My Favorite Firefox Extensions

The Firefox web browser supports hundreds of extensions in its latest version. There are extensions that tweak its behavior in small but useful ways, addons that add completely new and very innovative features, even entire applications like FTP clients and e-mail posting programs that run inside the browser.

It would be silly to list all the extensions supported by Firefox here. There are some extensions, however, which I consider vastly more useful than all the others. These are usually the first things I add to every new Firefox installation before using it for browsing web pages. This is a list of these extensions:

It’s All Text!

An extension that permits editing the text of web forms in an external editor. Many web pages have obnoxious bits of JavaScript code that grabs keyboard shortcuts and make editing a pain. Other web pages have too small areas for textual input. This extension solves both of these problems, by allowing you to edit web form text in a full-screen window of a real editor, like Emacs, VIM, Kate, or GEdit.


An extension that can be used to disable JavaScript code by default and then selectively enable the use of JavaScript for only a select subset of the web. JavaScript can often bloat and slow-down the browser, especially if used haphazardly and without proper care by the authors of a web site. Sometimes it even poses a security risk. NoScript can help a lot with these two problems that plague many of the “modern” web sites.

Open in Browser

A “convenience extension”, the Open in Browser addon adds an extra option to the open dialog that Firefox pops up when it cannot render a web object inside the browser window. Some web sites report a rather conservative MIME type for the objects they serve, commonly reporting that an object is a raw byte stream, even if the object itself is the source code of a script. In these cases, the Open in Browser extension enables Firefox to temporarily ignore the MIME type reported by the web server, and display the web object directly inside the browser window; saving you from the trouble of storing a local disk copy and manually launching an external viewer.

Video Download Helper

A handy extension that lets you download video clips from YouTube and other web sites that require a Flash plugin. This Firefox extension makes it possible to locally store the video files, so that they can be played later with MPlayer, Totem, VLC, or other media players. Having the entire media files locally often results in improved playback, as the media player does not have to block video output, waiting for input from a slow network connection.

These are the four Firefox extensions that I install to all my Firefox profiles. I can probably browse most web sites without them, with a few annoying parts here and a few missing conveniences there, but whenever I have the option these addons are definitely part of my browsing tools.

Which extensions do you like using? Which ones are those Firefox addons that you “cannot live without”?


16 thoughts on “My Favorite Firefox Extensions

  1. James Brooks

    To make it look and feel like opera:
    speedbar – quick access to top 9 websites
    all-in-one sidebar – much better bookmark/history/downloads navigation
    all-in-one gestures – mouse gestures
    xmarks – bookmark sync
    omnibar – combine search and address bar into one

    The only reason I use firefox instead of opera:
    WOT – only show trusted pages
    adblock plus – removes adverts

  2. keramida Post author

    Thank you everyone! I’m going to try these extensions and see how it goes :)

    Update: 2009-12-09 19:47 WOT looks very good. I’ve just added it to my extensions and will keep using it for a while to get a feel of how it helps.

  3. George Notaras

    I seriously wonder how you can live without session manager. This is the first thing I install in a new FF profile. I don’t even consider it as an extension any more, but rather as the missing functionality of the original program.

    I also use search with. It makes it possible to search the selected text on a service from the “search with” submenu when you right-click on that selected text.

    I also use menu editor. It lets me edit/rearrange the right-click menu entries. I mainly use it in order to place the “search with” submenu (of the “search with” extension) to the top of the list.

    The only extension I have in common with the list you posted above is the “Video Download Helper”. I’ll have to try the other ones, but I have a serious objection about blocking Javascript. This is not because I like all the javascript-based bells ‘n’ whistles of modern web sites, but because I’ve started liking Javascript itself. I always thought it was an alien language, but now I intend to learn the basics, so i can add some useful things on my web pages.

  4. George Notaras

    BTW, I’m testing one more extension which will probably re-define the way I manage information from the net. But, I won’t go into the details just yet. ;)

  5. Nuclear

    If I had to pick ONE extension I can’t live without, it would be flashblock. Then there’s also adblock+ and bugmenot I tend to always install.

  6. manjiki

    I think that now I cannot live without Tabberwocky. Very useful when you are searching for an answer in the google results chaos.

    1. Stazybο Hοrn

      It looks like a Tab Mix Plus clone. I’ll stay with the former as it a big user base. And the only connection to the plethora of google results problem that I see is “open (selected) links in new tabs”, right? Of all links related extensions I’ve used, I’ve stuck with Linky.

  7. Panos Gotsis

    NoScript and Video Download Helper are sublime. I also use Adblock plus, DownThemAll and Linkification to help with grabbing and downloading multiple links from sites. Also, the DownThemAll extension, AntiContainer, is great. Flashblock is also good as I hate flash as much as I hate javascript.

    I also use foxyproxy to help me out with company permissions etc, Speed Dial, PDF Download, to avoid having the PDF reader pop up every time I click a PDF link and Tab Mix Plus. This last group of extensions are not really essential, just a nice stylistic touch :P

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