With the recent release of Firefox 3.5, there’s never been a better time for Internet Explorer users to give it a go. In case you think for a moment that browsing is much the same on Firefox – hold on a minute!
Aside from being faster, lighter and more stable, what makes Firefox really different is add-ons. You can easily customize Firefox to work how you want it to, and it’s not hard. Click an add-on download link, restart Firefox (it will remember all your open tabs), and you’re done. To get started, here’s 5 add-ons I think are really cool, and should convince you of Firefox’s all-round awesomeness!
1 – Juice. I include this as it’s flashy, great looking and can really change your browsing. Basically, if you read something you want more info about, just highlight it, and drag it into the Juice sidebar – it will search Google, Yahoo Bing or Twitter for answers. See a picture you like? Just click and drag it into juice and it’s saved. YouTube videos get a tab that you can drag into juice, so you can make a playlist, and also watch videos in the sidebar while you browse. It’s cool, have a go!
2 – DownThemAll! This basically allows you to download whatever is on a web page. You can choose what type of files you’re looking for, like MP3s or images, and’DownThemAll’ in one click. It can save you lots of time scrolling through long pages looking for files.
3 – Open IT Online. This neat add-on allows you to open most documents, spreadsheets and presentations using online applications. when downloading a Word file, an extra option will appear under ‘Open With’, allowing you to see the document in your browser, saving you the hassle of waiting for another application to open. It’s unobtrusive, and makes document viewing hassle free.
4 – UrlbarExt is a bit nerdy, but I like it, and use it every day. It adds a bunch of tools to the address bar, like a tiny URL maker, an add address to clipboard button and much more. It really makes use of a piece of browser space that was underused.
5 – The add-on I use most? TwitterFox. Everything I want from Twitter, without having to open up a page, it’s fantastic. You get a tiny icon at the bottom of Firefox, and clicking it activates a pop up display showing you your Twitter feed. It feels ideally suited to Twitter, and I can’t imagine a browser without it anymore.
So there you have it. If you load up an add-on you don’t like, it’s simple to deactivate it – just go to add-ons in the Tools menu, and you can deactivate or uninstall anything you like. No doubt everyone will have their own favorites, so you can go and check out the Firefox add-on site here.