Archive | Add-ons Reviews

Compact Your Menu Bar Even More in Firefox

hide-the-menu One add-on I keep adding on is Tiny Menu, due to the fact that I like to have a minimalist browsing experience.  However, I have found one extension that does an even better job than Tiny Menu at compacting the standard menu bar down to one small popup menu, Compact Menu 2.

The major benefits Compact Menu 2 has over Tiny Menu are:

  • An even smaller footprint (one small blue globe to access your regular menu bar items)
  • You can move it anywhere (Tiny Menu was locked to one location)

As far as customization goes, you can select the menus you want to see in the new popup  compact menu.  These are:  File, Edit, View, History, Bookmarks, Tools, Help.  Each has a check mark beside it, so if you don’t want to see it – get rid of the check mark, and then save your settings.

One thing that might catch people off guard, is it doesn’t work right off the bat after you have installed it.  After installation, right-click on menu bar and choose “Customize…”, drag the “Menu” button or the “Compact Menu” icon to the position where you like on toolbar, then click Done.

Compact Menu 2 has earned it’s spot into my day to day use, so I give it two thumbs up.

Juice is an Intelligent Discovery Engine

Juice search add-on for Firefox Juice, is an on-demand web service built on intelligent discovery for rich and contextually relevant information for web users.  To translate that down to people outside of the PR world – it is a nice search engine, with perks.

The add-on for Firefox will continually run in a sidebar, and can be activated by selecting a chunk of text and dragging it over to the sidebar.  You then get tons of information about that person, place, thing you are searching about.  When dropping text into Juice, we’ll try to understand its meaning and serve you with context-relevant information.

How can you turn the sidebar on and off?  After installing Juice, you get a new toolbar button to do just that (or setup your own hotkey).  You can save things for later too.

All in all, Juice is well worth trying out if you need a new way (or perhaps better way) to search for basic information intelligently.

Borders for Search and Address Bar in Firefox

With the way I have my elements arranged inside of Firefox, using the default Firefox theme is a little hard to do.  Why?  It bugs me that there is no border around the address or search bars.  It just does not look that polished to me.

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See on the top and bottom?  It has never looked right to me.  So I did a little playing around with the Stylish extension for Firefox, and turned it into this:

ugly-address-bar

Now I am far from being a Jedi master of Stylish, and writing user styles.  I am just learning the basics.  Since this was a big annoyance to me though, I thought it might help somebody else out there.

Download Stylish, and then go down to the task bar icon for it, right-click and select “Write Style” and then “Blank Style”.  Type in any description you wish (mine is “Round Address and Search Boxes”) then type this into the text box for your user style:

#urlbar {
-moz-appearance: none !important;
-moz-border-radius: 3px !important;
padding-right: 1px !important; }

#searchbar .searchbar-textbox {
-moz-appearance: none !important;
-moz-border-radius: 3px !important; }

Hit preview to test it out, and if it worked – then hit the save button.  This worked for me using Firefox 3/Vista Ultimate, so hopefully it will work for you.  If anybody has any pointers, be sure to share!

Integrate Gmail with Everything!

Integrated Gmail in Action I have seen my fair share of the add-ons for Firefox, or Greasemonkey scripts that promise to integrate Gmail with just about anything and everything.  They all have little flaws in them though, that keep me from wanting to use them all the time. 

One new add-on that might change my mind is Integrated GMail, an experimental extension that does a fine job at the previously mentioned task.  It allows you to make the inbox collapsible and loads your choice of Google Calendar, Google Reader, Google Notebook and Google Groups under it (they are also in collapsible boxes).

It was also recently featured on my list of  9 Google Reader Add-ons for Firefox via Mitchelaneous.com.

If your are inbox minimalist, enable minimalist mode to clean up the inbox even more.  This extension is well worth checking out.  You can pick it up on the Firefox Add-ons web site.  Once you do, let me know how it stacks up against other favorite Gmail tools of yours for Firefox.

Mashup Gmail with Google Calendar

1225419768 GmailAgenda is an awesome new experimental add-on for Firefox that will integrate Google Calendar into your Gmail account.  No mater if your using a regular Gmail account or a Google Apps account – this should work for either one.

