Andrew Guyton's Blog

It’s been almost two years since I posted my last entry on Firefox add-ons and customizations. I posted that about three weeks after Firefox 2 was relased, and now I’m posting this entry just before Firefox 3 is released. Somewhat fitting, although this will probably be a little outdated in less than half a day.

I’m going to run through a list of add-ons I’ve collected that make my life easier, even if they tend to slow down Firefox. Thankfully, most of the extensions listed here are compatible with Firefox 3. Some of them are even carried over from the previous list, so don’t be surprised to see some duplication.

Everyday Extensions

These are extensions that I use or feel the effects of nearly every day.

Adblock Plus

  • Description: Advertisement has gone up rather than down, so Adblock is as essential as ever. Easily block a range of domains/subdomains or even single images.
  • Rating: 9
  • Link: addons.mozilla.org: Adblock Plus

Download Statusbar

Fission

  • Description: Moves the progress bar to the background of the address bar. Very awesome. You can also change the plain color to an image, although I just have it set to the default blue color.
  • Rating: 8
  • Link: addons.mozilla.org: Fission

GooglePreview

  • Description: Adds a thumbnail of a search result’s root level (e.g., the “home page”) to the left of the page on Google and Yahoo search results. Useful for identifying sites at a glance.
  • Rating: 7
  • Link: addons.mozilla.org: Google Preview

Greasemonkey

  • Description: Greasemonkey doesn’t do anything by itself. Rather, it runs scripts that other users write that target specific features of websites. You can do incredible things with various Greasemonkey scripts. If any of the Greasemonkey scripts farther below interest you, grab this extension first.
  • Rating: 10
  • Link: addons.mozilla.org: Google Preview

IE Tab

  • Description: Sadly, this extension is still needed – while Firefox penetration has been increasing, there are still those rare sites or applications that absolutely will not work with Firefox. Their numbers are slowly decreasing, thankfully. Fun feature: you can configure IE Tab to always load certain pages with IE instead of Gecko.
  • Rating: 6
  • Link: addons.mozilla.org: IE Tab

LocationbarĀ²

  • Description: This highlights the domain of the page you’re viewing for easy identification and allows you to click on lower levels as if they were links.
  • Rating: 6
  • Link: addons.mozilla.org: LocationbarĀ²

Nuke Anything Enhanced

Stylish

  • Description: Allows you to easily make UI and website (user style) changes. Great with the right scripts. (See below for suggested user styles)
  • Rating: 7
  • Link: addons.mozilla.org: Stylish

Tab Mix Plus

Tab Preview

  • Description: Shows a thumbnail of a tab’s contents when you mouse over that tab in the tab bar. It took a while to get used to, but it feels fairly useful.
  • Rating: 6
  • Link: addons.mozilla.org: Tab Preview

Occasional use extensions

These are extensions that I’ve found useful at one point or another, but tend to leave disabled.

/Find Bar/

BugMeNot

  • Description: Allows you to right-click a username/password field and populate it with a respective set of credentials from BugMeNot’s database.
  • Rating: 6.5
  • Link: addons.mozilla.org: BugMeNot

Clear Private Data

  • Description: Clears the browser’s cache, history, etc. Useful when developing web applications, as cached data makes it difficult to tell what your code is currently doing. It proved very useful in the development of the Georgia Tech Campus Information Mashup. I believe the Web Developer Toolbar also has this functionality.
  • Rating: 5
  • Link: addons.mozilla.org: BugMeNot

CoLT

DownThemAll!

Exif Viewer

  • Description: Displays a photo’s EXIF data. Potentially useful if you frequently work with photography websites.
  • Rating: 5
  • Link: addons.mozilla.org: Exif Viewer

Find Toolbar Tweaks

Firebug

  • Description: Incredible live css, html, javascript debugger. Vital to web application programming.
  • Rating: 8
  • Link: addons.mozilla.org: Firebug

Web Developer

  • Description: Useful toolbar (the only one I have installed, in fact) that presents a wide variety of web development tools. CSS inspection, rulers, element inspection, etc, etc.
  • Rating: 8
  • Link: addons.mozilla.org: Web Developer

YSlow

  • Description: Performance measuring add-on to Firebug. Yes, an extension to an extension. Useful to determine why pages aren’t loading as quickly as they should be.
  • Rating: 7
  • Link: addons.mozilla.org: YSlow

Stylish scripts

Most of these are fairly self-explanatory. For more user styles, go to http://userstyles.org/. Sadly, some of the changes I’ve made to firefox were directly to my user chrome file, but I’ll include those styles that replicate some of those changes.

