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Video: Five must-have Firefox add-ons

Bill Detwiler demonstrates five free Firefox add-ons that can make your browsing experience easier, faster, and more secure.

One of the great things about Firefox are the thousands of free add-ons. Whether you just want to change the look and feel of the browser, or you have a more substantial task in mind, there's probably a Firefox add-on for it. In this episode of TR Dojo, I discuss five Firefox add-ons that can improve your Web browsing experience, including:

  1. Morning Coffee
  2. ColorfulTabs
  3. NoScript
  4. Fasterfox
  5. Page Saver

For those of you who prefer text to video, you can click the Transcript link that appears below the video player window or you can also read Jack Wallen's article, "10 Firefox extensions you can't live without," on which the episode is based.

You can also sign up to receive the latest TR Dojo lessons through one or more of the following methods:

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

46 comments
markusrow
markusrow

My favorite Firefox add-ons 1. Tab Scope 2. Full Screen

Elliott_Berger
Elliott_Berger

PDF Download -- super productivity enhancer for links to PDF files Tab Kit -- Vertical tabs are soooo much better Forecastfox -- feeds my Weather Channel addiction

Tonie16
Tonie16

DownloadHelper, downloads any in-page video.

john.keil
john.keil

Zotero - It is a useful tool for research

patatty
patatty

y favorite is Ghostery. Lets me seeks who watching me, and where I'm browsing. Hate invasive people like that, Don't you?

Vishal_G
Vishal_G

What I use the most is Printliminator. http://css-tricks.com/examples/ThePrintliminator/ The Printliminator is a bookmarklet with some simple tools you can use to makes websites print better. One click to activate, and then click to remove elements from the page, remove graphics, and apply better print styling. Not just for Firefox but uber-useful

T-Dane
T-Dane

Erm - I have SnapNDrag for my Mac and have brilliant images of part- or whole pages, so maybe it's been updated since your manuscript was written? Otherwise - love your ideas and pt. am frantically searching for the "How-to"-built a device for AV in connection to my router to prevent malware to get INTO our computers here. Thanks from T-Dane

cmatthews
cmatthews

I know it doesn't run inside FFox, but it's saved a lot of time for both me and the users I support. (mostly they forget passwords and I have to waist time with them to get them back or lecture them on security and the usefulness of a USB portable password manager). Long page capture: FastStone Capture is free too (if you Google for the last free version 5.3 - aplusfreeware.com) It allows you to crop and edit the page right after and even add annotations, drawings and text afterward. If you need to do photo touch ups, it'll even do that too. There's also a free companion called FastStone Image Viewer that I trade for the slow Windows pic-viewer on almost any machine I install in a non-corp setting. Thanks Bill for the demo of Colorful Tabs, I'd not used it yet, but it looks easy on the eyes too.

cbsimkins
cbsimkins

For some reason Morning Coffee doesn't work properly. It keeps adding the selections so that all my selections are repeated in the list. E-mails to the author have not been answered so I can't use it although when it did work, it was great.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Feed Sidebar is the first plug-in that actually allowed me to get value from RSS sites. Tab History - links opened in a new tab keep the history of their 'parent' tab. Unhide Passwords - just what it says.

alainstlaurent
alainstlaurent

COOLPREVIEWS is my favorite and most used add-on.

paulgoss
paulgoss

If you use multiple computers..this gem of an add-on will sync bookmarks and passwords... flawlessly...

drbayer
drbayer

I use PDF Download all the time - makes life a lot easier if you frequently look at PDFs online.

techrep0903
techrep0903

Works great and installs with just a drag and drop. Worth a look.

cmatthews
cmatthews

Since this was about FireFox, I thought I'd add this: Firefox doesn't seem to have Direct-Draw (or whatever IE seems to use for smooth-scrolling) so with Firefox, there is lag. As screen grabbers have to time captures between scrolling, sometimes the timing needs extra delays added (quite machine dependent). FastStone Capture has an auto-scroll-interval which I have found works great at 150ms on most machines (your milage, as they say, may vary..)

jim.wood1
jim.wood1

Love TMP, IETab & NS. But...is there yet anything that can synch the whole darn thing (bookmarks, all add-ons - including themes)? preferably with a filter to choose yes/no on passwords, history, etc.

puchasr
puchasr

Is there a reason to keep using xmarks when firefox has its own Sync add on?

estcst
estcst

xMarks is what kept me using FF for so long. I'm glad to see it's offered for other browsers now and it works flawlessly in IE as well.

securecfs
securecfs

I've told several of my friends about this handy add on.

deskhero
deskhero

I run No script all the time, I trust techrepublic.com but the site is currently asking for at least 12 other scripts to run on this page. Call me paranoid but while I trust the TR people to keep on top of infected Javascripts - what about all these other cross site scripts? Why are they all necessary - and what crap are they gonna load my browser with.

rebeltag
rebeltag

I echo all remarks favoring Xmarks!

