Firefox 3 add-ons I can’t live without.

Today Mozilla officially released Firefox 3. If you haven’t grabbed it yet, what are you waiting for? These are some of the extensions that I now use:

  • AnyColor – Currently available for the Windows version of Firefox 3 only, this add-on lets you shift the color/appearance of your current theme on the fly. It works really well with the default theme for Firefox 3 on Windows XP. I’m currently using the Dark preset.
  • Better Gmail 2 – An excellent extension that allows users to get more out of Gmail. (Updated the link!)
  • Color Management 0.4 – Though Firefox 3 has some support for color profiles out of the box, this add-on gives it the ability to read ICC color profiles embedded in images. (This hopefully translates to better and more consistent color fidelity in images on the web.)
  • ColorZilla 1.9 – With the ability to sample colors from anything on a webpage, and the ability to grab color palettes from those sites, this is an invaluable add-on to have.
  • Facebook Toolbar – If you use Facebook and Firefox, this toolbar is worth having. It notifies you when your friends post anything new, allows you to search contacts, see status updates and more all without visiting facebook.com.
  • FaviconizeTab – I just recently started using this add-on, and I can’t see how I worked without it. If you’re like me, and keep several tabs open all day long, this extension allows you to right-click on tabs and turn them into just the favicon only. Not only does this save valuable screen real estate, it allows you some degree of privacy in that people looking over your shoulder won’t necessarily be able to see what’s in all of your open tabs.
  • Firebug 1.2.0b3 – If you’re doing any sort of web design or development, you need to have this add-on installed. It’s an invaluable tool for debugging CSS/HTML, Javascript, and much, much more.
  • Google Gears – Gears enables you to use compatible sites offline. Google Documents, Remember the Milk and many more sites support Gears, and I’d imagine more sites in the future will work with it as well.
  • IE Tab – Another must have add-on for web designers/developers. Quickly toggle between Firefox and Internet Explorer rendering engines with Firefox itself.
  • MeasureIt 0.3.8 – This ruler comes in handy when wanting to measure elements on a site, specific images and more.
  • PicLens – PicLens lets you browse through photos on Flickr, videos on YouTube and more through an immersive 3D experience. The latest version has integrated Amazon “window shopping”, videos from MSNBC, ESPN and movie trailers and more…
  • Prism for Firefox 0.2 – This add-on allows you to create stand-alone applications of websites you commonly use. I used it to create stand-alone versions of Basecamp, Gmail and gCalendar.
  • ReloadEvery 3.0.0 – This simple add-on allows you to configure pages to be refreshed on a schedule you set. For example: If you use the web version of Twitter, you could set this extension to reload the page every 5 minutes.
  • Web Developer 1.1.6 – Honestly, I don’t use this add-on all that often, but when I do – I’m glad I had it. Simple things like being able to disable all styles and resizing the browser window makes this add-on worth keeping around for me.

What add-ons/extensions are you using with Firefox 3 that you can’t live without? I’d love to know!


Michael Montgomery suggested these extensions:

10 thoughts on “Firefox 3 add-ons I can’t live without.”

  1. Web developer has a ruler function built in that pretty much eliminates the need for the measureIt plugin. If I’m not mistaken, so does ColorZilla.

  2. Thanks for the list.

    Some of my additional favorites are:
    AdBlock Plus – Enabled by default, & disabled for sites that won’t assault me with garish or video ads. Not optional. ’nuff said.
    GridFox – Toggles a grid with customizable columns. Not sure about this one yet.
    HTML Validator – Love that green checkmark.
    Pearl Crescent Page Savor – Best screenshot app I’ve found.
    YSlow – Nathan likes this one, but I’m not sure yet.

  3. You’re right, the Web Developer add-on/toolbar does have a ruler, but unless you keep it open all the time, you have to 1) display the toolbar, 2) click Miscellaneous, 3) click Display ruler. With MeasureIt, it stays tucked on the status bar, and activating it is as simple as double-clicking on the icon :) The Web Developer add-on is far more powerful, but I only use it/enable it when I need it.

  4. A couple of my coworkers swear by Adblock Plus… The only reason I don’t use it that on some of the sites I frequently visit, the only way those people pay for their sites is by the advertising. Yes, I find most of the ads annoying, but I find that ignoring them is more effective – to me – then not displaying them at all. (I realize I can turn it on/off selectively, but it’s not a huge deal for me to just ignore the ads.)

    I’m checking out the other add-ons you mentioned. GridFox seems cool. I’ve used YSlow in the past, but the found that its’ benchmarking really only applies to Yahoo!

  5. Hey Chris. I know that you’re definitely a power-user when it comes to the Internet, but you’re missing a key component of your browsing experience: mouse gestures.

    Fire Gestures (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/…) is pretty dang amazing. They have multiple levels of gestures (like click and hold right button then click left button, or click and hold right button then use scroll wheel) other than the normal “make a shape” by dragging (which is still sweet). I’ve gotten so used to mouse gestures that I feel lost without them. There’s even a sweet one where if I hold shift and hold the right mouse button, then I can drag over multiple links and open up all the links I went over in new tabs. Makes opening up lists of links easy peasey.

    Also not sure how you can live without AdBlock and the Filterset.G Updater. :P (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/… and https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/…)

    I’m not a big fan of the new FF download box (FF2 was better IMO), so I’ve been using Download Statusbar that Chris Barr recommended to me (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/26).

    I mentioned it to you earlier, but Taboo has helped me quickly bookmark articles I had to stop reading part of the way through, or other quick-link sites I need to remember. (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/…)

    About your extensions: Measure it seems a bit pointless since there’s a ruler in Web Developer, though I’m sure it has a few more features. I’m really digging the Favicon Tabs extension, that’s pretty cool (though it’d be nice to show a little bit more of the tab for things like unread GMail messages or new SocialThing updates).

    And not quite add-on related, but to show the minimalism that I like in Firefox, here’s a screenshot of my browser. I remove all the buttons because I prefer key- or mouse-strokes, it just looks cleaner. (http://www.ben-carlson.com/images/121.jpg)

    (Doh, just saw the posts below my comment and some of the things are mentioned, but I’m not editing. And sorry for the essay, hah.)

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