One of the areas that I’ve always felt Firefox has lacked in is sidebar configurability. Other browsers, such as Opera, come with way more sidebar options out-of-the-box making it easy to throw a sidebar onto any side of the browser. The beauty of Firefox, however, is that there are plenty of extensions to solve any complaints.
We sifted through over a hundred different extensions that deal with the sidebars in Firefox, and handpicked three of them that offer outstanding customization options. Things like adding multiple sidebars, undocking the sidebars, and much more.
MultiSidebar is a great example of the functionality I would love to see Mozilla incorporate into the browser by default. Once installed you can right-click on the header of any sidebar and have it open on the left, right, top, or bottom side of the browser. So if you want your bookmarks open on the right side, and your history open on the left side it’s a piece of cake:
The best part is the MultiSidebar remembers your options for the next time you go to open a particular sidebar, and that saves a lot of headaches. It even works great with the websites that you’ve setup to open in the sidebar.
–All-in-One Sidebar (Homepage)–
The All-in-One Sidebar is pretty much what the name says it is. It’s a highly-configurable extension that will let you place one “almighty” sidebar on either the left or right side of the browser. You can then add icons to the slim toolbar located next to the sidebar so that you can easily switch between the different sidebars that are available. One of my favorite features, however, has got to be the quick access to your downloads and extensions:
This also works well for those of you who are trying to conserve your precious screenspace. That *really* thin bar along the left side serves as a quick way to collapse the sidebar, and it can be set to expand the sidebar when you hover over it with your mouse.
–Ez Sidebar (Homepage)–
Sometimes it is nice being able to undock the sidebar from the browser for one reason or another. Personally what I like to do is open up my bookmarks in the sidebar, undock them from the browser, and align the window along the left side of my monitor. That space on my computer is, for the most part, reserved solely for my bookmarks. By doing that I can have extremely fast access to any bookmark no matter what application I’m in.
This is all made possible because of Ez Sidebar which provides docking and undocking capabilities for the Firefox sidebar:
The other thing that is really cool about this is that you can add “panels” which is equivalent to setting a website to open in the sidebar. Using Ez Sidebar to do this is nice for two reasons: it’s a much faster process and doesn’t clutter up your bookmarks.
So those are three tools that any frequent sidebar user is sure to drool over. If you know of any other sidebar configuration tools I would love to hear about them in the comments below!