CyberNotes
Web Browser Wednesday




Firefox extensions do all kinds of things, but how many that you use actually make you more productive? If you think about it I’m sure that you can come up with a reason for nearly all of your extensions as to why your more productive for using them. That’s why I’m not going to hit at some of the obvious ones that most people talk about, like IE Tab, DownThemAll, or Tab Mix Plus. I went browsing around the Web looking for ones that even I have never heard of, but I made sure that they are useful. Now you may have heard of a few of these, but they were all new to me so I thought there was a pretty good chance that most of them will be new to you, too.

Note: All of the extensions mentioned here are compatible with Firefox 2.

–BetterSearch (Homepage/More Screenshots)–

This extension will make you more productive while performing searches on sites like Google, MSN, Yahoo, A9, Answers.com, AllTheWeb, Dogpile, and del.icio.us. Sure there are all kinds of separate extensions that do similar things, but this one brings them all together into on convenient package. It can add thumbnail previews to your search results and you can customize how many of the results receive the thumbnails. Buttons can also be added to open the link in a new window, view site information, pull up the archive for the site via Wayback Machine, or even preview the website in one click (pictured below). The preview feature will “popup” the website in the same window as the search results so that you can see if the content on the site is right for you before navigating to it.

BetterSearch

 

–Repagination (Homepage/More Screenshots)–

So I have spent a considerable amount of time trying to figure out how to explain this extension without sounding like a drunk old fool. I kinda understood how it worked after reading the product’s description, but their screenshots were a little confusing…so I hope mine is a little better.

Basically Repagination works on the sites that have multiple links at the bottom with pages numbers, such as Google. What’s going on in the screenshot below is I scrolled down to the bottom of the Google search results page and right-clicked on the number “2”, which represents the next page in the order. Then I went to Re-Pagination->All and it concatenated 26 more Google search results pages onto the one that I was already viewing. I darkened the concatenated portion in the screenshot below so that you can distinguish where the original results page ends and where the other one begins, but when using the extension it looks like one fluid page. You can also limit how many pages are concatenated which might be a good idea so that it doesn’t add so many.

Repagination

 


–Next Please (Homepage)–

Next, Please This extension is similar to the “Fast Forward & Rewind” feature in Opera. If you’re on a page, such as Google, with the previous and next links then this extension will essentially click on those links for you. I find this useful when browsing for images because it seems like the “Next” hyperlink is always moving since the thumbnail sizes are changing, but with an extension like this I can just keep pressing the right-arrow to move to the next page without ever clicking on a hyperlink.

I do want to point out that the extension does install a toolbar, but you can drag the buttons wherever you would like if you right-click on a toolbar and select “Customize”. Then after you have placed the buttons where you would like just right-click and uncheck the “NextPlease!” toolbar. Otherwise a whole toolbar for just four buttons is a little ridiculous.

There are a ton of things you can do to configure this extension (it even supports mouse gestures) so make sure you checkout this page if your interested in all of the details.

 

–Googlepedia (Homepage/More Screenshots)–

This extension will show you a Wikipedia result right next to your Google search results. It does take it a step further by rewriting the Wikipedia links into Google search links, and it also removes the Google advertisements on the side…otherwise there wouldn’t be much room for the Wikipedia article. At the top of each article you’ll also find an “Expand” link that will make the Wikipedia article overlap the Google results so that it is the full width of the page, and therefore easier to read.

Googlepedia

 

–GTDGmail (Homepage/More Screenshots)–

This extension branches off of the “Getting Things Done” (GTD) concept by bringing it into the Gmail service that millions of people use. It makes it easy to setup projects and follow through with actions all by keeping yourself organized. If your unfamiliar with the terminology that David Allen, the author of the Getting Things Done book, uses then you should read through this Wikipedia article to see if it is something that interests you.

GTDGmail

 

–InFormEnter (Homepage/More Screenshots)–

InFormEnter is not like other form fillers because it does not do the form filling automatically. Instead it will place a small button next to each text field, and clicking on that button will reveal some profiles that you can setup. When creating a profile you are presented with a large text box that you can enter paragraphs of information into if you so desire. InFormEnter can even generate a random password for you and repeat that password for the confirmation box that is normally required.

InFormEnter

 

–Errorzilla Mod (Homepage/More Screenshots)–

This extension adds more features to the 404 error page instead of just receiving the standard “Try Again” link when a website doesn’t come up. Once it is installed, and you come across a site that can’t be accessed, you’ll have the following buttons to help find the content you’re looking for: “Try Again,” “Google Cache,” “Coralize,” “Wayback,” “Ping,” “Trace,” and “Whois”. I’m not sure if there is any feature that could make this extension more useful…except maybe combining it with the ReloadEvery extension.

Errorzilla

 

–BlockSite (Homepage)–

 At first this extension may seem to be quite counter-productive, but for some of you it may be exactly what you need. If you find yourself visiting websites too often (except ours, of course) then it might be beneficial for you to block it while you try to get your work done. This extension will let you customize what URL’s to block and it even goes as far as to disable hyperlinks on other sites that link to the blocked site. While the purpose of this extension might be to block malicious websites it can also be used to keep you focused at the task you’re working on.

BlockSite

 

 –PageAddict (Homepage/More Screenshots)–

PageAddict allows you to tag and monitor the websites that you visit so that you can analyze where you spend a bulk of your time. I haven’t used this yet because I’m afraid to see how much time I spend on our own site (and in the forum), but it would be intriguing to see where I spend the rest of my time. I would guess that most of it would be on Google or some sort of Google service.

PageAddict

 

 –Separe (Homepage/More Screenshots)–

This extension is very unique in my opinion and I have never seen anything like it…but the concept is simple. It will help breakup tabs for those of us (definitely me) who like to keep a ton open at the same time. Basically you can insert dividers wherever you please, which then creates virtual groupings of tabs. You can then view a page in Firefox that shows thumbnails for all the tabs on the left side of a particular divider as well as the tabs from the right side (pictured below). Above each of the thumbnails is also a little arrow pointing to the opposite side of the page so that you can move the tab in a click of a button. It can also be used to navigate because clicking on a thumbnail image will switch to that particular tab. There’s so much you can do with an extension who’s primary purpose is to inserts dividers. ;)

 

 

 –Overview–

So those are the unique extensions that I happen to come across while looking for things that might make you more productive. Most of them probably won’t appeal to you, but even if one out of the ten is useful then it was all worth it. :D

Let us know which ones you decide to try out or any alternatives that you think are better.