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But one of the even better things about Firefox is the tremendous number of add-ons that encourage creativity, laziness, and the joy of daily time wasting.
If youre still using the standard version of the worlds most popular open-source browser, its time to customize. There are hundreds of add-ons that can help you make your browser your own. Here are 35 favorite extensions that can make your browser more colorful, more musical, more interesting, and most important more fun.
Firefox add-ons, by category:
1. ColorfulTabs As you might guess, ColorfulTabs turns each of your open browser tabs a different color. It can make it easier to find the tab you want, but mostly it just makes your screen prettylike a rainbow.
2. FoxSaver What do you get when you cross Firefox and a ScreenSaver? FoxSaver, of course. This add-on displays a series of non-offensive images in your browser window when Firefox is inactive. New images are added daily.
3. Tab Effect Want to jazz up the process of switching from one tab to another? This extension gives you a special cube effect every time you switch to a different tab.
4. Firefox Showcase If youve ever wished Firefox had a thumbnails feature like Internet Explorer, Firefox Showcase is for you. It displays miniature versions of all your open tabs in a single tab, window, or sidebar, so that you can easily navigate between them. You can also bookmark, reload, or close multiple sites at once.
5. Snap Shots Snap Shots lets you preview links before you click on them. Simply mouse-over a link to see a thumbnail of the target page before you click on it.
6. STOP in the name of love! The ordinary Stop button is just so ordinary. This Firefox add-on gives you a heart-shaped icon, so you can STOP in the name of love!
7. StumbleUponEver wish you could channel surf on the Internet? This collaborative searching tool is for you. It connects you to some best stuff on the Web and recommends new sites based on your interests.
8. Shareaholic Shareaholic makes it easy to submit links to digg, del.icio.us, facebook, google bookmarks, magnolia, reddit, stumbleupon, and twitter. Or e-mail the page with Bzzster.
9. Yoono While youre browsing, Yoono suggests other sites similar to the one youre viewing. When you find something great, save it to your scrapbook and share it with others.
10. GroovyNotes Why bother with a separate window for instant messages? GroovyNotes lets you IM directly from your browser, and it makes it easy to send links to your friends so that they can see what youre seeing.
11. gTalk Sidebar Use gTalk right from your Firefox sidebar. You can catch up with friends and keep browsing the Internet in the same window.
12. SiteSays Surfing doesnt have to be a solitary experience. SiteSays lets you read others comments on the sites you visit and add your own comments as well. The comments appear in a small window in the corner of Firefox, so they dont take up too much screen space.
13. Gamer Tools This add-on gives you three tools in one: a game server browser, the PunkBuster screenshot browser, and an information bar that shows the status of popular game servers. Currently supported games include Quake, Half-Life, Unreal Tournament, Counter-Strike, and others.
14. Cards Play Solitaire and other single-player card games from your browser. Includes Aces Up, Freecell, Golf, Grounds for Divorce, Pyramid, Spider, and dozens more.
15. PagMan Still miss the good old days of playing PacMan at the arcade while wearing parachute pants with a comb in the back pocket? PagMan brings a minimalist version of PacMan to your browser.
16. Daily Dilbert Daily Dilbert adds a small icon to your browser status bar. Click the icon to see a Dilbert cartoon for the day.
17. Mouse Gestures Too lazy to move your hand from your mouse to your keyboard? Does it exhaust you to move the mouse all the way to the top of the screen? Mouse Gestures lets you execute common commands like page back, opening and closing tabs, and opening links by drawing a particular shape with your mouse.
18. Usage Counter Ever wonder exactly how much time you waste surfing the Internet? Usage Counter will keep track of how much time you spend online and how much time you spend on each site.
19. Addictive Typing Lessons Still using the hunt-and-peck method of keyboarding? The Addictive Typing Lessons extension can teach you to type without looking or help you improve your speed.
20. eQuake Alert Was that a tremor? eQuake Alert displays data from the US Geological Survey every time theres an earthquake. As an added bonus, your browser will also shake in proportion to the intensity of the quake.
21. FoxyTunesFor those who like to listen to music while surfing (and who doesnt), FoxyTunes lets you control your media player right from your browser. It supports all of the most popular players, including WinAmp, iTunes, Yahoo Music Engine, Pandora, Windows Media Player, RealPlayer, and others.
22. Online Music Player
A more bare-bones music player option, Online Music Player plays MP3 files from the Web or your hard drive directly from your browser. Built-in functionality also allows you to display lyrics and create your own music lists.
23. KarClientLove Karaoke? KarClient makes it possible to record yourself singing your favorite tunes and post audio or video files to Ksolo.com. Ksolo provides the lyrics and instrumental tracksyou just sing along.
24. FotoFoxThis add-on from Mozilla makes it easy to select, tag, title and upload pictures to the online photo service of your choice. Currently supported services include Flickr, Tabblo, 23hq, Smugmug, Marela, and Kodak EasyShare Gallery.
25. PicLens PicLens turns your browser into a full-screen slide show. It works great for photo-intensive sites like Flickr, Facebook, Google Images Yahoo Images, Friendster, Picasa Web Albums, and others.
26. SaveImages This handy add-on lets you save all the images on an active tab to a location of your choosing. You can re-name the files and/or alter the size and format of the images if you choose.
27. Send2Cellphone Just right-click and follow the simple instructions to send Web images to your mobile phone. Then you can use the image as your wallpaper or send it to someone else via MMS.
31. FootieFox Keep up with the latest in international soccerer, football. FootieFox provides real-time scores directly to your browser.
32. Video Downloader
32. Video DownloaderDownload the video youre watching or all of the videos on a page with just the click of a button. VideoDownloader supports more than 60 of the most popular video sites, including Youtube, Google Video, iFilm, Metacafe, Dailymotion, Myspace, and many more.
33. Watch YouTube Toolbar See the best YouTube videos with a single click on your toolbar. This add-on quickly connects you to the top viewed, top rated, most discussed this month, top favorites, most recently added, top viewed today, and most discussed today from YouTube.
34. ForecastFoxForecastFox adds weather predictions from Accuweather.com to your Firefox browser. You can customize which information is displayed and even display forecasts for multiple locations.
35. WindFox Be the first to know when the surfs up. WindFox displays wind and air temperature information for your favorite surfing spot on your browser.