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Thursday, February 23, 2006

My favorite Firefox extensions

I switched to using the Firefox browser a few years ago, although I still use Internet Explorer to test web designs. I ONLY use IE for that purpose now - and that is largely because of the extensions, little tools and applications that can be installed into Firefox. The latest version of Firefox, though, does not allow for a number of my favorite extensions yet, so I have stayed with version 1.07 (which is now hard to find, but I located it here) - you'll want to be aware of that if you get Firefox and want to have some of these same nifty tools at your disposal - check the versions on each! If you want to change the way you do everything on the web, set aside an hour or so to browse all the possibilities. Trust me, you'll make up that hour in productivity when it's over!

For one thing, there is the Blogger extension called Blogger Bar, which allows me quickly create a Blogger post from any web page I visit. Then there is the Screen Grab extension that gives me the ability to snag a screen shot of anything I have in the browser. Dictionary Search is an extension that lets me right click my mouse over any word I see and find out what it means - and for a big word addict and avid reader like me, that's a lot of fun. The Clipper extension allows me to save up a bunch of text snippets that I use a lot when I surf the web, like forum signatures, and easily copy and paste them in from one repository.

As a designer, I find that the Colorzilla extension is a must have. It lets me pick up the color of ANY pixel on the web browser screen - and see what the HTML code for the color (called a hexadecimal) is. I also have an extension called Measure It which lets me grab the pixel dimensions of anything on my screen with a little tool like a ruler.

I actually have a dozen or so extensions but these are the ones I use nearly every day. If you haven't tried Firefox yet, you should - I'm sure that over time these extensions will be ported over to the new version or maybe you can stick with the 1.07 version like I do, until that happens. You'll have a good time tricking out Firefox to your own personal needs, and then wonder how you ever lived without this kind of browsing experience!