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12 December, 2004

Extending Firefox

If anyone's vaguely interested, I use Firefox 1.0 with the following extensions, all available from

User Agent Switcher

Sometimes a website objects to Firefox, and claims to be IE-only. However, the objection is usually just an over-zealous browser detection script, and the website itself is entirely usable by Firefox users. This extension simply fools browser detection scripts.

IE View

Ideally, the previous extension would be unnecessary. Less ideally, that extension would allow Firefox into all sites. However, some sites really are IE-only, apparently (I've yet to find one), so IE View, which resides in the right-click context menu, could be useful.
Regretably, my web host's ftp server is temperamental and crashes pretty much every client I've tried, except IE, so I do have to use it once or twice each week. At least this way I don't have to have IE on my 'Start' menu or desktop....

Clone Window

When I open a new tab, I like the content to be a clone of the parent tab, rather than a blank, fresh tab. This extension provides exactly that. As the name suggests, it does the same for new windows, but I don't remember the last time I wanted a new browser window!


I'm not prepared to provide personal details in order to access web content; I won't contribute to customer profiling or market research. Hence, I use this extension, which accesses the database of user-submitted fake usernames and passwords to bypass login pages.
The user interface has improved from the version I was using with Firefox 0.8, now integrating with autocomplete rather than requiring usernames/passwords to be retyped or cut-and-pasted. However, it's initially confusing. Previously, 'Bugmenot' appeared in the right-click context menu anywhere on any page (or was it just login pages? I forget). Now it only appears in the context menu when the mouse pointer is already in the username/password box.

Focus Last Selected Tab

As the name says, when the active tab is closed, focus automatically returns to the last selected tab .


This simply adds 'Close Tab' to the context menu.
I installed this for Firefox 0.8, and unquestioningly installed it again when upgrading to Firefox 1.0, yet I don't think I've ever used it.
Never mind; it's only a 2 kb download, so it might as well stay.


The built-in Firefox search bar accesses Google, but this extension, er, extends it to others. Thirty are installed by default, but I've trimmed that back to six: Google, Amazon UK, eBay UK, the Cambridge dictionary, IMDb and Wikipedia.

All-In-One Gestures

This is a comprehensive package of customisable mouse gestures, rocker navigation, tab and history scrolling, and autoscrolling, but I only use one tiny aspect: when I have multiple tabs open, I like to switch from one to the next (or previous) using the mouse scroll wheel.

Macromedia Flash Player

Not exactly an extension, but worth remembering to install; it's not part of the default Firefox package.

And that's it. Have I missed any good ones? Could I achieve the same results from a different combination of extensions? Let me know!


I use Mini-T, which lets me re-order tabs by dragging and dropping them, FireFTP as a basic FTP client and Web Developer Toolbar for quick validation and HTML debugging.

Posted by Neil T. at December 13, 2004 02:25 PM
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