10 useful Firefox Extensions

Userful Firefox ExtensionsSince I definitely chose Firefox (aka “goodbye IE”), I tried a lot of extension, but only a little part of them is still installed on my browser. Here’s my personal list: I’d like to know your comments and suggestions 😉


Google Toolbar icon 1. The Google Toolbar

The Google Toolbar

How can you use “THE Browser” without a quick access to “THE Search Engine”?
Anyway, I usually deactivate a good part of the extended functions of the toolbar, like “news” and “send with gmail” buttons, and I keep only the search label, “words find” buttons and the PageRank indicator.

The only further function I like is the bookmark manager: with a single click on the blue star you can insert the current web page in your Google Bookmarks, to have them always available on other PCs (on your laptop, at office…), through another copy of Google Toolbar, or on the Google Bookmark Page of your Google Account.

Click to download Google Toolbar

Clear Cache Button 2. Clear Cache Button

The “Clear Cache” function in Firefox is really speedy (compare it with the correspondent in Internet Explorer 😉 ), but it isn’t exactly easy to reach: it’s located under “Tools” menu > “Options” > “Advanced” > “Network” > “Cache” > “Clear now” (if you’re using Linux replace “Tools > Options” with “Edit > Preferences”).
This extension adds a button that immediately empty Firefox cache with a single click!

Note from the author: The clear cache button does not install directly to your browser’s toolbar. Rather, it can be found in the toolbar customization dialog. Right-click on the browser toolbar and select “Customize…”. Find the clear cache button in the Customize toolbar dialog and drag it anywhere on the toolbar that you like.

Click to download Download Clear Cache Button

Download Statusbar 3. Download Statusbar

Download Statusbar

The Firefox download window is a good tool, but sometimes is a bit annoying because it stays in a separate window: you’ve to bring it on the foreground to check the status of your downloads. In addiction, it has to be closed everytime you don’t need it anymore. Download Statusbar replaces it with an inline alternative that stays on the bottom of the browser window (like the “find words in the page” bar). It’s always visibile without taking too much space, and when downloads are completed it can be hidden with a simple double-click.

Click to download Download Statusbar

Distrust 4. Distrust

A simple and efficient way to preserve your privacy: Distrust allows you to switch your Firefox in “stealth mode” (or, as someone prefer, “porn mode” 😀 ) at any time. While you keep Distrust activated, no traces of your navigation are stored on the local PC: cache is disabled, URLs are not saved in the browser history, etc…

Click to download Distrust

Download IE Tab 5. IE Tab

Sometimes, we still need Internet Explorer: when a site requires installation of ActiveX controls (like Windows Update, or McAfee FreeScan), or when a web site doesn’t work at all with Firefox (shame on you…). IE Tab helps us with a little icon in the right-lower corner of the browser: with a single click on it you can switch the render engine from Firefox to IE and viceversa. Really useful also for web developers 😉

Click to download IE Tab

ColorZilla 6. ColorZilla

Talking about web developers, this is a good tool for everyone that has to work with graphic and the Web. Instead of having to take a screenshot of the current page a paste it into PhotoShop to pick a color from a part of it, ColorZilla puts directly a color picker in the bottom bar of Firefox. Just click on it and then on the color to pick, then copy in the clipboard the color code with the menu available through a right-click on ColorZilla icon.

Note to Linux users: unfortunately, this extension (v. 1.0) is not fully working on our favourite OS.

Click to download ColorZilla

Resurrect 7. Resurrect

Resurrect FormHow many time did you find the page you were looking for… and you discover that the site is temporarely down, or it has been deleted? 😉
Resurrect gives you a direct access to the best cache services on the net (Google, Yahoo, The Internet Archive, Coral…) and adds a quick gateway to access the unavailable page directly from the “Unable to connect” error page in Firefox, to recover it in a couple of clicks.

Click to download Resurrect

ChatZilla 8. ChatZilla

ChatZilla windowSome extensions are near to real applications: it’s the case of ChatZilla, a simple but complete and functional IRC client. If you need to chat quickly, without having to open mIRC or some other “big” IRC applications, ChatZilla is for you. It includes also the DCC protocol to download binaries files from IRC.

Click to download ChatZilla

HTML Validator 9. HTML Validator

HTML Validator statusFor web developers: this extension automatically analyzes the web pages you’re surfing and shows with an icon if the HTML code is valid for W3C standards. It is compliant with the official validator on http://validator.w3.org/ and it includes an internal “debugger” that lists HTML with highlights and suggestions on every validation error. Indispensable for modern web designers.

Click to download HTML Validator

Google Notebook 10. Google Notebook

Google Notebook extension: screenshotWho knows Google Notebook? It’s a simple web application that allows users to take text notes on a page. Nothing special, but good to bring personal data with us without having to manually copy it on our cellular phone or to sending e-mails to ourself :)
I often use this service to have my passwords, notes, addresses and quick to-do always available on every PC (at home, at work…), but only since I discovered the relative extension: it installs on the Firefox status bar, stores our Google Account login data, and with a single click it shows a micro-version of our Google Notebook in superinposition mode on the web page we are visiting. It allows to take notes and recover the old ones in a second… everywhere.

Click to download Google Notebook extension

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