There’s no question that one of the premier features of the Firefox web browser is extensions. Since Firefox’s inception they’ve been a part of what differentiated it. And even now, when every major browser on the market offers some kind of plugin architecture, the depth and quality of Firefox’s add-on catalog still reigns supreme.
The best part of Firefox’s add-on community is its continued dedication to creating new and exciting things. We’ve rounded up 20 Firefox extensions you may not have heard of before. Perhaps a couple of perennial favorites made our list too, but for the most part we’ve culled together some of the latest and greatest that the add-on community has to offer.
by Diigo Inc.
Much like the Mac app Skitch, Awesome Screenshot lets you take a screenshot, and then annotate it with circles, boxes, lines, doodles, or even text. Once you’re satisfied with you creation, you can either save it as an image to your desktop, or share it with with a public URL.
Tab Scope is a simple, but extremely useful utility. Just hover your mouse over any tab, and get a floating thumbnail preview of the contents of that tab.
by Apture, Inc.
The power of the Web is having copious amounts of information at your fingertips, right? Apture Highlights takes that to a new level. With this extension installed, highlighting a word or phrase gives you a pop-over window of background information pulled from your favorite sources across the Internet.
If you’ve got Chrome envy after checking out how efficient having a combination address and search box, then InstantFox is the answer to you’ve been looking for. Using short one letter keywords you can configure what site you’d like to query, followed by your search terms. Simple, and efficient.
FoxySpider is your own personal web crawler. Cool, right? Give it a URL and something to extract and it goes to town. It’ll even display its results in nice gallery format, perfect for images, videos, or music.
If you spend a lot of time in Firefox, and want an integrated note-taking system, look no further than QuickFox Notes. Great if you need somewhere to jot down brief notes while designing a website or scouring the Net for research. If QuickFox Notes is right up your alley, take a look at the release notes, there are a lot of great features to explore.
Status-4-Evar is a HUD (heads up display) especially for Firefox 4. With the new UI, some of the previously prominent status bars didn’t make the cut. If any of them were mission critical for you, then Status-4-Evar will get them back up and running for you. Or maybe you just want to add some more status bars, ‘cause lets be honest, who doesn’t like a nice HUD?
We all sign up for stuff on the Internet. But we may not always want that new web 2.0 startup to have our email address. If you’re a touch on the paranoid side, or just can’t stand the mere sound of the word spam, Less Spam, please is for you. It lets you generate a real disposable email address on the fly.
Ok, I admit it, I love fantasy football. Any of my fellow sports nerds will agree, snapping up the latest and greatest players can be a full-time job. Pickemfirst is here to help, offering news, tips, and alerts for the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL.
by Mozilla Labs
This one comes with a little word of warning from Mozilla Labs. It’s still in the experimental stage, but I think it’s worth the risk. A different take on the combining of an address bar with a search bar, backed by intense user studies and research, the AwesomeBar HD is definitely worth a try.
A different take on adding toolbar icons to Firefox, the Vertical Toolbar extension is a nice approach for those who need lot of buttons in their UI.
A must-have for any frequent Grooveshark listener. This displays the currently playing song in the bottom of the Firefox window, with playback controls as well. If you’re on a Mac, it even includes Growl support, informing you on the newest track being played.
by Geoff Lanjow
Tab Badge pulls in unread counts from popular websites and adds them to their respective tabs. Very handy if you use services like Facebook, Twitter, or Gmail for communications.
by Mozilla Labs
Don’t let the name fool you, there’s no speech recognition going on here. Instead, this add-on autocompletes what you begin to type into the address bar. Helps you get to your most frequently visited sites even faster.
Always a favorite, AdBlock Plus is the go to extension for blocking ads from your browsing experience. It’s really the best around in my opinion, without question.
If you find yourself archive lots of web-based video, Video Download Helper can expedite that task. Pulling in videos from all the big sites, it’ll make your life a lot easier, trust me.
Replicated the Top Sites feature from Safari, or Speed Dial from Opera, FoxTab does it with some 3D pinache too. If you’re into the whiz-bang super cool eye candy, you can’t pass up FoxTabs.
Automation. That’s the name of the game. iMacros turns Firefox into a browser-based automation tool. Even if you don’t think you need it right now, keep it in your backpocket, it’ll come in really handy someday.
by Jan Dittmer
Perhaps more of a niche add-on, ShowIP gives you the IP address of the current site that you’re visiting. But if offers more than that. You can get more detailed information like whois, netcraft, and more.
by Mozilla Labs
I couldn’t do a roundup of Firefox extensions without mentioning Test Pilot. With it you can help Mozilla Labs in their on going research products. You get to have a hand in shaping what the next version of Firefox becomes. If you want to be on the absolute cutting edge, there’s nothing better than Test Pilot.
Ok, so even with this nice long list, I’m sure we missed something. If your favorite extension didn’t make it, tell us in the comments. Go ahead, blow our minds!