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As of October 2009, nearly half of all internet users are choosing Firefox as their browser of choice (47.5% to be exact).  As you know already, one of the most attractive features that Firefox offers is the utilization of add-ons.  Most people already know about the most popular ones, including AdBlock Plus How To Block Annoying Ads in Firefox How To Block Annoying Ads in Firefox Read More (a must-have) and Google Toolbar How To Create a Search Button for the Google Toolbar How To Create a Search Button for the Google Toolbar Read More .  In addition to these great Firefox add-ons, there are a couple more that have proven to be very useful, but that many people have never heard of: OpenDownload or RunDownload and Webmail Ad Blocker.

Firefox Add-on #1: OpenDownload and RunDownload

Do you ever find yourself resorting to Internet Explorer when you need to download a file, because you would rather simply “run” or “open” the file instead of having to save it to your hard drive?  The “run” option is a feature many ex-IE users miss, and no one seems to know why Firefox (and even Chrome) still haven’t added the option.  It becomes very annoying to have to take that additional step to clean out the downloaded files, or even just having them in your “Downloads” folder to begin with.

Firefox Add-On developers Tuxman and Josh Wenham have come to our rescue, though, with their handy OpenDownload and RunDownload add-ons, respectively.  They both do the same thing – insert a “run” button in the “Save File” dialog box when downloading files.  If you choose the “Run” option, the file is saved into a temporary directory, and is then opened using the appropriate or assigned program specified for that file type, the same way Internet Explorer does.  It’s that simple!

It’s also important to note that as of now, both add-ons are still “experimental,” which simply means you have to click the “Let me install this experimental add-on” check box before Firefox will allow you to install it.  For me, it’s worth it just to have my “Downloads” directory cleaned up and free of every single file I’ve been able to “run” instead!

Firefox Add-on #2: Webmail Ad Blocker

Among the pet peeves of many users are those pesky text ads found on the right hand side of their email programs. Webmail Ad Blocker is a great Firefox add-on that was created precisely for this common annoyance.  Although AdBlock Plus does block most ads, Webmail Ad Blocker is sure to take out anything AdBlock Plus might have missed.  As a result, it also expands your screen space, to allow more room for reading and composing emails.

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This add-on works with Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and Hotmail, and it allows you to tweak the settings to fit your needs.  You can even use it to block other information, such as left-hand folders (Spam, Starred, etc.), footer information (like account information, copyright info, etc.), action buttons, stars, and even the mouseover highlight features in Gmail, and that’s only a few of the things you have the power to remove.  It’s proven to be a great addition to AdBlock Plus, and a definite must-have for those who don’t use AdBlock at all.

For more useful Firefox add-ons, check out:
Top 6 Firefox Add-ons For The Movie Freak Top 6 Firefox Add-ons For The Movie Freak Top 6 Firefox Add-ons For The Movie Freak Read More
7 Writing Addons for Turning Firefox into the Ultimate Writer’s Suite 7 Writing Addons for Turning Firefox into the Ultimate Writer's Suite 7 Writing Addons for Turning Firefox into the Ultimate Writer's Suite Read More
4 Cool Firefox Extensions To Capture Screens 4 Cool Firefox Extensions To Capture Screens 4 Cool Firefox Extensions To Capture Screens Read More
10+ Best Firefox Security and Privacy Addons 10+ Best Firefox Security and Privacy Addons 10+ Best Firefox Security and Privacy Addons Read More

Do you know of some other similar add-ons, or add-ons you think everyone should know about?  Tell us all about them in the comments!

  1. tuxman
    February 14, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    wmv files are not executable. ;-)

  2. eli
    January 6, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    OpenDownload and RunDownload didn't open and run WMV video files. Do you know an add-on that do it?

  3. Noicroek
    December 20, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    ehh. informative thoughts..

  4. christian
    December 18, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    this is nice!! i will try the webmail ad blocker :)

  5. April Dee
    December 6, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    ciastek, I definitely hear you on that one. Google's ads have never been annoying to me, really. Although I do have to say it used to creep me out that their spiders were "reading" my emails in order to serve up relevant ads. A lot of people aren't cool with that aspect of it.

  6. ciastek
    December 6, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    IMHO blocking Google's ads is wrong, because Google have showed the world how ads should look like - on the side and unobtrusive, without popups and overlays.

  7. April Dee
    December 1, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    Thanks for the great suggestions! I'll have to check those out. I use Coliris CoolPreviews, too, and it's a great tool.

  8. mchlbk
    November 30, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    What!? Google Toolbar is a great addon? Is this a joke?

  9. David
    November 30, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    Webmail Ad Blocker - Nice find. Now I can see more of my emails. Thanks for the info..

  10. Ibrahim
    November 30, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    Yes, 1) Netcraft - blocks phishing through neighborhood/community alerts and support and displays site's hosting location. 2) Downloadhelpeer - downloads all types of video links (and even images and audio) that I know. Does also conversion of video formats. 3) CoolPreviews -- previews all hyperlinks (another add-on - Cooliris - from these guys is also a good one).

    • Ibrahim
      November 30, 2009 at 12:07 pm

      Downloadhelper - NOT Downloadhelpeer

  11. AriesWarlock
    November 30, 2009 at 11:56 am

    How about BetterCache? It needs some tweaking if you log in to different Gmail accounts, but it's good.

  12. Harsh Agrawal
    November 30, 2009 at 11:50 am

    Just installed Ad blocker to make sure I will see less ads :)

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