Firefox and Thunderbird add-ons

One strength of the Mozilla projects Firefox and Thunderbird is their extensibility. The base application has got web browsing or email message management covered but you can add on many extensions as you choose to make your life easier and better implement your style of doing things. The biggest problem is likely to be to figure out what to use. Here are a few extensions to get you started.

Extensions are files with an ‘.xpi’ file extension. If you hit a link to one of these files in Firefox, it will attempt to install the extension directly. For Thunderbird extensions, you will need to download them to your computer and then, from Thunderbird, select them after selecting ‘add tool’. As a security precaution there is a delay before they are installed and you may be prompted about where it is OK to go ahead or not.

Note that the numbers in the links below refer to the Mozilla add-on page number so you know the link is to the official Mozilla website.

Thunderbird Extensions

Image Zoom (addon 139)- help make images fit your screen.

Nostalgy 2487 – keyboard shortcuts to change folder and move messages

Xpunge 1279 – clean out the trash and compact folders with one click of the mouse.

firefix Keyboard shortcuts 2487 to change folder, move/copy messages, with
folder name auto-completion

If you have duplicate messages (e.g. from merging folders or downloading messages several times) you can use this tool 956 to find and remove them from the selected folder and its subfolder by rightclicking on a folder and choosing “Remove Duplicate Messages”.

Add blocking – see addblock 1865 and Element Hiding Helper 4364 and Filter Uploader and Filterset G to help addblock figure out what to block.

Ever been annoyed by all those ads and banners on the internet that often take longer to download than everything else on the page? Install Adblock Plus now and get rid of them. Right-click on a banner and choose “Adblock” from the context menu — the banner won’t be downloaded again. Maybe even replace parts of the banner address with star symbols to block similar banners as well. Or choose a filter subscription, then even this simple task will usually be unnecessary: the filter subscription will block most advertisements fully automatically.

quote collapse 347 – this shrinks long quotes so you only see the first line unless you click on the expand mark.

Firefox extensions

CoLT 1812 – add copy link text to the context menu

FireFTP – an FTP client

Flashblock 433 – replaces Flash objects with a view button for optional viewing

OpenOffice.org Menu – navigation menu for access to OpenOffice.org applications

Password Exporter – export and import saved passwords

ScrapBook – save web pages and organize them

ubufox – if using Ubuntu

Unhide Passwords 462 – show passwords in plain text when editing a hidden field

Uppity 869 – navigate up one level in the web page’s directory structure

Web Developer – adds a menu and toolbar with various developer tools

Other resources

For a bit about what is involved in writing these extensions, see Writing Firefox/Thunderbird Extensions or the Mozilla Developer Center

Chris Lott has a list of Indispensable FireFox (and Thunderbird) Extensions and there is Firefox add ons at cybernet new. A search will likely find more such lists on the I’net.

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