By Steve Bass | Thursday, July 30, 2009 at 4:58 pm
I love it when you write and pass along handy ideas. After I wrote about my favorite Firefox enhancers, I received hundreds of messages (okay, 50, but who’s counting) sharing other Firefox add-ons, extensions, and tips–and I’m successfully using many of them. Here are some of the most useful of the bunch.
But first some advice.
The day after I wrote about my Firefox favorites, the world almost ended for Firefox fanatics: A major security hole was discovered in Firefox. Great timing, no? Not to fret, if you upgrade to Firefox 3.51, the world will be okay again.
You’ll be happy to know if you’re still using Firefox 3.06 or so, all of the add-ons I mention will work. But if you’re a worrier, and already upgraded to 3.51, you’ll find a few won’t install. My guess is that individual add-on developers are working overtime to satisfy your overwhelming need for updates. If you continue feeling stressed, just up the meds for a week.
Most important is that you experiment with these add-ons and extensions one at a time. I don’t want to hear any whining (you will anyway, I know it) if you enable them all at once, cause new sunspots, and feel faint.
* Deskcut adds something Internet Explorer users love: A way to generate desktop shortcuts by using a right-click context menu. Now you can resume making a mess out of your desktop. (Seriously, keep your desktop neat and clean; all those icons grab system resources.)
* I searched and couldn’t believe Firefox was missing a valuable Internet Explorer feature: A way to run a downloaded app immediately rather than download it. OpenDownload takes care of the problem by adding “Open with Win32 application” from Firefox’s download dialog. [Thanks, Todd.]
* I recently talked about sites that tell me the time anywhere in the world. FoxClocks is handier: It puts customizable world times a click away in Firefox’s status bar. [Thanks, Bill W.]
* Page Info is an overlooked feature built into Firefox. Go to Tools, choose Page Info, and click the Media tab to snatch items off the page that are otherwise difficult to get. [Thanks, Todd.]
* Want to do something at a site that insists–no, demands — you use Internet Explorer? Use IE Tab, a simple extension that lets you open a tab that emulates Internet Explorer. Take that, IE! [Thanks to Grant Van Weerdhuizen.]
* If you want to open up a bunch of tabs with specific links, and on specific days, install Morning Coffee. About as close to Maxthon‘s Groups as I’ve seen, it stores sets of bookmarks and opens them on specific days. For example, I can look at financial sites once a week, say Fridays only, my fav video sites on the weekend, and check sports scores on Sunday. Way cool. [Thanks again to Grant.]
* Update Notifier automatically tells you when there are updates for your extensions and themes. [Thanks to Kirstie McKenzie.]
* I never bother with themes or overlays that change the look of a program. I always figure that whatever the program gives me is okay. Yet Todd said Qute 4 and Kempelton are better designed, with clearer, easier to spot icons. Todd’s right; I settled on Qute 4 and I encourage you to try it.
* Menu Editor lets you hide or rearrange nearly all of Firefox’s menu items, including the easy-to-become-messy right-click context menu.
[This post is excerpted from Steve’s TechBite newsletter. If you liked it, head here to sign up–it’s delivered on Wednesdays to your inbox, and it’s free.]