As far as customization goes, you can change the embed width.  The Google Calendar embed can also be expanded and collapsed as needed.  Also, You can choose which calendars are shown/hidden for each Gmail account.

The last thing worth mentioning is there is a “Quick Add” feature, not available for Google Apps accounts, that will allow you to quickly add events to your calendar.

Want to try it out?  You have two alternatives:

So how does this rank against Gmail’s announcement of adding the calendar in as a gadget for Gmail?  Which do you like better?

Google Cache Checker

Ever wanted to check to see if a page is cached by Google yet or not?

google-cache-checker

Now you could search Google for cache:yourdomain.com or you could use an extension to get this ability added to your status bar.  Google Cache Checker, currently an experimental add-on for Firefox, displays a checkmark icon if the current page is Google cached. If it is not, the extension displays a red X.

The result is immediately shown conveniently in the browser status bar.  Where would this be handy to have?  Well, let’s say your viewing a web site that is currently down.  By viewing the cache (if it exists) you could at least see what it looked like before it went down.  You can download the add-on from the Firefox Add-ons web site or get more information from the official web site.

For more status bar tweaks, be sure to check out 25 Tweaks for Your Firefox Status Bar and 25 More Tweaks for Your Firefox Status Bar.

25 More Tweaks for Your Firefox Status Bar

status-bar-tweaks2 Seems like a few people thought I forgot a few favorite extensions with the 25 Tweaks for Your Firefox Status Bar.  So, I thought why not revisit the idea and toss in some of the suggestions I received from all of you.

Flagfox – displays a country flag depicting the location of the current web site’s server

PingPong – start up a game of pong, anytime you feel the urge

FoxyMeter – how far have you surfed?

foxymeter

GA? – Is Google Analytics Installed – checks to see if Google Analytics is installed on any given page

Cookie Monster – gives you easy access to how cookies are used in your browser

Linkification – converts text links into genuine, clickable links (get more here)

infoRSS – displays RSS, Atom, parsed HTML and NNTP feed in a scrolling area in the status bar

Server Spy – indicates what brand of HTTP server (e.g. Apache, IIS, etc.) runs on the visited sites

Status-bar Scientific Calculator – a calculator that is very scientific!

Html Validator – adds HTML validation inside Firefox

Browse Images – browses all linked images of a page one after another or at once

QuickZoom – adds two icons to the Firefox/Thunderbird status bar which enable quick access to the “Enlarge Text Size” (Ctrl++) and “Reduce Text Size” (Ctrl+-) menu commands

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MoneyQuake – displays your real-time earning statistics

whos.amung.us Users Online Counter – shows how many people are currently on your web site in accordance with the whos.amung.us widget

Converter – contextual unit and time zone conversion on any web page

QuickPageZoom – another quick page zoom add-on for the status bar

PhishTank SiteChecker – gives Firefox users a way to bring the community judgment of PhishTank

Forecastfox –  get international weather forecasts from AccuWeather.com, and display it in any toolbar or statusbar

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NoScript – allow active content to run only from sites you trust, and protect yourself against XSS and clickjacking attacks

Download Statusbar – view and manage downloads from a tidy statusbar – without the download window getting in the way of your web browsing

FoxyTunes – lets you control almost any media player and find lyrics, covers, videos, bios and much more with a click right from your browser

Greasemonkey – allows you to customize the way a web page displays using small bits of JavaScript

Stylish – customize the look of the application and of web sites with Stylish, a user styles manager

Gmail Manager – allows you to manage multiple Gmail accounts and receive new mail notifications

Turn it Off? – The last would be to turn the status bar off.  To do so, go to View (in the menu bar) and then click on Status Bar.  Doing so will turn it off.  Repeat the same steps to turn it back on.   So now, after doing 50 tips to tweak your status bar – which did I miss?

6 PDF Power Tools for Firefox

pdf-powertools

With the economy taking a nose dive, people are looking for a way to save cash where ever they can find it.  One good way would be to save on ink and paper for your printer by instead printing to PDF.  That is only the start of it though.  Here are six PDF power tools for the Firefox browser:

PDF Download – The most powerful of the bunch, PDF Download allows you to do just about anything imaginable.  View PDFs in Firefox as HTML, automatically control how the browser handles the PDF format, and also convert any web page to a PDF you can save for later.

