is one more handy tip from the developers:

Toggle the about:config value of extensions.stayopenmenu.useCtrlMeta from false to true to enable usage with Ctrl-click. See the homepage for more detailed instructions on how to turn on the Ctrl-click option, and further information about using with the Smart Location Bar.

For more help and support for the Stay-Open Menu extension, be sure to check out this thread:

You can pick up the add-on via Firefox’s Add-on site or learn more about it via the official web site.  It might not be an add-on for all, but if this is a pet peeve of yours, you now have a solution.

Add More Tools to the Awesome Bar

Wish to extend your already awesome bar (otherwise known as the address or location bar) with some really neat tools?  By default you can check out an RSS feed from there, and bookmark a web page.  For those looking for a few more perks, you need to try UrlbarExt.

This add-on for Firefox extends your awesome bar with more commands, such as:UrlbarExt in Action

  • Make Tiny URL
  • Copy URL
  • Search Site
  • Go Up a Level
  • Easier Page Tagging
  • Navigate Sequential URL’s
  • View Cached Version of  the Web Page
  • Surf Anonymously Proxy Servers

That is definitely a lot to do in such a little space.  You also have the option to show or hide any icon you don’t need using the settings dialog.  The only negative I could find, is that the options for the add-on do look a little cluttered – so much in there to configure in such a small amount of space.

You can pick UrlbarExt up on the Firefox Add-ons site.

Xoopit for Gmail

Need a personal assistant for your Gmail account?  It might not make you coffee, but Xoopit is the next best thing.  Xoopit for Gmail gives you the ability to get a lot more out of your e-mail inbox.  For example, you can quickly browse photos, files and videos. 

Xoopit for Gmail

That is the only places where Xoopit for Gmail shines.  It also lets you:

  • Search your stuff, not your messages. Xoopit upgrades Gmail search to show you the photos, videos and files that match what you are looking for.
  • Browse photos and videos from YouTube, Flickr, Shutterfly, Kodak and Picasa. Links sent to your Gmail account are automatically collected, saving you the hassle of going to these sites.
  • Easily find and access your files in Gmail. Never misplace an attachment again.
  • Quick share to friends, Facebook or your blog.
  • Do a web search while composing a mail in Gmail and add results directly to your message.
  • Get information, contact details and more about the people in Gmail’s conversation view.

All this from your Gmail inbox.  In the long haul, this add-on will not only make your inbox more social, but will also make it more useful as well.  You can learn more about the service at xoopit.com or pick up the add-on directly on Firefox’s Add-on web site.

WebMynd for Google

WebMynd What is WebMynd?  It is all about personalizing your search – with colors.  Ok, now before you think this is some new age hippy thing, hear me out.  This add-on for Firefox will help find and keep track of information from a number of different sources.

What sources does it support?  We have:  YouTube, Wikipedia, Flickr, Twitter, Amazon, Economist, CNN, LinkedIn, TechCrunch, Hacker News, Digg, Reddit, Google Books, Fluther, Delicious, Yahoo! Shopping, Scribd, Backtype, and Youlicit.

The easiest way to explain WebMynd is that it makes Google better by personalizing it with information and resources that you value.

Here is a little more about how it works from the developers:

After installing the WebMynd plug-in just search and browse the web as you would regularly.

When you search on Google, WebMynd will add results from your own browsing history and the top sites that you visit. And you can configure it to search many of your favourite sources such as Twitter, Wikipedia and Flickr amongst many others. If you use Twitter, you can ask your Twitter network for help while searching, right from Google.

When you are using WebMynd to record your history, a copy of the sites you visit is kept on your computer’s hard drive and the text is sent to our servers so we can index the information to make it easier for you to retrieve later. You can turn WebMynd on and off with a single click and you can set it to never record particular sites, you have 100% control.

Here it is in action:

WebMynd currently supports Firefox 3 on Windows, Mac and Linux.  You can pick up the Firefox extension via the Firefox Add-ons site or WebMynd.com.

Ditch the Next Link with AutoPager

autopager2Tired of hitting, “Next” to see the next part of any page?  No matter if you are looking through search results on Google or reading through a series of articles, the “next link” has become such an annoyance, somebody has developed an add-on for Firefox to get around it.

AutoPager is an extension that will automatically load the next page in a series of links so you have a continuous and infinite scrolling web page.  By default AutoPager works with a ton of sites, including Lifehacker, the New York Times, Digg, and, of course, Google.

What if you want to use this add-on on a web site it was not configured to work with yet?  Check out this tutorial on how to create new rules for the AutoPager extension:

So if you are tired of hitting “Next” then get yourself to the Firefox Add-ons site to pick up this recommended add-on.  If you want to learn more about AutoPager, you can also visit it’s official section over at teesoft.info.

Mr Uptime Gets Updated

Always hate to see it, but you know it happens.  The good sites always go down first.  Sure, maybe they weren’t ready for all that traffic.  They had so much to live for though!  Need an extension to let you know when any web site is back up and running?  If so, it might be time to call Mr Uptime (who is now ready to use finally with Firefox 3).

Mr Uptime

This is an extension I mentioned here before.  It will keep trying to reach the web site in the background while you continue to surf to other sites.  As soon as the web site in question is back, Mr Uptime will give you a tap on the shoulder to let you know.  Here are a few more words on its features.

  • Status change
    Watch when the server status code changes from an error to OK (HTTP status code 200).
  • Keywords
    Set a keyword that the website should or should not contain to be considered ok.
  • Time to watch
    Set how long you want to keep checking a website. After this time it will be removed from the watch list even if it hasn’t become available.
  • Notifications
    Choose to open the website in a new tab or a new window when it becomes available. You can also optionally get an alert dialog box to notify you when a website is working again.
  • Easy to use and discreet
    The interface will not clutter your Firefox window. The toolbar is only shown when an error is encountered or when you choose to open it yourself. You will not get another toolbar taking up valuable space in Firefox.

You can learn more about the Mr Uptime add-on via the Firefox Add-ons page for it or visit the official site at mruptime.pingdom.com.