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Favorite Firefox Extensions

I’ve finally reached a critical mass of Firefox extensions that I find myself at a loss if I’m using “the other” browser or even a Firefox install on another computer! These are the extensions that have made my browsing time much more efficient, a critical concern for any online researcher.

About This Site

by Gina Trapani of fame.  This is a nice add on when you want to know more about who owns a Web site domain, statistics, and other information about a particular site.  When librarian’s talk about “authority”, this is an easy way to winkle out some unusual details.

Download StatusBar

by Devon Jensen.  This fixes three things I don’t like about Firefox’s downloads:  the download window, the download complete pop up, and the stealth download when I don’t realize it’s done what I asked it to!  This is one of the most useful tools, because it gives immediate information without interrupting your research browsing.

Firefox Showcase

by Josep del Rio.  For any IE7 crossover users, this extension’s function will be familiar.  It enables you to look at a thumbnail of each of your open tabs, and select one to bring into focus.  It’s surprising to me how often I’ll have 5 or 10 tabs open and the tab titles are not always as informative as you might like.



by Lorenzo Colitti and Philip Chee.  Single best extension I couldn’t live without!  Kills all unwanted Flash – ads, automated multimedia, whatever.  It’s flexible enough to “white list” certain sites where you want Flash, and enables you to play Flash when you want it.


by John Marshall.  This is a nice way to intercept bookmark (CTRL-D) requests and save bookmarks out to your Google Bookmarks.  I really like that I can save either locally or to Google Bookmarks – both.  The label look up function makes categorizing and organizing – and using your controlled vocabulary – easier.

Google Preview

by Edward Ackroyd.  Adds thumbnails to Google search results.  It can sometimes jar my memory about a site I visited, when I can remember what it looked like but not its URL.  I also find it a good way to know when the link you’re clicking on is going to a search word generated site as opposed to one with real content.

Open Search Fox

by Milx.  Fantastic way to add to your search bar!  Adds a right click menu which allows you to click in a search window and add it to your search bar, extending your Firefox far beyond what any single search toolbar can do on its own.  This is a feature of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7 and it makes Firefox much more poweful.  I’ve used it not only for single-site search, but also for custom searches like my Rollyos.

Tab X

by Stephen Clavering.  I like my Close Tab X on each tab – no matter how many tabs I have open!  This makes that happen.

    David Whelan

    I improve information access and lead information teams. My books on finding information and managing it and practicing law using cloud computing reflect my interest in information management, technology, law practice, and legal research. I've been a library director in Canada and the US, as well as directing the American Bar Association's Legal Technology Resource Center. I speak and write frequently on information, technology, law library, and law practice issues.