PrintPDF – Due to Apple people already having the “print to PDF” feature, this extension (which allows you to do just that) is for Windows and Linux users.  Print any page to a PDF file, and save on some paper!

PDFescape Extension – Want to edit your PDF files from within the browser?  PDFescape brings that functionality to Firefox.  PDFescape enables you to open and edit PDF files & forms online.

LOOP to PDF for Firefox – Upload, convert and combine your files to PDF from a tidy toolbar, without the conversion getting in the way of your Web browsing. LOOP for Firefox allows you to convert and combine files to PDF with the click of a button.

pdfit – This oddly named add-on gives you the ability to convert the current page to an image or PDF formats.  You can also apply some image filters, such as rotate or reflection, to give your conversion a little style.

Send to Google Docs – What does Google Docs have to do with PDF files?  This extension for Firefox allows you to view web documents in Google Docs.  It supports PDF files too. (as well as Microsoft Office and Open Office files)

Know of anymore PDF friendly alternatives for Firefox?  How do you handle PDFs online these days?

Inquisitor Comes to Firefox

1224626449 There has been a lot of buzz around Inquisitor, the new search engine plugin for Firefox from Yahoo.  It promises to “speed up your searches like no other”.  Does it deliver? 

The idea here is to search right from the search box, rather than be taken to a new page to view your search results.  Inquisitor, over time, will learn to understand you better and tailor your results to suit your needs. 

Keyboard shortcuts, that you can add yourself will help extend the searches to other search engine providers too.

It has pretty written all over it.  Visually, this is one of the best looking add-ons for Firefox I have used in a really long time.  Watch this video tease to see it in action.

For more information, be sure to check out the official site:

When push comes to shove, I am still a fan of the Firefox search box.  If you want a powerful alternative to Inquisitor though, I would highly suggest the CyberSearch add-on from CyberNet News. 

25 Tweaks for Your Firefox Status Bar

status-bar-tweaks

Want to add a few more features and functionality to your Firefox status bar?  Here are a some common tweaks you may want to make, and how you can get them added to your own browser.

Extended Statusbar – check out speed, percentage, time and loaded size and more

Organize Status Bar – clear the clutter out of your status bar

Cookie Button – C is for cookie, and this add-on makes it easy enough to access cookie permissions.  (ok, so it doesn’t make a good song)

Calculator-Bar – adds a calculator to your status bar (big surprise there, right?)

Unshorten – see the real location of a short URL (such as tinyurl.com/something) in your browser

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PopupMaster – places the popup blocker icon in the status bar, regardless of site settings

Router Status – give you the status of your router in the toolbar or status bar

ShowIP – shows your IP address and some more cool tools

Daily Dilbert – instant access to the Dilbert comic strip of the day

Dcurrency – currency exchange rates in the status bar

Live IP Address – Your current IP address in your status bar

TabCounter – gives you the number of tabs you currently have open

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Viral Threat Level – adds an image to the status bar that indicates the current viral threat level of the internet

YMail Notifier – notifies you when you get new mail to your Yahoo! e-mail account

SportsFox – latest sport scores for your favorite teams

Prefswitch – quickly activate/deactivate settings like CSS, JavaScript and more

Dictionary Switcher – toggles between the installed dictionaries and displays the currently selected dictionary in the status bar

US Department of Homeland Insecurity Idiocy Level – yes, that is a long name for an add-on

Status-bar Calculator – another status bar calculator (in case you need two)

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Open Tab Count – counts the number of open tabs you have, just in case you forgot

Word Count Plus – counts number of words in selected text

Dictionary – comes in handy when you quickly want to find the meaning of a word

TwitterFox – notifies you of your friends’ statuses of Twitter

IsAdmin – shows whether the application is running with administrator privileges, by means of an icon in the status bar

Firesizer – allows you to resize the window to specific dimensions

Have a favorite I might have missed?  Let me know via the comments and maybe we can get this list up even higher.

BONUS! – Go check out 25 More Tweaks for Your Firefox Status Bar!