Consolidate Firefox’s chrome

  • Description: While not exactly a stylish script, this write-up is essential in explaining some of the many ways to optimize your browser’s look, feel, and operation. Instead of actually editing your user chrome files, you can use stylish to implement some of the more difficult changes they propose.
  • Rating: 10
  • Link: lifehacker.com: Geek to Live: Consolidate Firefox’s chrome

Add Bookmark Dialog: Show Folder Tree

Favicon with Search Engine background

Greasemonkey – save space on status icon

Remove separators between toolbars

Sliding Menubar

  • Description: This style is apparently installed in Stylish by default. I find it useful, although it can be a little difficult to get to the menu item you want without the menu bar re-collapsing when you’re a pixel off.
  • Rating: 6
  • Link: userstyles.org: Sliding Menubar

Combine Stop/Reload buttons

Hide Back/Forward Buttons When not Needed

Greasemonkey scripts

The Greasemonkey scripts you use will be largely dependent upon what websites you visit. I’ll try to focus on the ones that most visitors will find useful. Note that some of these scripts may no longer work – the website it was designed for may have changed, breaking the script. Given the number of scripts here, and the fact that most of them are rather obvious, I’m going to go for a simpler format in this section. Most of these descriptions are copied from the script/plugin page.

All websites

  • Check Range: Lets you check or uncheck a range of checkboxes by clicking the first checkbox and then Shift+clicking the last checkbox.
  • Working Inline Mp3 Player: Add a player to mp3 links.
  • Rick Roll Remover: Never gonna give you up… this script strikes out links to some common Rick Rolls so you’ll know better than to click on them. NOTE: This script has had an odd conflict with a Google map on another website I use. I just added that website to the exclude list, but when confronted with an unexplainable web bug, first try turning off Greasemonkey to see if that fixes it. :)
  • Disable Text Ads: Disables inline text ads from Vibrant Media (IntelliTXT), AdBrite, Infolicious (lingoSpot), Kontera, Linkworth, EchoTopic, Targetpoint and MediaText.
  • DarkPic: Removes the BritePic.com image handling service that some sites use to ‘enhance’ image viewing at the expense of their visitors’ privacy.
  • Universal imagehost redirector: Bypasses imagehosts and redirects directly to the image where possible. Also rewrites links to point directly to the image where possible.

Amazon

  • Collapsible Amazon: Collapse any section of the Amazon website by clicking on the orange section header.
  • RIAA Radar Search: Search RIAA Radar for the current Amazon or Barnes and Noble CD. If found, show the RIAA Radar “Unknown”, “Warning”, or “Safe” image on the album; click the image to go to the RIAA Radar for the CD.
  • Show Amazon Price: Some Amazon pages contain text that says “Click here to see the price (Why don’t we show the price?).” This shows you the price when the page loads without having to click.

Answers.com

deviantART

  • dAv5 Message Count (direct install link): Restores the (2D, 3C, 4J)-style message count to the deviantART interface.
  • deviantTIDY: A set of styles and scripts to improve the layout and usability of deviantART. For full details, see here.
  • Deviant Statistics: Fully Conclusive: When visiting users on deviantART, compiles a comprehensive list of useful statistics about users and displays them on deviants’ userpages.
  • Deviant Statistics: Shows additional statistics about the Deviant. Look here to see a preview.
  • deviantArt +Watch: Adds a link to “watch this deviant” on all gallery and deviation pages.
  • deviantArt – Watching you?: Shows, when visiting a deviant, if it watches you.
  • deviantArt: Bypass the MCF: The Mature Content Filter can be annoying at times, this should take care of it for now.
  • deviantART – Misc. Customizations: Customizations for deviantART by DJC: alt. journal titles; alt. +devWATCH link; unhide hidden comments; “safe” message center links; remove gallery/favorites ads.
  • no devADS: This script deletes some ads on deviantART. (Needs updating).

