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Summary:

Some time ago, we put together an official WWD add-ons collection for Firefox, gathering together our favorite add-ons at the time. With the speedy Firefox 4 being released this week, some of you may be giving it a try, so I thought I’d update the list.

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One of the best things about Firefox is the huge number of useful add-ons that can be downloaded for it, enabling users to customize the browser to their needs. Some time ago, we put together an official WWD add-ons collection for Firefox, gathering together our favorite add-ons at the time. The speedy Firefox 4 was released this week and some of you may be giving it a try, so I thought I’d update the collection. I’ve removed those add-ons from the list that are now redundant or incompatible with Firefox 4, and added a couple of newer favorites:

  1. Adblock Plus. Gets rid of annoying adverts and auto-playing videos. You can subscribe to filter subscriptions in dozens of languages which can  automatically configure it for purposes ranging from removing online advertising to blocking all known malware domains.
  2. Better Gmail 2. Gina Trapani’s extension adds a bunch of useful extra features to Gmail, like hierarchical labels, an unread message icon on your browser tab, file attachment icons and more.
  3. Download Statusbar. View and manage downloads from a tidy statusbar, without the download window getting in the way of your web browsing.
  4. Gmail Manager. A Gmail notifier for multiple accounts; it allows you to receive new mail notifications, along with the ability to view account details.
  5. LastPass Password Manager. A free online password manager and form filler that makes your web browsing more secure.
  6. Greasemonkey. Allows you to customize the way a web page displays or behaves, by using small bits of JavaScript. You can write your own scripts, or download one from the hundreds available at http://userscripts.org.
  7. Read It Later. Save pages to read later with a click, then  when you have time, access your reading list from any computer or phone, even offline.
  8. Shareaholic. This add-on provides an easy way to share interesting links using Facebook, Twitter, Evernote, Bit.ly, StumbleUpon, and more.
  9. After the Deadline. After the Deadline is an intelligent grammar, style and spell checker. It works with most web sites.
  10. Web Developer. Even if you’re not a web developer, this extension offers a raft of useful features: manage cookies, change up styles with CSS, adjust form options and much more.
  11. Awesome Screenshot. Diigo’s handy screenshot tool lets you capture the whole web page or any portion, annotate it with rectangles, circles, arrows, lines and text, blur sensitive info, and then share the output.

What are your favorite Firefox add-ons?

  1. Firebug is another great add-on for web developers.

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    1. Yep, good call, Richard. I left it out as I already had Web Developer in there and it’s not really a dev-focused list, but it’s certainly worth having even for techy non-developers

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    2. Firebug 4 is pretty good, but not compatible with 4.0 final release. It only works with initial betas.

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  2. Omnibar, by far the best add-on I’ve come across.

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    1. I’ve not tried that one — personally, I prefer having separate search and location bars.

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  3. Firefox’s vast add-on community is such a plus. Nice list but I tend to keep my FF extensions focused more on online security issues.
    BetterPrivacy – to manage LSO’s (Local Share Objects or ‘Flash Cookies’)
    Ghostery – to manage web trackers
    NoScript – to manage javascripts and much, much, much more
    I add these three to almost every Firefox install I’ve done.

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    1. Good suggestions, thanks Ed.

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  4. Flashblock – Never browse without it!
    Menu Editor – to remove all the unnecessary menu items.
    Personal Menu – to fix the 2-pane one button menu in FF4.

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  5. I like Xmarks.
    Great for running backups of my bookmarks. Also, it’s easy to add new ones through my.xmarks.com when I’m not at my own computer.

    Either than Xmarks, Adblock Plus, Lastpass and Download statusbar are the ones I use the most.

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  6. I am running OS X Version 10.58 on a Mac Mini Power Mac 10.1 with a PowerPC 64 (1.2) Processor with FireFox 3.15 and the following add-ons:

    Beef Taco 1.3.3
    Better Privacy 1.49
    https everywhere 0.9.4 (EFF)
    McAfee Site Advisor 28.0 and
    No Script

    The problem that I have is that I am unable to download FireFox 4 or update earlier versions. Are my add-ons incompatible with each other and FireFox 4 and preventing my downloading it? Would disabling the add-ons allow me to download FireFox 4?

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    1. No, I don’t think that’s the problem, Mike. Perhaps try uninstalling FF and downloading fresh from Mozilla.

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  7. Thanks Simon for the great list. I really like the read it later add-on. I always come across interesting article but, don’t always have time to read them. I usually bookmark them and try to come back later but, my bookmarks get to full where they are hard to search through.

    I also like using Personal Menu add-on. It lets you customize the Firefox button [ http://www.softwarecrew.com/2011/04/10-great-add-ons-for-tweaking-customising-and-improving-firefox-4/ ] and get rid of all of the junk that I normally don’t use.

    I saw that Add Block Plus was on the dreaded slow add-ons list and is now taken off. [ https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/performance/ ]. Does anyone know why or what changed?

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    1. Glad you found the list useful, David.

      I’d say that shows ABP moving off the list shows that Mozilla’s efforts to effectively shame add-on developers into optimizing their products is working :) Although are you sure it was on the list? Because it wasn’t in the “top 10″ when it was first published: http://gigaom.com/collaboration/firefox-feeling-sluggish-disable-your-add-ons/

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