The Winners of ‘Extend Firefox’ – Best Firefox Addons
Firefox is close to our hearts. In the past, we’ve reviewed a number of Firefox add-ons here on MakeUseOf. Any guesses what this article is about? Yes, you’ve guessed it – it’s the ever popular Firefox add-ons list compilation.
However this time, its a list with a difference. The add-ons in this list are the Winners of the Mozilla Labs.contest organised by
The add-ons are classified into three categories.
Best New Firefox Add-on
Pencil is a GUI prototyping and diagramming add-on. This means that you can use Pencil to create mockups of windows, buttons, panes etc. Some of the features of Pencil are:
- Built-in stencils for diagramming and prototyping
- Multi-page document with background page
- On-screen text editing with rich-text supports
- PNG rasterizing
- Undo/redo supports
- Installing user-defined stencils
- Standard drawing operations: aligning, z-ordering, scaling, rotating…
- Adding external objects
This may not seem useful for an average user but it means and speaks a lot about the capabilities and the extensible nature of Firefox (apart from the countless uses for developers and UI designers)
Firefox 3 offers a neat feature for bookmarking webpages that you visit by clicking on the star in the address bar. If you thought that was clever and useful wait till you have a look at Tagmarks. Tagmarks adds a set of icons to the quick bookmarks, allowing you to quickly add tags to your bookmarks by clicking on each icon. A lot like Gmail Superstars which let you classify your mail and then search them based on the star you applied to the conversation.
Can’t think of relevant tags for the page you are bookmarking? Fear not HandyTag comes to the rescue!. Handy tags simply provides a set of the most relevant keywords in the bookmark’s edition panel. These keywords are retrieved from many different sources so that you don’t have to think much!
The following add-ons are the runners up in the ‘New Addons’ category. However I like some of them better than the winners! Read on ahead and see if you agree or disagree.
This is one of my favourites and one of the most anticipated add-ons. First off you need to know what a webslice is. A webslice is a new way that allows you to subscribe to only a part of the webpage. Using webslices you could subscribe to the area containing the most recent article here on Make Use Of. This is an Internet Explorer 8 feature, but Firefox can’t be left behind, can it?
In fact Firefox does it even better than Internet Explorer because using IE requires the author of the webpage to specify an area of the page as “Webslice”. However using Firefox with Greasemonkey, you can get webslices on any page on the Web and then subscribe to that slice using webchunks.
Check out this link to know what I am talking about.
Badges on Favicon
allows you to put a rounded badge over the tab favicon of some pages.
These badges will show numeric snippets of information from the page, for example your unread mails from Gmail or the stock quotes from Yahoo Finance.
This way you can always see that data, even if you’re navigating on another tab.
The extension uses little scripts, called badgets. Each badget is designed for a particular webpage and you can get more here. There are not a huge number of badgets available at this time, however it is an interesting concept, especially when you combine it with the Faviconize Tab add-on.
This one is again one of my favorites.is like Enso Launcher for your browser. Hit SHIFT+X to open up the UI. Just type the action keyword followed by the parameters (if there are any).
(i.e) to search Make Use Of on Google you would: Hit Shift + X, type google and then type in Make Use of and hit enter. There are many more complex commands like “play.song”. You can even write your own commands for Devo.
Close ‘n’ Forget
Close n Forget is simple and useful. It lets you close the current tab and practically forget about the visit. This means that it removes the related cookies and the whole domain’s pages from the history (if it is configured to do so). I can see some mischevious uses for this one!
allows the web applications and Greasemonkey scripts access to the notification area of your operating system provided that they use the Callout API. Not many web applications and scripts use the callout API yet, but this certainly has a potential to become huge.
Reasy is a RSVP (Rapid Sequential Visual Presentation) Reader. In English this means that it presents a word or two at the same place at a rapid rate to help you read better. Select some text ( > 25 words) and a pop up appears, click on the text and the Rapid Sequential Visual Presentation starts. Great for reading large chunks of text on a web page. Check out spreeder which is a similar web app.
Best Updated Firefox Add-ons
Read it Later
Read it later has already been covered on Make Use Of before here and here . Some of the newer features include offline reading, sync between computers, and RSS feed creation.
If you have lots of bookmarks in your browser, consider using tags to sort and classify them. Then if you use tags, Tagsifter is a must. Tagsifter provides you an efficient way to browse your bookmarks by tags. Tagging helps in managing your bookmarks and tagsifter helps you to find that link which you bookmarked two months back but only vaguely remember what it was about.
If you liked thebut couldn’t use it, then Bookmarks Previews allows you to get some of those features. This extension allows you to view you bookmarks in style! You can choose from among the coveted album flow animation, thumbnail view of the bookmarks and a tool tip preview of you bookmarks. Excellent to jazz up your browser a little while still remaining useful.
Best Music Addon
And the award goes to…
Fire.fm [No Longer Available]
Fire.fm allows you access to last.fm’s music library. You can listen to music related to your favorite artist, and discover new artists and music in the process. You can find Last.fm users with musical tastes similar to your own. Quickly access your favorite stations by just typing a few letters into the location bar. If you are into music, you must check it out.
Please note that some of these add-ons are still experimental and may require you to login with your Mozilla account (which is free to create), or alternatively you can download the extensions from the developers’ pages.
Which ones are your favorite add-ons that can perform similar tasks? Tell us about your dream add-ons and functionalities that you wish existed.
(By) – Varun Kashyap who loves Firefox add-ons. He blogs about latest on the web, firefox, tech tips, tweaks and hacks on TechCrazy Blog