CallMrStone
CallMrStone

Although I do always install AdBlock, FEBE, and (when I have to use Windoze) IE Tab, my priority is Xmarks. I esp. like the fact that it syncs my bookmarks on both Safari and Firefox.

mrdt
mrdt

The top five for me are: Xmarks CoolPreviews NoScript Undo Closed Tab Button ColorfulTabs

jpdemers
jpdemers

Xmarks is in a class by itself; this article should be titled "The Five Best Add-Ons That Aren't Xmarks" Only downer is that Xmarks peeks at your bookmarks, and does who-knows-what with the information. (Using TinyURL might mask your links from at least low-level data scraping.)

Pekae
Pekae

Xmarks rocks! Best browser favourites sync ever.

lederhoden
lederhoden

The best add-on has got to be FEBE. It saves your entire Firefox settings (including stored passwords and bookmarks). It will also save your Thunderbird content - including mails. When TBird 3.5 comes out, there will be a parallel version, purely for TBird - TEBE. Other stalwarts are NoScript and AdBlock. I also use and like XMarks.

Answerfactory
Answerfactory

I use IE 8 and Firefox simultaneously, and on multiple computers.XMarks works great for keeping the bookmarks synchronized, provides a backup mechanism, and makes deploying your bookmarks to an new computer a cinch. For passwords, I use Roboforms for pretty much the same reasons. It isn't free though, so I don't mind it not making the list.

nimroad
nimroad

Due to Xmarks, has improved 100% my experience using Firefox.

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

The first thing I do on a new machine is to install Firefox and then Xmarks. I like that Xmarks works seamlessly across Windows and Macs. I'd like to use Chrome as my main browser, but I really can't until the Xmarks plugin for Chrome is ready. That's how much I rely on Xmarks.

gillistg
gillistg

I was amazed that it wasn't in the list. A big favourite when travelling and using different computers. TG

freaknout
freaknout

I love Xmarks (formerly Foxmarks) this is the best thing since sliced bread syncing bookmarks and passwords across all my systems. Other must haves not mentioned: Foxclocks - If you use Ebay this is helpful displaying multiple time zones on the bottom bar Flagfox is a pretty neat add on to tell where your site is located at plus give a quick way to find similar sites Save Image in folder defeats browser blocks and allows saving virtually any image displayed a a part of the web page - very handy Flashblock -essential and extremely easy to live with, just press a button to proceed with any portion of the page

daltont2000
daltont2000

I use it to sync between PCs, but even as a bookmark backup system for people with only one PC means it should be in the top 5 in my opinion, if not the BEST of all of em.

jr.golden300
jr.golden300

I think there are tons of add-ons out there that can make life easier. But just remember, add-ons can become very addictive and if you are not careful, before you know it you will be using 5-10- maybe 15 add-ons in no time. This will substantially slow down your browser. So be careful what you choose, be picky. Think of it as a runner having to carry an additionally rock on his back each time you install another add-on. It will slow him down.

rdimarino
rdimarino

Great being able to keep all my computers bookmarks synced. Also comes in handy when using a different computer, just log in and have access to all your bookmarks without having to save them on the computer you are using.

bowlingbrad
bowlingbrad

PC at work, MAC at home, identical bookmarks!

giff
giff

Absolutely indispensible if you use more than one computer!

barnesie
barnesie

Working in the enterprise means that I have to use IE for some official tools, but use firefox everywhere else. xmarks is the only way to keep my Bookmarks straight across multiple browser brands and multiple computers (enterprise, developement & personal)

FLphotodude
FLphotodude

I agree....XMARKS is probably the best add on. They need to work on iPhone integration but it is still one of the best! Scott

mergra2
mergra2

You are so right! I found out the hard way... had lots of add-ons and FF took FOREVER to load (not to mention the constant updates to be added). Now I've cut down to my absolute favourites - Copy Plain Text, Forecastfox, GoogleEnhancer and Reminderfox. The favourites very much reflect the user's browsing needs... Great advice, thank you :)

Wick Tech
Wick Tech

I absolutely put Xmarks on every computer I use regularly. Whenever I set up a new computer, or wipe a computer, I will eventually look for a few add-ons, but the one I must have immediately is XMarks. Cannot live without it at this point. No need to back up your bookmarks, no need to try to remember how you have them set up elsewhere. Save it at work, and you've got it at home. Priceless.

ryan.mclean
ryan.mclean

For me, this addon (Web Developer) is the most important. I also like MeasureIt and ColorZilla . . . Nuke Anything is also cool :) Great video by the way - I had not used some of these mentioned.

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