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10 Firefox Extensions to Die For

firefoxlove The sheer number of extensions available for Firefox sets it apart from other browsers.  The number of extensions, though, means that it can be difficult to find the hidden gems.  For that reason, I’m always interested in seeing what Firefox extensions other people are using.  To get the ball rolling, here are ten of my favorite Firefox extensions.  We’ll call this the “Evan Kline edition” to leave the door open for Bobby to come up with his own list in the future.  Also, please let us know in the comments which extensions you use, if you are a Firefox user.

Photo by laihiu

1.  Faviconize Tab

If you’re like me, you’re a heavy tab user.  One way to make tabs more accessible, and quicker to access, is to get other tabs out of the way.  Tabs that you always access, such as Gmail, are perfect candidates for this, since you probably recognize them by their icons alone.  The Faviconize Tab extension allows you to shrink a tag down to only its favicon, leaving more room for your less recognizable tabs.  We previously discussed this extension on our Posterous site.


2.  Smart Bookmarks Bar

Using the bookmarks toolbar to quickly access your favorite sites can be a huge time saver.  The problem is that there isn’t space for many bookmarks on the bookmarks bar, since the bar displays a bookmark’s favicon and name.  This extension helps you fit more bookmarks on your bookmarks bar by hiding a site’s name, and displaying only the favicon.  We previously wrote about this extension, complete with screenshots.


 3.  Favicon Picker 3

The other extension that we previously discussed in conjunction with Smart Bookmarks Bar was Favicon Picker 3.   While Smart Bookmarks Bar is great, not all sites have favicons.  Favicon Picker solves that problem, allowing you to manually assign favicons to sites.


4.  Greasemonkey

Greasemonkey is one of those extensions that makes you say, "now THAT is cool."  The extension doesn’t do anything on its own.  Instead, it allows you to change the way a webpage displays and functions by installing small bits of JavaScript called Greasemonkey scripts.  For example, I use a Greasemonkey script that allows me to sort my Netflix queue in a number of ways, such as alphabetically.  There are hundreds of other scripts available, including scripts that allow you to modify the functionality of Gmail, Google Reader, and Twitter.


5.  Better Gmail 2

If you’re a Gmail user, then you can’t go wrong with the Better Gmail 2 extension.  This extension compiles several Greasemonkey scripts, enhancing Gmail with such features as hierarchical labels, an unread message icon on your browser tab, and file attachment icons. 


6.  Evernote Web Clipper

We love Evernote here at 40Tech, and have written about it several times already.  The Evernote Web Clipper Firefox extension adds a button to the toolbar, which, when clicked, will send selected portions of a web page, or an entire web page, into your Evernote account.


7.  LastPass Password Manager

We’ve also previously expressed our love for LastPass.  The LastPass Password Manager extension automates the entire LastPass experience, from autofilling passwords, to generating passwords, to providing easy access to your password vault.  LastPass can be used with a bookmarklet instead, but it is SO much easier with this extension. 


8.  Firebug

I’m not much of a coder, but I often muck around in CSS to make changes to my websites.  Firebug makes this much easier, splitting your screen in two.  When you activate Firebug, the top half of your screen displays a page normally, allowing you to select different parts of the page.  When you do so, the CSS, HTML, and Javascript of that selection appears in the bottom half of the screen (complete with file name and line number of any code).  You can even modify those elements in the bottom half of the screen, to preview changes.


9.  Xmarks

Xmarks, formerly known as Foxmarks, is a bookmarking tool.  It allows you to sync all of your bookmarks between computers.  It also gives you optional password syncing.  Create an account, set up the extension, and then forget about it.  It is that easy.  It is also invaluable when moving to a new computer.  Simply install the extension in Firefox, and your bookmarks follow you to your new machine.


10.  Tab Mix Plus

Tab Mix Plus supercharges your tabbed browsing.  It allows you to change the way tabs are highlighted, add a progress meter to tabs, add a close tab button to tabs, specify the width of tabs, and more.  The number of options is almost overwhelming at first glance, but manageable with a bit of trial and error.


Honorable mentions: Forecastfox, NoScript, Adblock Plus, PriceAdvance, Download Statusbar, and Tiny Menu.


So, help me out- what extensions have I missed?