Firefox Extensions - WebUse.Info
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Adding Features to the Firefox Browser Program

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Firefox is a program for browsing the Web. It is like Internet Explorer or Netscape, but it is more secure and allows for features not available in other programs. This page points you to some of the most useful features you can add to the program.

The instructions on this page assume that you have downloaded Firefox already and have installed it. Click here for detailed instructions on how to do that.

That page also explains how to import your bookmarks/favorites from another program and how to change the default homepage.

Adding Extensions to Firefox

Extensions or plugins are freely available online for you to download and add to your program. In most cases this process is very simple. It does require a few steps that are generalizable for the most part. (If you already know how to install extensions then skip down to the next section.)

1. Once you have found an extension of interest (you can find some by clicking on links below), click on Install or Installation (these links usually point to a .xpi file).

2. If you have never installed anything from the site where the extension file is located then a line will appear on top of your browser window saying that Firefox will not install anything from an unknown source.

To the right on this line is a button that says "Edit Options". Click on that. A window will come up.

3. In that window, click on Allow and the Web site is added to the list of sites from which files are now allowed to be downloaded and installed to your computer.

4. You are now back on the Web page where you started. Click on Install again. A window will come up. Wait two seconds for the Install button to be available for clicking.

5. Click the Install button, which installs the little program.

6. You have to quit and then restart your browser for the extension to start working.

7. You may want to specify certain options for the extension (this is not always applicable). You can do this by clicking on the Tools menu in your browser and selecting Extensions. Then select (by clicking on it once) the extension of interest and pressing the Options button on the bottom of that window.

If at any time you want to see the list of extensions you have downloaded, click on the Tools menu in your browser and choose Extensions. You can also disable or uninstall extensions there by clicking on an extension and then pressing the Disable or Uninstall button in the bottom of the window.

Useful Firefox Extensions

If any of the extensions below seem uninteresting or too complicated then feel free to skip them and move on to the next one. Their installation and use is not dependent on one and other.

Especially recommended: I have added three asterisks *** to the extensions that I consider an absolute must and one asterisk * to the ones I use often. The others are helpful as well, but are not nearly as essential.

*** ConQuery - for easy searching

    Install ConQuery for easy access to various search engines right from the Web site you are browsing.

    Remember to quit your browser and restart the program when you are done.

    MyCroft - for shortcuts to specific searches

    Go to MyCroft and choose search plugins of interest. For example, click here to browse possible Google search plugins or here for Yahoo! search plugins. You can also look for search plugins by type, such as references, shopping or news. Click on them for installation.

    Do not feel overwhelmed. Here is an example to help you out:

      Example: Quickly find addresses present on the Web page you are viewing. On the Mycroft page go to the Google search plugin list. Scroll down to near the bottom of the page under Reference. Here you will find Google Maps. Click on the link.

      Once you have quit and restarted your browser go to a page with an address. Here is an example. Scroll to the bottom of that page. Highlight the address "633 Clark Street Evanston, IL 60208" with your cursor. Then right click on your mouse. A menu will come up. Choose "Query To" and then "Google Maps". This will open a new window with a map of the address location.

*** Tab Mix - for enhanced tab functionality

*** Favicon Picker - allows you to specify icons for links to sites on your bookmarks toolbar

    Favicon Picker

    Depending on the size of your screen, you can have dozens of links in your bookmarks toolbar. (Click to enlarge image.)

*** SessionSaver - remembers what sites you were viewing when you quit the program last time

*** TargetAlert - shows you the types of documents to which pages are linking

*** Forecastfox - view the weather from your browser

* Search Keys - gives you shortcuts on search pages

* Menu Editor - change what menu items you can see under the program's menus

* BugMeNot - for skipping registration on certain Web sites

* View Cookies - tells you what kind of files sites are placing on your machine permanently

* Reminderfox - add reminders to your browser

* FoxyVoice - have text on a Web page read out to you

* Signature - quickly add lines of text to forms

* WebmailCompose - quick links to mail programs when you right-click on an email address

Copy Plain Text - copy text from a Web page without formatting

CopyURLPlus - quickly copy both the Web address of the site you are visiting plus its title, all in one click

ScreenGrab - quickly create an image file of the page you are browsing (the entire page, not just what you can see in the browser window)

ImageZoom - zoom in on an image on a Web page

Google Send To Phone - send a text message to a phone from your browser

FoxyTunes - control your music program from within your browser

Extras - Just for Fun

*** Changing the theme of your browser

    You can change what your browser buttons look like by finding a theme here. Just download the theme and then choose an alternative. You can view the themes you have already installed by clicking on the Tools menu and choosing Themes.

*** Firesomething - change how the name of your program is displayed

* EggOn - for cooking a perfect egg

You are ready to use Firefox with all sorts of added functionality!

If you haven't yet, be sure to review some additional features of the program.


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