So I’ve told you how to speed up your browser and make it pretty. Hopefully I’ve convinced you to switch, if not, hopefully these neat add-ons will do the trick. If the only reason that you haven’t switched is because you don’t want to loose all your cookies, it looks like you can import them from Microsoft IE.
I’m just left with 12 add-ons not including the 6 I already told you about. These really put the power into Firefox.
I’m pretty sure these two came with Firefox and I don’t really know what they do, but I wouldn’t delete them:
I guess we’ll go alphabetical for the rest (the ones in bold, I couldn’t live without), because that’s the way they’re listed in my All-in-One Sidebar which happens to be the first one alphabetically:
All-in-One Sidebar puts a side bar on the side of the browser for easy access to your bookmarks, history, previous downloads, extensions, etc. Click on one of the icons and it opens up in an area on the left.
Cooliris Previews allows you to preview web pages (links) before you click on them. I haven’t decided how useful this really is since it loads fairly slow. I changed the setting on it so that it should preload the links (don’t do this on dial up), so we’ll see if it works better. It seems most useful when looking at the results of web searches.
Download Statusbar puts a little bar on the bottom when you download something instead of opening up a download window which tends to get in the way.
Drag de Go allows you to add functions to dragging links or text. For instance, if I drag a link up, it opens in a new tab, if I drag it down, it opens the link in a new tab, but stays on the tab I’m currently in. Dragging highlighted text up sends it to google and does a search automatically which has an added benefit because if you drag text that should be a link (a URL without a hyperlink), google will send you automatically to that website. So no more copy and pasting the URL into the address bar. It’s highly customizable including doing things (copy, open in new window, etc) to dragged images.
Google Reader Notifier adds an icon in the bottom status area which tells you how many feeds you have unread. I’m sure there’s probably one for bloglines too. You are reading this via feeds aren’t you?
Greasemonkey allows you to add scripts to your browser. I just added this one so I currently only have 3 (Smart Google Reader Subscribe, Google Reader Optimized, and Google Image Re-Linker), but there are hundreds of scripts you can add to make your browsing experience more enjoyable. Here’s a list of scripts, broken down by websites they change. Let me know if you find any that are really useful.
Link Alert adds an icon next to the cursor when you go over a link that’s actually a download. Don’t you hate it when you think you’re going to a webpage, but someone actually links directly to a huge PDF, you click on it, and now you’re stuck waiting for the download to complete and Adobe to open? This will alert you to the fact that it’s not a link.
Pronto Shopping Messenger pops up when you’re shopping and will take you to a page that list the same item at different stores sorted by price. Pretty useful this time of year.
ScrapBook allows you to save webpages (or even parts of webpages). And then go back and look at them in an organized/searchable fashion. I mostly use it to save conformation numbers I get when ordering stuff on-line so that I don’t have to print them out, but I’m sure other people could come up with some other useful reason to save web pages, especailly if you work off-line a lot.
TabMixPlus gives you more control over your tabs. Specifically I have mine set up so that if I double click on a tab it closes and if I click on the area without any tabs it opens a new one, but the preferences are pretty extensive (including where the next tab is opened and which tab you go to next after you close a tab) so set it up however you want.
Whew, I guess that’s it. If you’ve got an add-on that I missed that you like, please leave a note in the comments. What works for me? Making firefox work for me.