What I always loved about Firefox is the many ways it can be extended and customized. Even if a feature is not yet integrated into the application itself, it’s a safe bet that the community will create an addon for it sooner or later.
There are many useful extensions in the addon library, and here I’d like to share the ones I found particularly handy:
Adblock Plus: Pretty standard popup and banner blocking, but it’s very easy to block any element of a webpage.
All-in-One-Sidebar: Adds a sidepanel where different things can be displayed: bookmarks, history, downloads, web pages, you name it.
Dictionary tooltip: Double click on a word looks it up in a dictionary, displayed in a small floating window. There is a wide selection of available dictionaries, from thesaurus through english/malay translation to slang dictionary.
DownThemAll: A download manager. Does everything you’d expect from it.
FireGestures: It adds gesture control: by holding down the right mouse button, one can draw simple shapes to do stuff.
This means that you don’t have to target icons and move your mouse there, just do a gesture wherever your cursor is.
Here is how I have it set up:
- Drag up : Create new tab.
- Drag down : Close tab.
- Drag left : Back in history.
- Drag right : Forward in history.
- Drag left-right : Reload.
- Drag down-up : Undo tab close.
- Wheel down (still holding RMB): Previous tab.
- Wheel up (still holding RMB): Next tab.
It makes navigation so much easier that it becomes second nature in no time.
GrabAndDrag: Adds momentum based scrolling: you can grab the page and move it or throw it for scroll. Just like on iPhone.
TabMixPlus: With this addon one can extensively customize the way Firefox handles tabs.
Xmarks: Keeps bookmarks in sync between computers. Since the bookmarks are accessible from the web as well, it also helps when surfing from an internet coffee.
XUL/Migemo: It makes finding words on a page very convenient: just start typing, the addon searches for the string as you type and highlights them. The highlights appear not just on the page but next to the scrollbar, so you can quickly locate instances further away.