Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Firefox 3 - Getting stuff organized - Add-ons

Iyov shared some of the ways he has customized his Firefox (and I picked up a couple good ones from his list), and since we now have Firefox 3, I thought I would do the same. In this post, I will show you how I have simplified my web work a bit by the use of Firefox addons. You can click on the graphic above to see the addons I use more clearly, but I will highlight a few of them below.

BTW, to get addons, you can use Tools > Add-ons, and it will bring up a dialogue box. Click on the "Get Add-ons" tab, and from there you can search for something specific, look at recommended add-ons, or browse them all. To see the add-ons you already have, click on the "Extensions" tab. (Yeah, that is confusing and inconsistent terminology.) Alternatively, you can download/install add-ons from the Firefox site or click on the links I provide.
  • Book Burro - Has saved me money by looking for books I'm wanting to buy on other sites
  • Download Statusbar - Helps manage downloads
  • FireFTP - A FTP client that works in Firefox
  • Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer - Keeps my bookmarks available anywhere and consistent across multiple computers
  • IE Tab - Some pages simply don't display correctly in Firefox. This one allows you to open up a page in Internet Explorer or simply change that tab to render with IE.
  • Image Zoom - A quick and easy way to enlarge graphics and pictures on web pages - Note: you may not need this in Firefox 3 with its Page Zoom feature. Use CTRL (or CMD) + or - to resize text and pictures of whole page (CTRL and mouse wheel also works)
  • OpenSearchFox - I will say more about this in the next post. There are a ton of search engine plugins for Firefox, but this one is a great way to add the search engine plugins you specifically want. Seems to have disappeared from the Mozilla site, but get it here.
  • PicLens - Fun and attractive way to view pictures on the web or on your computer
  • Resizeable Textarea - Have you tried to add a comment to a Blogger post, and the window comes up too small and can't be resized. This fixes that problem.
  • Resurrect Pages - A great way to find pages that have disappeared using a variety of archiving engines
  • Taboo - What I am now using to keep track of bunches of web pages that I open but will get around to reading later on
  • Tab Mix Plus - Really helps in tab management; the close active tab button on the right alone is essential for me (TMP was not initially ready to go w/ Firefox 3 but now is)
  • Tyndale Toolbar for Bibles - More info here. I don't always have the toolbar active, but it is handy to have.
  • Undo Closed Tabs Button - You accidentally close the wrong tab. This makes it one-click easy to get it back.
  • Vertov and Zotero - I've talked quite a bit about these.


  1. How does one know how add-ons affect the performance of Firefox? It would only seem natural that more add-ons correspond to more RAM consumption (a fact which sadly still must be taken into consideration even on my desktop) or bandwidth consumption? For instance I know that Forecast Fox slows down internet traffic. I read on Iyov's blog that the Google Toolbar is also known for this. Is there a point where the law of diminishing returns comes into play and more is not better?

  2. Hi, Michael. I'm in pretty good shape memory-wise w/ my computers, so I haven't worried about it too much, but I suspect that you are correct that add-ons might slow down performance. That's why I don't use themes which seem to take up more memory too. (The new Firefox 3 default is more attractive in my opinion and quite functional.) I also do watch the size of the add-ons. The biggest one by far is Zotero, but that's one I won't omit.
    Maybe someone else knows more about add-on/performance issues, but in the meantime, you can always save a little by using semi-colons instead of colons!(From an old Dilbert cartoon...)

  3. Hi! I was just wondering if you could confirm that in your experience Zotero works with Firefox 3. I just don't want to upgrade and then not have the plug in work.



  4. Hello, Ariel.
    Zotero works fine in Firefox 3!
    (I am using version 1.0.6.r2979)