Firefox Extensions: Keeping Up With the New Extensions

FirefoxDo you like Firefox and the flexibility that the extensions offer? Despite this, do you find yourself overwhelmed with trying to keep up with all of the newest extensions that are coming out?

If so, add the RSS feed from the newest extensions to your RSS reader. You can add the feed for the newest extensions here.  The most recently updated can be found here. The most popular can be found here.

Add these feeds to your RSS reader and never be in the dark about new Firefox extensions. You can also do the same thing with Firefox themes.

Acrobat: In Your Browser or a Separate Window?

AdobeIf you are one of those people who is frustrated when a PDF document opens in your browser when you want it to open in a separate window? Alternatively, maybe you want a choice as to whether a particular PDF opens in your browser or in a separate window.

In either case, Rick Borstein provides great step-by-step instructions for configuringFirefox Adobe Acrobat to act the way that you want it to act. Rick also points us in the direction of another cool extension (PDF Download) for Firefox that gives you greater control over how you handle PDFs from the internet.

This is a great tutorial from Rick. You can check it out here.

Auto Copy: A Great Firefox Extension

FirefoxI have found another great Firefox Extension: Auto Copy. Auto Copy automatically copies to your clipboard the text you select in your browser. Thus, no more need to Ctrl-C or right click to copy the text. Instead, you simply select it.

A tip of the hat to Futurelawer for pointing this extension out.

My previous post on Firefox Extensions can be found here. All of my Firefox posts can by found by clicking on the Firefox category to the right.

Firefox: Great Even Without Extensions

FirefoxI am a big fan of Firefox and have been using it for quite a while. One of the things that I love about Firefox is the ability to customize it using extensions. A few months ago, I wrote a post where I discussed my favorite Firefox extensions.

Lifehacker has a post that talks about the great features of Firefox that are built into the program, the stuff you can do without adding any extensions.

My favorites from the list are Tweakable search engines and Undo closed tab.

Many times I have accidentally closed a tab before I intended to. The Undo closed tab feature is a real lifesaver in those situations.

Check out the entire list. To find out more about a particular feature, click on its name in the list.

Google Broswer Sync

If you use multiple computers, you have likely been frustrated by the fact that your browser bookmarks aren’t the same or that two browsers are not set up the same way.

Once again Google, has come to the rescue with Google Browser Sync. In Google’s own words:

Google Browser Sync for Firefox is an extension that continuously synchronizes your browser settings – including bookmarks, history, persistent cookies, and saved passwords – across your computers. It also allows you to restore open tabs and windows across different machines and browser sessions.

I recently installed Browser Sync. Like most Google products, Browser Sync works simply and easily. Installation was a breeze and the sync process was seamless. After using this extension for only a short period of time, I am sold on it.

Favorites: Bug Me Not

I received some questions on the Bug Me Not aspect of my favorite Firefox Extensions post. Therefore I will go into Bug Me Not a little more extensively.

Bug Me Not describes itself in its FAQ as: was created as a mechanism to quickly bypass the login of web sites that require compulsory registration and/or the collection of personal/demographic information (such as the New York Times).

In a nutshell some users register for websites that require registration. These users then share the information with the Bug Me Not website, which makes it available to anyone who uses it site. This means that anyone can access the particular site by using the other information rather than having to register for themselves.

According to the Bug Me Not website, the most popular site include the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and IMDB.

Some people may question whether it is ethical to use a service such as Bug Me Not. If this question interests you, you should join the discussion. On the flip side, Bug Me Not will voluntarily block a site from its service if:

  • The users pay to access information on the site; or
  • The site requires users to register to post comments, but does not require registration to view information; or
  • There is a risk of fraud.

I myself take a two pronged approach. On sites I regularly use that require registration (for example Chicago Tribune) I fill out their registration. I figure that they are regularly providing me with information. I can provide them some information about their readership.

If, however, the Dayton Daily News has a interesting news story one day, I don’t want to have to fill out a complicated form to read a single news story in a newspaper that I will never read again.

To use Bug Me Not, you can go to their website and search for the website you are using. Alternatively, you can install the Firefox Extension for Bug Me Not. This extension allows you to log in to website simply by right clicking in the user name field and choose Login Using Bug Me Not.

Both the extension and the service are easy to use. If you have ever been frustrated by one of those mandatory registrations, then this extension and service are for you.

Favorites: Firefox Extensions

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my favorite aspect of Firefox is that I can customize it using Extensions. Below are my favorite Firefox extensions, provided in alphabetical order.

Bug Me Not (the extension) allows you to use Bug Me Not (the service) to access websites requiring registration without having to divulge your private information or completing the annoying registrations.

Colorful Tabs makes each of your tabs a different color. Sure this extension has no practical purpose, but it sure does make the browser prettier.

Copy Plain Text allows you to copy text from web pages and paste it as plain text.

Down Them All allows you to download several files from a web page at once. A nifty extension that is absolutely invaluable in those situations where it is needed.

Forecast Fox places information in your status bar at the bottom of your web browser to tell you the current temperature and the forecast.

IE Tab allows you to open a web page in Internet Explorer in a Firefox tab.

IE View allows you to open a particular web page in Internet Explorer. You can also mark certain pages to always be opened in Internet Explorer. This extension is necessary because some short-sighted people refuse to make their web compatible with Firefox.

Image Zoom allows you to zoom in or out on a particular image.

Map+ allows you to easily view a map of a selected address.

Tab Mix Plus provides you with several options to customize your tabs. One of the best customizations is the ability to put a close tab x on both the tab and the tab bar. This extension may disable other tab modifying extensions that you have.

Tiny URL Creator allows you to create a Tiny URL simply by right clicking on a web page. I use this extension all of the time when I am sending links to other people.

Track Package allows you to track a package from a web page or email simply by selecting the tracking number and selecting track package. It currently works with UPS, USPS, FedEX, DHL, and a couple of other services.

Favorites: Firefox

I am a big fan of Firefox and have been using it as my primary web browser for a little more than two years. The tabbed browsing is a great feature (and one that was incorporated into the latest version of Internet Explorer). Additionally, Firefox 2.0 integrates very nicely with RSS feeds.

Firefox also allows you to customize how the browser looks by allowing you to download and install different themes.
The best feature, of Firefox, however, is that there are hundreds of extensions that you can use to customize Firefox to make it work the way the you want it to. I have several extensions that I use regularly. Because I have several favorite extensions, however, I will make those the subject of a later post.