Want to master the Fox!
June 16, 2008 8:33 AM   Subscribe

Help a computer light-weight make the most of Firefox and gmail.

My IE has been crashing at least 6-7 times a day and I'm done! So I just switched to firefox. Never had anything against firefox, just didn't want to take the time to get used to something new. So now that I have made the switch, what are some of the best tips and tricks that you have to make the most of Firefox and gmail. I read alot on Mefi about greasemonkey scripts but I have no clue what that means. I'm not a very advanced user so please keep things basic and speak slowly. I did a mefi search and figured out a few things but I'd like to find out specific favorites of my fellow mefites. Thanks so much!
posted by pearlybob to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
To clarify, not just tips about firefox and gmail together, but anything cool that you use with either or both.
posted by pearlybob at 8:41 AM on June 16, 2008

Greasemonkey and scripts for Greasemonkey. It's all self-explanatory from there.
posted by oddman at 8:42 AM on June 16, 2008

That is: Greasemonkey.
posted by oddman at 8:43 AM on June 16, 2008

Check out StumbleUpon. Its a toolbar thingy that lets you randomly surf websites that others have recommended, all based on your preferences. You select a bunch of categories (ie fishing, politics, wine, kids, funny pictures, etc) and then those are stored. You hit the 'Stumble" button and you are directed to random website that someone recommended that also fits in one of your categories. Pretty neat.
posted by ian1977 at 8:45 AM on June 16, 2008

Greasemonkey Scripts allow the user to control and modify certain elements that appear on a webpage to make them easier to use and add functionalities that do not occur natively.

In terms of Gmail, I would start at this Lifehacker Page. Their better Gmail script is very useful. I would recommend that you read everything before you install anything.

I'm not exactly a power-user myself, so I'm sure others will be along with a better description.

In terms of Firefox itself, I find the following Addons very useful for day-to-day browsing:

Adblock Plus
OneNote Extension (If you have MS One Note)
TinyUrl Creator
Make Link
posted by Blacksun at 8:49 AM on June 16, 2008

I almost forgot, here's a list of Greasemonkey goodness for Metafilter.
posted by oddman at 8:56 AM on June 16, 2008

Nth GreaseMonkey, there are even some great GreaseMonkey scripts for MetaFilter. Also, I use Portable Firefox on a USB drive so that I can bring all of my Firefox settings and extensions with me when I use different computers.

Also, as Blacksun said, Better Gmail 2 is great. In a related note, LifeHacker is a great resource for finding these kinds of tips for Firefox, Gmail, and anything else useful.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:57 AM on June 16, 2008

PicLens for sites like Flickr is very nice and Sage RSS Reader is simple but effective also. Hit Post instead of Preview last time. D'oh!
posted by Blacksun at 9:33 AM on June 16, 2008

One big note - if you've downloaded the 'official' version (, you're going to get prompted to FF3 in the next few days. Very similar, but a few little things are different and not every add-on developer has their stuff updated yet. Just an fyi.

I personally put Goggle Toolbar on any machine i use first thing, and set it to replace the built-in search bar and open searches in new tabs. For windows, I use GMail Notifier, Better Gmail 2, Greasemonkey (with the MeFi deleted posts and scroll tag scripte, and an http-to-https redirector script), adblock plus, bugmenot, retailmenot, DownloadHelper (for pulling video and pics off the web easily), and the Google Icon addin, just because I like seeing favicons as part of my Google view.
posted by pupdog at 10:34 AM on June 16, 2008

I like using Adblock Plus (already mentioned) and NoScript to cut down on banner ads and pop-ups. NoScript cuts out javascript entirely, so you'll have to fiddle a bit to tell it what sites are safe (eg: You'll want to use javascript on an airline booking site and amazon.com, etc).
posted by ODiV at 10:41 AM on June 16, 2008

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