My Firefox 3

So I’ve been living with Firefox 3 for a week or so now and I’ve pretty much got it under control. Here’s what my current browser window looks like.


As you can see it’s fairly customised, mainly to cut down on space and makes use of some rather nifty extensions.

Adblock Plus
Mainly to stop those really annoying ones that play music or make a sound when your mouse passes over them.

Better Gmail 2
Used to slim down Gmail and hide some of the clutter from that interface. Works well with the Gmail Redesigned skin, created by Globex Designs and used through the Stylish extension.

Helps you differentiate between tabs by colouring them based on the website icon. Also fades out the inactive tabs.

Download Statusbar
Replaces the Downloads window with a statusbar at the foot of the window. Configured properly this will show the download as it progresses, then disappears when the download is complete.

Extension List Dumper
Installed to get the list for this blog post! Simply outputs a list of the currently installed extensions. Configurable to show URL, versions and more.

Fast Dial
Opera fans will recognise this and I’m already a fan since discovering it! Once installed it replaces the about:blank page (the default page loaded when you create a new tab). You can add links to this page, and it will grab a screenshot to give you a graphical bookmark. Highly configurable, I keep mine to a 3 x 3 square.

If you look at my screenshot, you’ll see three smaller tabs on the lefthand side on the tab bar which show this in action. Simply put, this extension cuts down the with of the tab to just show the “favicon” (the little website icon). You can add any website to the it’s list, and it will automatically shrink the tab size. Handy for those of us that keep a couple of tabs open all the time.

A must have if you do any kind of web design or programming work.

Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer
I ditched this extension in favour of Google Bookmark Sync but Foxmarks doesn’t include session syncing, so not sure whether I’ll stick with it. I don’t really use bookmarks all that heavily. Mozilla Weave may replace this in the future (session syncing was basically a way to work between two browsers on different machines, closing the browser on my home PC would prompt the extension to remember which websites I had open so, when I opened a browser on my work PC, those same websites would be reloaded).

Gmail Notifier
Notifies me when I get new emails in my Gmail account.

Allows you to run website specific scripts to dynamically alter the website. Not something I use heavily, at present I only have a script called Gmail Signature Float installed.

Morning Coffee
An excellent little extension which adds a coffee cup icon to your menu bar. You can then add any website to it’s list and, with one click, open them all in one go. Simple and effective.

PDF Download
I use Foxit Reader to handle PDFs so prefer to download them rather than have them try to load within the browser. This extension captures the clicking of any PDF file and allows you to download the PDF, view it or convert it to HTML. Highly configurable.

Personal Menu
You’ll notice in my screenshot I have no menu. Instead, next to the home button, there is a button which gives me access to all of the menu options. This allows me to have the address and search bars up in the same area as those toolbar buttons. Right click this area and select Customise, and you can drag things where you want.

Searchbar Autosizer
Simple enough this one. As you type in the search bar, it will automatically expand to fit your search query. Useful if you are stringing together longer searches.

Smart Bookmarks Bar
Back to my screenshot and you’ll see a row of icons just above the tabs, they are bookmarks placed into the standard Bookmark area. This extension hides bookmarks names and only shows the website icons (favicons). Bookmark names are displayed on mouse over (the two bookmarks on the far left of the bar don’t have these as they are scripts).

Used to apply CSS styles to a website or web application. I use this for Gmail and Google Calendar, both of which have some rather crisp, dark, skins greated by Globex Designs. There are hundreds of different skins available.

Web Developer
A must have if you do any kind of web design or programming work.

So, that’s the list of extensions I currently have. I’ve tried a few others but ditched them to try and keep things simple. As ever, YMMV when it comes to installing and running these, but most of the extensions listed above have been about for a few years now so are pretty stable.

And finally a couple of hints and hacks that I’ve found. Same deal here, these make Firefox work in a way that I want, YMMV:

Right, that’s quite enough of that. I’ve got an iPhone to play with you know…

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Long time blogger, Father of Jack, geek of many things, random photographer and writer of nonsense.

Doing my best to find a balance.

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cool! I just recently upgraded to firefox 3, too..

Thanks. Once I stop playing with the iPhone I’ll be installing some of these.

Cheers for the Foxmarks link – I’ll see how it goes with that. I never used to use the session browsing sync, it was just a decent bookmark sync I was really needing, since Google gave up on their one.

I find it quite surprising how different we are when it comes to extensions though – I think I only use a couple of the same ones you do (Web Dev toolbar, Firebug (which annoys me more than it gets used) and AdBlock Plus) – and the rest are very different.

Still, that’s what makes life fun.

Chris says:

Hey Gordon,

There’s a beta version of PDF Download out that adds a new feature to convert the current web page to PDF. Very cool.

You can signup here if you’re interested ->

Very similar to your “Personal Menu” extension, I use the Hide Menubar extension. You just press Alt to make the menu reappear.

You need IETab. IETab is quite magical. Single click to change a page to load in an embedded IE, and another click to change back again.

izb – I’ve not needed it yet which is why it isn’t loaded. Thankfully the websites I visit all work nicely in Firefox.

Pete, will check that one out, cheers.

Some crackers here, Gordon, and some new ones for me. Wish fastdial loaded a bit quicker though…there’s about a 1 second pause before it fires in for me…

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