What are some essential Firefox addons?
May 19, 2011 6:56 AM   Subscribe

What are some essential Firefox addons?

What are some essential Firefox addons?

I came across a Firefox addon the other day and thought "Damn . . . I wish I would've come across that ages ago. It would've proven to be useful many times" (In case you're curious, the addon I came across was Copy Link Text). I find that this happens quite regularly which makes me think that there must be loads of addons out there that I could find to be useful.

I already use tons of Firefox addons, but find most of them to be essential; I couldn't live with 95% of them. In fact, I had much, much difficulty switching to Firefox 4.0. This is because I was forced to live without some of the addons that came to love. I was lucky enough to discover adequate alternatives for some of the old addons I loved which discontinued development, but couldn't find some for quite a few.

About a year ago I spent hours browsing through the addons on the Mozilla site and ended up discovering a handful of useful addons, but haven't bothered browsing the site much since then. So I'm going to rely on you fellow MetaFilter users to recommend great addons you've come to love.


One thing I should add is that if you recommend addons, please try to recommend ones that are compatible with Firefox 4.0+. Also feel free to recommend Greasemonkey and Stylish scripts.
posted by GlassHeart to Computers & Internet (27 answers total) 67 users marked this as a favorite
Adblock Plus, Adblock Plus Element Hiding Helper, Noscript. All-In-One Sidebar, Fasterfox Lite, Tab Mix Plus, Element Properties.

Specific to FF4: Personal Menu, Firefox 4 UI Fixer, Status-4-Evar.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 7:09 AM on May 19, 2011

Of course it depends on what you do on the web, but I'll give you mine:

-No Script
-Tor Button / Foxy Proxy
-Jeffrey's Exif Viewer

(Haven't checked for FF4 compatibility, I'm still using 3.6)
posted by clorox at 7:12 AM on May 19, 2011

Status-4-Evar - Restores the lower status bar that was removed in Firefox 4. Including the Active Download dialog.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:27 AM on May 19, 2011 [4 favorites]

I don't really use Firefox unless I'm working on front end development (which is often, but for general surfing I've replaced FF with Safari or Chrome)

When I do use it, other than the web development tools that I find essential(Firebug, Web Developer Toolbar) I use:

A greasemonkey script installed that pops up a confirmation box whenever I encounter a mailto: link - since a lot of times I click on Contact expecting a contact page, not an email address.

It's All Text - for letting me use textmate for textarea boxes.

FoxyProxy - to watch stuff that is US only

Conext Search - so I can right click and search in a number of search engines/websites

Download Statusbar.
posted by backwards guitar at 7:37 AM on May 19, 2011

posted by 6550 at 8:03 AM on May 19, 2011

Web of Trust

Foreign language dictionaries (for me, Canadian and French).
posted by carolr at 9:19 AM on May 19, 2011

Context search. All my search engines in my right click.
Morning Coffee, opens a set of web pages based on what weekday it it.
posted by Thug at 9:40 AM on May 19, 2011

NoScript - block random javascript from executing
Adblock Plus - does what it says
Greasemonkey - install custom javascripts to change website behavior (like mefi, for example)
Stylish - install custom style sheets to prettify web sites
DownThemAll - right-click download of all files of a given type(s) on a particular page
SkipScreen - automatically clicks links and waits out the timeouts on sites like megaupload, rapidfire, etc..
Brief - RSS reader for firefox.
posted by namewithoutwords at 9:42 AM on May 19, 2011

Bookmark All - One click to bookmark all open tabs, good when you need to shut off your laptop and run out of the house stat.

ColorfulTabs - Every domain gets a color, easily see what tabs are what website.

Cookie Whitelist, With Buttons - Keep cookies turned off. Easily allow cookies on a site-by-site basis for sites you use. One button to enable all cookies and then disable and remove unauthorized cookies when you're done.

Download Statusbar - Make downloads tidy.

IdentFavIcon - Websites without identifying images get unique ones.

Link Alert - About to click on a PDF? Now you'll know.

Linkification (the version for Firefox 4 is available on the devs website) - Takes addresses which were just typed in as plain text, silently and automagically turns them into actually, clickable links.

Locationbar2 (where the 2 is "squared") - Easily jump up the directory structure of a website.

Searchbar Autosizer (not officially compatible, but works for me) - Save space by shrinking the search bar when you're not using it.

Stop Autoplay - Does what it says.

Snap Links Plus - Right click and drag to open all selected links in tabs.

(Btw, I notice that one of my favourite extensions--Resizeable Textarea--is now embedded in Firefox 4, so yay!)
posted by anaelith at 10:25 AM on May 19, 2011

Note that a lot of extensions that ostensibly do not support FF4 work under it-you just need to manually increment the RDF.

