Some Firefox extensions are known for the large array of features and usefulness that they add to the browser. I have been impressed by several Firefox extensions before but Firebug takes it to a whole new level. It doesn’t even seem like it could be an extension because it adds that much functionality to Firefox.

I always loved being able to highlight some text on a page, right-click and select “View Selection Source.” That would pull up the source code for what I just highlighted and Firebug has something very similar, but again, it is much better. You can right click on any element or text and select “Inspect Element.” Doing so would pull up a window similar to the one that I have pictured above. It puts that source code in a collapsible tree format so that it isn’t difficult to sift through it looking for a particular spot. Then on the right side it will show you the CSS style element related to what you have selected.

I haven’t even gotten to the coolest thing in Firebug yet! You can actually edit the HTML and CSS code inside of the Firebug window and it will show you the changes live on the page. No more having to edit the CSS and refresh the window to see how it will affect things. Besides just being useful it is fun to tinker around with sites. :)

How long does it take a page to load? Firebug will break down how long it takes individual elements on a page to load and then total it up (this is found on the “Net” tab). According to its calculations CyberNet takes 7.71 seconds to load which is pretty close to what I had measured before…so I would say it is accurate.

I am just starting to tip the iceberg with the features Firebug has so you can go check out the rest. As of right now Firebug is free for everyone to use but it is currently in the Beta stage. The developer is considering the possibility of charging for the extension so that it can continually be improved. As much as I would like to see this remain free there is no doubt that the developer deserves the $25 that he is thinking about charging. If it remains free I’ll probably donate the money anyways because it is so useful.

Looks like Firebug will remain free and open source!

Thanks to “natmaster” for the tip!