digg

  • digg – add mirrors: Adds links to DuggMirror, Coral Cache, DuggBack and Archive.org wayback machine to every story.

eBay

  • eBay PST2EST: Shows end of auction in local timezone. Also shows how many minutes left in auction.
  • My eBay autologin: Automatically submits the My eBay login form (and checks the “Keep me signed in” box) if your username and password were automatically filled in (typically by the Firefox password manager).
  • eBay style addon: This script will gray out all ended eBay auctions and colorize all auctions you are currently bidding on in the my eBay lists and eBay search lists.

Facebook

  • Facebook AutoPoke: Automatically pokes back pokers listed on your home page.
  • Facebook Autologin v2: Auto-login to Facebook for Greasemonkey 0.5.3, assuming Firefox is set to remember your password.
  • Facebook App Nuker: Removes those pesky news feed stories about what Facebook Applications your friends are adding or removing.
  • Remove Facebook Ads: Previously named Cipher’s Facebook Remove Ads. Updated to accommodate changes in Facebook.
  • Facebook View Photo in Album: Adds a link above photos to see them in their albums, even if you’re not friends with the photographer.
  • Facebook remove app requests: Adds an “Ignore All Apps” button at the bottom of the request list on the right in the facebook requests page. It also asks for confirmation before ignoring all application requests.
  • Facebook – View All Photos: Places a link to view all photos of a user regardless of who tagged them. Also allows you to see photos of someone who has a private profile.

Flickr

  • Flickr Search for Creative Commons: This script will force all searches on Flickr to return creative commons images.
  • Flickr Bigger Quicker: Adds a ‘big’ link under each photo in any Detail view which goes directly to fd Flickr Toy’s “View On Black” script.
  • Flickr Photo Page Enhancer: Adds links to different sizes directly to a Flickr photo page, generates html code to easily copy’n paste thumbnail & description, and automatically loads your 20 most used tags when you click “Add Tag.”
  • Flickr Photo Prefetch: Prefetches the “next” page on Flickr in an iframe so it loads faster.
  • Flickr Next Page Prefetch: Prefetches the “Next” page in Flickr to browse photos seamlessly. Idea from “Flickr Photo Prefetch.”
  • Flickr’s Left Panel Sucks: Change the left panel on flickr for something useful: showing pictures from your friends or contacts.
  • Flickr Group List Search: Allows filtering of the “send to group” list on Flickr by search terms. If you are a member of many Flickr groups, this plugin is a must!
  • Flickr : Show all images by this user in this pool: If you click on a photo in a group pool, a link will be added next to the photo that will let you view all images by that user in that group’s pool.
  • Flickr: Add referrer into comments: A small script that will add a small text at the end of your comment saying where you come from.
  • Flickr Group Display: Display group membership next to pictures in your photostream for view and fave groups like topv-111. Helps manage memberships in groups based on number of views and favorites. When viewing your photos sorted by Views or Favorites, the script will determine which groups each photo belongs to, and display the group information next to the photo, to make it easier to determine which photos need to be moved to new groups. Also displays favorite-to-view ratios.

Google

IMDB

  • IMDB Pirated Version: An IMDB.com enhancer for pirates. The script is adding ajax and pseudo-ajax functionality to IMDB so you can search directly from the IMDB page for subtitles, torrents and http (Rapidshare, Megaupload, and other http hosts) movie releases.
  • IMDB – add Rottentomatoes info: Adds info from Rottentomatoes to IMDB title pages.

Microsoft

  • Gamerscore Summary: Changes the Xbox Live Achievement summary list to hide games where both people have no achievements. Also colour codes points to easily highlight who is winning. Also compacts the games to fit more in.
  • Microsoft Points to Currency: Converts the MS Point values on xbox.com to their corresponding dollar or pound value and displays it alongisde.