Some examples of that are: Organize Status Bar, Permit Cookies, Extended Copy Menu.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:06 AM on May 19, 2011

menu editor
session manager

greasemonkey: yays! another youtube script,
posted by Locobot at 11:15 AM on May 19, 2011

a few things i can't live without that either weren't mentioned or explained:


Gmail Manager - new mail notification, allows multiple accounts.

Image Zoom - not terribly useful with trackpads; by default, holding down right click on an image + scrolling mousewheel will zoom an images size, and right click + left click will zoom it to fill up the current window. might sound trivial, but once you start using it you can never go back.

Tab Mix Plus - allows lots and lots of customization of the tab bar, alternate (better) session manager. another "can't go back" extension.

Download Statusbar - if you don't like a window popping up for downloads.


Facebook Purity - THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING. filter out all the stupid shit on facebook, extremely customizable but easy to use.

html5h264video - since firefox doesn't support h264, this replaces the video tag with a flash player that will handle it without any hitch.
posted by p3on at 12:26 PM on May 19, 2011

CoolPreviews - lets you see what's at a link without actually leaving the original page (invaluable for ecommerce sites)

Faviconize Tabs - really useful to conserve space when you have multiple tabs open
posted by DrGail at 1:00 PM on May 19, 2011

(On a side note, Organize Status Bar shouldn't be necessary in FF4, especially as more extensions correctly support FF4: the status bar can be customized in exactly the same manner as other tool bars.)
posted by anaelith at 1:27 PM on May 19, 2011

Netflix Queue Sorter – Greasemonkey script

SortPlaces – Bookmark sorter

Unhide passwords


Multirow bookmark toolbar
posted by fifilaru at 2:26 PM on May 19, 2011

Response by poster: Lovecraft In Brooklyn: "Lazarus Form Recovery"

Nice! This will be very useful.

anaelith: "Linkification (the version for Firefox 4 is available on the devs website) - Takes addresses which were just typed in as plain text, silently and automagically turns them into actually, clickable links."

Oh good - Linkification is still being developed. It was one of the essential addons I had to part with when I installed Firefox 4.0. Guess I no longer have to be parted from it.
posted by GlassHeart at 6:21 PM on May 19, 2011

posted by dr. boludo at 6:26 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

NoSquint is awesome. Changes the fonts size of a page without zooming or shrinking the page itself and remembers the setting you make for each individual site. The fact that there is no NoSquint addon for Chrome is the only reason I haven't switched over (Chrome is blazing fast but pages often look like ass, with no good way to adjust font size).
posted by zardoz at 9:33 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Libx - turns ISBN numbers into links to directly search your local/univ library. Overlays linked a favicon of your library next Amazon.com/Bn.com books so you can check to see if your library has this book in one click. Also, if you're doing hardcore academic work, it will also turn DOIs and ISSNs into links to search your uni library and add library search options to your right-click menu. Check if your library has created a libx extension or just build one from scratch yourself. I'm so in love with my public library right now.

Alertbox - For websites without RSS (or with), this can isolate an HTML element on a site and check to see if it has changed. Can run checks every minute, hour, day, week, etc. For numbers, it has the option to only notify you of changes if the change is above or below a certain range, so I can jump on an item I want to buy if it falls under a certain price.

Multilinks - Lets me open multiple links in one swoop. Perfect for posts with multiple links on the blue.
posted by jyorraku at 11:46 PM on May 19, 2011

No love for Omnibar? It integrates the search engine bar and the address bar, and creates a Chrome-like Awesome Bar.
posted by Harry at 2:51 PM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

I use a lot of the ones here already. I love libx, very useful. Others that haven't been mentioned:

DownloadHelper - Lets you download files in various formats from youtube.

HTTPSEverywhere - Turns on https if it isn't already.

Leechblock - Block sites that are taking up your time. Various options available, block by day, hours.

MemoryRestart - Lets you restart the FF browser with one click if it goes over a certain memory threshold, also restores all tabs that were open.

TinEye Reverse Image search - Curious where an image came from? Right click and search TinEye and find out.
posted by ollyollyoxenfree at 1:35 AM on May 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

AutoPager - no more articles spread across 5 pages, it just loads it all in one big page.
Wappalyzer - I like to see what kind of server and other tech a site uses
TrackMeNot - feeds Google random queries, crossing their profiling activities
posted by yoHighness at 5:08 PM on May 23, 2011

See also: MeFi unofficial wiki page of Bookmarklets. I really like GraphFi for navigating long threads, or just following discussions.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:50 PM on May 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

"DownloadHelper - Lets you download files in various formats from youtube."

And Vimeo, and Soundcloud! I find it invaluable for sniffing out downloadable files from Flash players.

Fellow tab hogs: any opinions on Tree Style Tabs, either as a substitute or complement for Tab Mix Plus? That's the one that loads tabs vertically along the side, nesting links under the tabs they were opened from, a bit like a file manager.
posted by Municipal Hare at 7:18 PM on May 30, 2011

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