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Brand New Firefox Extensions

Friday, March 9th, 2007 by | Filed Under: Using The Internet

Brand New Firefox Extensions

It’s been quite some time since I’ve written about my favorite Web browser in the whole world: Firefox. So, today, I decided to do a piece on some of the new Firefox extensions that have come out recently. If you didn’t know this already, let me tell you that one of the best things about Firefox is that it lets you add on various extensions, themes, etc. to the browser, enabling you to customize it according to your style and needs. Extensions are simply add ons that serve different purposes. They also help with different tasks you might need to do during your online escapades. So, let’s roll this article off with the first extension of the day.

1.) Dog Ears

This is a must have for people who love to read online. If you read a lot of stuff online, I am sure this has happened to you. You go and read a long article, which you find terribly exciting, but there are a few parts that really stand out from the others. However, when you go back to read that article again, you have to scroll and search to locate the relevant parts among the huge article. Well, Dog Ears solves this little predicament for you.

This little extension lets you dog ear parts of the page so that when you return to the page again, you can quickly navigate to the areas of your interest. The way it works is simple. You just Shift + click close to the area that you want to mark as relevant. Now, you do not need to click on the text. The idea is to click at the beginning of the paragraph before the text starts or at the end of the paragraph after the text ends so that the text isn’t hidden under the marker. But, if you have to dog ear a part of the text, simply right click and choose Mark Here from the Dog Ears menu. This can be done anywhere you want.

Every time you mark something on a page, Dog Ears places a digit on that area starting with 1, 2, 3, etc.

You can quickly return to these marked areas by pressing Shift + space or by clicking the little Dog Ears icon on the status bar.

It’s the icon that’s second from the extreme right. Just click on that icon to move through the different markers you have placed on a page.

Just click on the link to install this extension.

2.) URL Fixer

This extension fixes what I call one of the most annoying things to happen to most of us while we are surfing online. I am talking about silly little typos. No, I am not talking about how you type ‘teh’ instead of ‘the,’ but more importantly, the kind of mistakes we all make while typing Web site addresses. You know, sometimes instead of typing ‘http,’ we type ‘ttp’ and instead of typing ‘.com,’ we end up typing ‘.con.’ That’s exactly what this extension fixes. No more manually correcting these silly little typos 20 times everyday. It will be done automatically now, courtesy of URL Fixer. However, if you are one of those people who likes to control all the things that happen on their screen, you also have the option of confirming the corrections. Meaning that, before correcting any mistakes, URL Fixer will ask for your permission. Is that cool or what?!

Click here to install this extension.

3.) Customize Google

This is probably one of the most useful extensions I have ever laid my hands on. Customize Google lets you, well, customize your Google. From the Google search engine to the Google News to Gmail, you can customize all of these services according to your own tastes.

As you can see in the screenshot above, most of the customize options are pretty self-explanatory. For instance, “Remove Ads” simply removes all the ads you see on various Google services and “Give the search box focus” automatically places the cursor in the search box once you go to Google.

Some of the other useful functions are: Filter, which lets you specify certain Web sites that you do not want to see in your Google search results. These sites could be many of the spam sites that show up in your Google search results.

The privacy section lets you anonymize your Google cookies, which means that Google will not be able to track your online activity or how you are using their services.

The Gmail section lets you even customize the look of your Gmail, as you can see in the screenshot below.

As you can see, all the options are self-explanatory. There’s nothing that needs much of an explanation. This fact itself makes Customize Google one of the easiest and the most powerful Firefox extensions to use. If you use Google and its services extensively, this one is a must for you.

You can install this extension by clicking here.

4.) Time Tracker

Time Tracker tracks the time you spend on the Web browsing through your Firefox. This can be effectively used to monitor the time you spend on the Internet everyday, which could probably be used for something more productive. The moment you switch on your Firefox and start browsing, a little clock appears on the status bar in the right bottom corner. It tells you how long you have been browsing. The moment you stop browsing, the clock automatically pauses itself.

If, for some reason, you want to restart the clock, you can always do so. For example, say you are on a tight schedule and want to give yourself only a limited time to read the news or respond to your personal e-mails. Another clever option is to exclude work related sites from this timer. Since the aim is to keep track of how much time you waste browsing the Internet uselessly, excluding work related sites from the timer isn’t a bad idea at all. By doing this, you will get a clear picture of how much time you actually waste wandering about aimlessly on the Internet. As far as I am concerned, this has surely reduced the time I waste everyday playing games and reading sports related Web sites. As they say, nothing works like guilt does!

Click on the link to install this extension.

5.) Fission

This extension is too easy to explain. It doesn’t do anything great or time saving. It doesn’t even effortlessly make doughnuts out of thin air. This extension just simply enhances the visual appearance of your browser and makes browsing the Internet a little bit more stylish. It combines your address bar and status bar together, hence integrating them into a very nice and stylish visual effect. The address bar, as we all know, is the space where we type the Web site address we want to go to and the status bar tells us the status of the page loading process. Fission simply combines the two to make it into a cool effect, as you can see in the screenshot below.

There are a few options to customize the look of the progression bar to make it appealing to your eyes as well.

Not only can you choose the color of the status bar progression, you can even substitute it with an image. You can select that from your hard drive. Alternatively, if you don’t fancy the idea of combining the status bar with the address bar, you can choose to show a little status bar right next to the address bar, as shown below.

Click here to install this extension.

Now, to install these extensions, you just need to click on the links for them. A box will pop up where you will need to give permission for the install. Once you do that, the extension will be installed in your Firefox. After a quick Firefox restart, the extension will then be available for you to use.

This is all I have this time for all you Firefox junkies. I am sure one or more of these extensions are going to be useful for you and they will probably end up making your Firefox experience just a little bit better. Go give these a spin!

~ Yogesh Bakshi

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