MySpace

  • Automatic MySpace Media Remover: Removes most media on MySpaces pages including the MySpace Miniplayer, Flash animations and Windows Media. Each media element is replaced by a notification box (in the style of the users MySpace) that allows you to easily toggle its visibility.
  • MySpace – View All Friends+: Adds extra features to the “View All Friends” pages on MySpace. From the friends pages, you can: Send Messages, Add Comments, and View Pictures without having to go through their profile.

News sites

Wikipedia

  • Wikipedia Modified Warning: Shows a warning if an English Wikipedia page has been modified within the last X minutes (default is 5).
  • Wikipedia Auto-Login: Automatically logs you into Wikipedia if Firefox is set to remember your password.
  • wikEd: A full-featured in-browser editor for Wikipedia and other MediaWikis. Based on FCKeditor.
  • Wikipedia undelete: Salvages deleted Wikipedia articles from archive.org, as you encounter them, and shows when and by whom the article was killed.
  • Wikipeida ContribBlock: Adds the Wikimedia (wikipedia, commons…) user’s block logs to their contributions page.

xkcd

Yahoo

Youtube

  • YousableTubeFix: Removes ads and unwanted sections (configurable), allows downloading and resizing videos, displays all comments on video page, expands the description, can prevent autoplay and autodownload, adds a HD (High Definition) select, etc.

Autohotkey scripts

For more on Autohotkey, see my entry, “Introduction to Autohotkey.” Some of these scripts have changed slightly since I wrote that entry.

Go to selection in new tab

;;Firefox: Go to selection in new tab
#g::
   Send, ^c
   IfWinNotExist, ahk_class MozillaUIWindowClass
   {
      RunWait firefox.exe
   }
   IfWinNotActive, ahk_class MozillaUIWindowClass
   {
      WinActivate
   }
   IfWinActive, ahk_class MozillaUIWindowClass
   {
      Send, ^t
      Sleep, 400
      Send, ^v {enter}
   } 
Return

Increment

First, you need to bookmark the increment bookmarklet, and set its keyword to “i” (sans quotes). Then, every time you type “i” into the location bar, the current address is incremented. The real fun comes with runnning this userscript:

;; Increment
^#i::
    IfWinActive, ahk_class MozillaUIWindowClass
    {
	Send {Ctrl Down}l{Ctrl Up}
	Sleep, 50
	Send i{enter}
    }
Return

Which will increment the page when you press (Ctrl)(Windows key)(i). You can use this method for other bookmarklets, as well. For example, Decrement could be (Ctrl)(Windows key)(d).

Save image using [windows]+[right-click]

Largely similar to my final case study in the Introduction to Autohotkey, I’ve tweaked it a little due to some websites having quirky behavior on right-click-save.

;; save image using [windows]+[right-click]
^RButton::
#RButton::
    Random R, 0, 100000 ; get a random number
    ;Msgbox %R%
    MouseGetPos,,,, Control
    IfInString, Control, Internet Explorer
    {
        Send {RButton}s{Enter}
        Sleep, 500
	;WinGetActiveTitle, Title
	;Msgbox, %Title%
        IfWinActive Save Picture
        {
            Send {Enter}{End}%R%{Enter}
	    ;Msgbox Duplicate file!
        }
    }
    IfInString, Control, Mozilla
    {
	Send {RButton}v
        Sleep, 600
	ClipboardOld = %ClipboardAll%
	Clipboard = ; must start off empty
	Send, ^c
	ClipWait, 0.6 ; wait for the clipboard to contain text
        if ErrorLevel ; ClipWait timed out
	{
            return
	}
	if Clipboard = download.php
	{
	    Send {esc}^s
	}
	Send {Enter}
	Clipboard = %ClipboardOld%
        ;Send {RButton}v{Enter}
        Sleep, 600
	;WinGetActiveTitle, Title
	;Msgbox, %Title%
        IfWinActive Save Image
        {
            Send {Enter}{Ctrl Down}{Left}{Ctrl Up}{Left}%R%{Enter}
	    ;Msgbox Duplicate file!
        }
    }
Return

Copy image location

Copies the location (as in http://example.com/image.jpg) of the image the mouse is over, with [Alt]+[Right mouse button].

!RButton::
    MouseGetPos,,,, Control
    IfInString, Control, Mozilla
    {
        Send {RButton}o
    }
Return

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