Nine Fantastic Firefox Extensions!

Since I started my new job (one of the reasons for the amazing lack of posts around here lately) I’ve been doing a lot more web development on a day to day basis than I have in a couple of years. Until recently, I’d been getting by using just a couple of Firefox extensions - really just because I was doing so little development that it didn’t make sense to spend the time going and looking for the ones which would actually increase my productivity. Since I started this job, however, it’s made sense to start collecting a few extensions to help me save a little time and get more done. Here are my favourite Firefox Entensions of the moment:

Session Saver

This is one that I’ve only just started using recently, but it’s already saved my bacon on more than one occasion. Basically, this extension keeps a record of the tabs that you have open, and re-opens them exactly as they were when you shutdown and then restart Firefox. It also lets you reopen a tab if you close it accidentally, which is fantastic news if you were in the middle of writing something when it happened.

Web Developer Toolbar

I’d say that everyone knows about this extension already but going by past experience I’d be wrong. The web developer toolbar gives you a whole host of useful web devish options, such as easily turning on/off css and javascript, swapping POSTs for GETs, validating your source, etc. Really powerful - I’ve been using it for about 2 years and I wouldn’t be without it.

Tab Duplicator

This one’s a favourite of mine at work when I’m having to update pages which spew out a lot of data, since I can duplicate a tab, reload the duplicate and check the before and after pages for differences. Simple.


there are those among us who seem to feel that GreaseMonkey is the messiah of Firefox plugins. It’s very useful, I’ll grant you, but I wouldn’t say it was anything more than that. GreaseMonkey lets you install little snippets of JavaScript that run on specific (or all) web pages, adding extra bits of functionality. I’ve currently got one addon that shows hCard information, one that shows AccessKey information, as well as one that I wrote myself which makes an internal wiki I have to read look a bit more pleasant. GreaseMonkey is definitely a worthwhile extension to have, but only if you’ve already found an addon that you need it for!

IE View

Another simple one, this opens the current page in Internet Explorer. Great for when you are developing a site and want to check what a page looks like in IE. Now, I wonder if there’s an Opera View or a Multi View extension?

Screen Grab

Creates a screen capture of an entire web page. Very handy for when, well, you need a screen capture of a page. Not currently available for Firefox 1.5.01 though (but then, it does say that it expects the canvas element in Firefox 1.5 to supercede the need for it).

HTML Validator

Handy to have, this extension will validate any page you visit giving you an instant icon in your toolbar to let you know if there are any problems with the page or not.


Truth be told, I’d forgotten that I’d even got this extension installed - it’s that tightly integrated into the browsing experience. For a little while now, the JavaScript error window has not just shown JavaScript errors; instead it now shows a whole cacophany of JavaScript, CSS and other assorted errors. Frankly, it looks like a bit of a mess. This is where the Console2 extension comes in - it lets you view just the errors you want, splitting them nicely into their different types. Much nicer than the default error console, and I wouldn’t be surprised if something like this made its way into the default.

Search Resizer

My final favourite sorts out one of my first annoyances with Firefox - the search box. Frankly, the default size is just a bit too small for me so being able to drag it a bit wider with this extension is a god-send for me.

So, those are my nine favourite Firefox extensions - what are yours?

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comments (3) | write a comment | permalink | View blog reactions


  1. by John Beisley on February 18, 2006 11:06 AM


    Makes traversing up the virtual directory tree in a website quick and simple, without all that faffing about with deleting parts of the location URL.

  2. by Neil Crosby [TypeKey Profile Page] on February 18, 2006 01:48 PM

    Thanks for that, John. Personally I’m not seeing much of a difference between dropping down a menu and selecting a truncated URL, and just doing it in the location bar, but everyone’s different - that’s what makes everything great, right? I do very much like the idea of having the quick links to and the google cache though.

    Oh, and the official version of Diggler doesn’t work in Firefox 1.5 without a change of its maxversion value. I’ve downloaded a version of Diggler tweaked for Firefox 1.5 from so that I can try it out.

  3. by Dan T. on March 6, 2006 12:50 AM

    I started using Firefox after using Opera for several years. Opera is a great browser and I like it better overall but it is very intolerant of poorly coded web pages. I especially enjoy using mouse gestures. They have become second nature to me such that I have difficulty using browsers that don’t have them as an option.

    Fortunately I found the “All-in-One Gestures” extention.

    Great blog you have here! I am just learning HTML but have found it to be very interesting.

    I read about it in a post over at forums:

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Neil Crosby now blogs at The Code Train and also runs, The Ten Word Review and Everything is Rubbish.