Web Browser Wednesday

Before a Firefox extension has a chance to become unbelievably popular it has to go through an experimental phase to make sure it’s worthy of being added to Mozilla’s extension site. This process can sometimes take months, and so today we wanted to show you some of the best experimental Firefox extensions that you probably don’t know about.

Since each of these extensions are still in the experimental phase you’ll need to have a free Mozilla account before being able to download them. Believe me though, there are some handy add-ons here that are worth going through the extra hassle.

P.S. If you get a “file hash” error message when trying to download any of the extensions checkout this guide on tips to solve the problem.

–MyBookmarks (Homepage)–

MyBookmarks creates a homepage out of all the bookmarks located in your Bookmarks Menu. Just type about:mybookmarks into the address bar, and it will traverse through your folders grabbing each bookmark displaying the results on a central page. It also sticks each site’s icon next to the results making it easy to find your favorite sites.

The color scheme might not appeal to everyone, but that’s not a problem. Just pull up the options, and using a little CSS magic you can customize the look of the entire page. Additional information on skinning the MyBookmarks can be found here.


–Get File Size (Homepage)–

How many times have you wondered how big a file is before you start downloading it? With this extension you just right-click on the URL of the file, select the option to get the file size, and then you’ll receive a popup letting you know just how big the download is.

get file size.png

–Find in Tabs (Homepage)–

Being able to find text on a page is nice, but being able to find text in any of your open tabs is even nicer! With this extension a new “Find in Tabs” button is added to the find bar. Once pressed it will pull up a listing of search results from each of the tabs that you have open. Clicking on one of the results not only takes you to that particular tab, but also focuses on the area where the match was found.

find in tabs.png

–Text Area Resizer & Mover (Homepage)–

We’ve seen extensions that let you resize text boxes before, but none of them are like this. Just right-click and drag to dynamically resize any text box, or double-(left)-click and drag on any text box to move it around. If you choose to double-click in a text field it will remain “locked” and movable until you double-click in it again.

The screenshot below demonstrates how you can do things like move a comment box up alongside an article so that it’s easy to pull out quotes. Then as you scroll on the page the text field actually moves with you.

text area sizer and mover.png

–ErrorZilla Plus (Homepage)–

There are plenty of extensions out there that provide powerful “address not found” or “404 error” pages. Typically they just let you bring up the cache for a particular page, but this one is a bit different. ErrorZilla Plus also lets you customize a list of proxies, which you can then use to try and view the site. This is especially helpful for viewing sites that may be blocked for one reason or another.

errorzilla plus.png

–Google Redesigned (Homepage)–

The great people over at Globex Designs have taken the time to compile their two custom styles for Gmail and Google Calendar into one simple extension. A dark skin has never looked so darn good!

google redesigned.png

–GrandCentral Click to Call (Homepage)–

Do you use Google’s GrandCentral service? If so this extension makes it a lot easier to dial phone numbers that you come across in the browser. Just click on a phone number, and let the extension do the rest of the work!

The developer’s homepage has a lot more information about the extension.


–Noise (Homepage)–

I’m not a big fan of sounds while I’m surfing the Internet, but I know some people like them. If you happen to be one of those people this extension will let you add and customize the sounds used throughout the browser. Get audio alerts for when a popup is blocked, a download has completed, and much more.


–CyberSearch (Homepage)–

And the last one of the day is our own concoction. CyberSearch lets you view Google search results from the web, images, videos, local/maps, and more right in the Firefox 3 address bar. Be sure to checkout the options where you can customize the keywords used to drill down search results to a particular site or Google service.



There you have it! I have to say that there are a lot of great Firefox extensions that can’t wait to get out of the experimental phase, but in the meantime they’d love for you to take them for a spin. Let us know in the comments about any Firefox extensions you use that haven’t broken out of the experimental stage yet.

Update: You might have noticed that a few of the extensions are no longer experimental. It looks like some of them didn’t spend much time in the Sandbox.