8 Firefox Add-Ons to Boost Productivity

By: Chris Crum - August 27, 2009

If you use Firefox, you are no doubt aware that there are many add-ons that can enhance your browsing experience. Many of these can make your online life a whole lot easier and save you time. Following are some that I have found particularly useful. Which do you like? Tell us.

1. Fire Gestures

The Fire Gestures add-on allows you to perform different Firefox operations with a simple gesture of the mouse. For example, you can open a new tab by holding a right click and moving left and right from anywhere in the window.

You can perform a lot of functions with different gestures, which are completely customizable via the add-on’s options. You cans set up which gestures you want to perform each operation.


The add-on is similar to other mouse gestures add-ons, but this one is compatible with Firefox 3.5.

2. Add to Search Bar

The Add to Search Bar add-on is incredibly useful if you do a lot of searching in your day-to-day tasks. Instead of having only the few default search engines to choose from, you can right click on any search box on the web and add that to the list of search engines in your search bar.

Add to Search Bar

3. Drag & DropZones

The Drag & DropZones add-on makes the previous add-on even more useful. With this, you can highlight any text on a page and simply drag it to bring up a series of windows – one for each search engine from your search bar. This is also fully customizable. It can be more convenient than going up to the search bar, finding the correct search engine from the pull-down menu, and then searching.

Drag and Dropzones

4. Workaround Bug 489729

Ever since I downloaded version 3.5 of FireFox, I have encountered an extremely annoying issue where something I was doing was somehow taking the tab I was in and sending it to a different window. The problem was, I could not figure out what I was doing to cause this.

Eventually, I was directed to this Workaround Bug add-on, which took care of the problem. It turned out to be that clicking a tab once and then moving your mouse in a downward motion caused a new window to open – something I apparently, inadvertently do a lot.

This add-on allows you to disable this function.

5. IE Tab

The IE tab function allows you to convert the page you’re on to Internet Explorer view. This can be helpful for checking pages to make sure they look ok in both browsers.

Also, when you happen to come across a page with some issues, you can switch over to IE with the click of a button, and see if it works better there.

6. Shareaholic

The Shareaholic button is convenient for those who like to share a lot of content. Basically, you can send any page to any social network of your choosing by right clicking and choosing the one you want to use from the menu. There is also a button that is added to the top of your browser. It is customizable so you can choose your preferred networks.

7. Smart Bookmarks Bar

The Smart Bookmarks Bar is one of my favorites. It eliminates the text from the bookmarks in your bookmarks bar, and leaves only the favicons. This means it frees up a whole lot of space, and you can fit a lot more bookmarks on that bar.

Smart Bookmarks

This way, all of your most-frequented sites can always be no more than a single click away. Just make sure you know your favicons.

8. TooManyTabs

Finally, the TooManyTabs add-on allows you to create multiple rows of tabs. If you frequently have a lot of tabs open, and would prefer to be able to see what they all are, this add-on will be of particular use to you. You can always send specific tabs to different rows, which can also be useful.

Wrapping Up

There are many add-ons available, and I’m sure I have barely scratched the surface of ones that can contribute to your productivity. What are your favorite add-ons? Share them here.

Chris Crum

About the Author

Chris CrumChris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

View all posts by Chris Crum
  • http://www.ThevirtualAsst.com Michelle Mangen

    Thanks so much for sharing this round-up of your recommended FireFox add-ons. I added a few of the ones you mentioned.

    I also love the one for Feedly – as it is super at saving time when RT’ing articles on Twitter that others have tweeted. :-)

    As a Virtual Assistant I am always on the look-out for cool new tools that will help me get more done in less time. Your tips here have helped me achieve that!

    Thanks again!

    Michelle Mangen

    • Chris Crum

      Good to hear. Don’t thank me. Thank the developers who created the add-ons.

  • Guest

    you should check out also

  • http://www.CreareCommunications.co.uk Adrian

    Nice one Chris. Firefox is my favorite browser since been converted from the ever crashing IE! Going to check out cooliris, and similarweb at there website.

  • http://www.pedrocarbo.com/ psoriasis treatment

    I would add like to add 2 –
    text link (opens text links on double click) – very useful.


  • http://www.zalet.com/ resveratrol supplements

    a cool list.
    Thanks for this.

  • http://asiteable.com G.D. Brown

    “Context Search” is one of the more handy extensions I use. It works in conjunction with your Search Bar.

    Simply highlight any word, or text, on a web page, then right click. A “Search For” will appear in the menu, showing all your saved SE’s in a drop down menu. Just move your mouse to the SE you want and click. It will open with the search results.

    Easy huh?

  • greb

    AutoPager! Saves time on clicking page 2, 3, 4, 5, well….you get the idea 😀

  • http://www.proniit.com Dalesh Kowlesar

    I like FireBug and SEO Quake a lot. They produce high efficiency for design and optimization.

  • http://www.Tribal-Sports-Wear.net Cheap Shirts

    Well if they keep up the great work and expansion of their browser platform, the might just get me to starting browsing our blank t-shirts and apparel using Firefox instead of IE.

  • http://kanthaidecor.com John

    Thanks the IE tab is a great tool for site building ! The site builder I use works best using Firefox but this allows me to quickly preview pages in IE mode also….Great way to immediately see if you have a cross browser issue.

  • http://www.seorankings.com Wezley

    Thanks for the great list, I made great use of a couple of these right away!

  • http://www.cheapoverseasproperty.co.uk/ Property for sale in Altinkum

    I love the SEO Book add on. Useful to check your keyword rankings, check on your competition, your links, when google last cached your page etc etc. Page ranks etc. Will try and find the link too download.

  • http://ana-3rby.blogspot.com/2009/03/firefox-add-ons.html Yasser Abo El Ella

    Thanks for sharing Chris, and sure thanks for any developer who make any of this add-ons .
    my favorites:

    -Pdf Download


    • Chris Crum

      I do also use TwitterFox on my home machine from time to time. I’m not sure this helps with productivity though :)

  • http://www.SEOPPCPlus.com Debbie

    I love all the SEO Add-Ons. Don’t know what I would do without them.

  • http://www.tafoukte.ma/ Fares

    also there is some great Add-ons i used it Like
    FireFtp : to connect to your ftp transfer and download from your ftp host

    FlashBlock : Replace flash Object by a button you can click to view them

    Thanks all

  • http://www.yourperfectbodyguaranteed.com Herbalife Today

    Great list. Will defiantly be using some of these add-ons. Like the idea of the shareaholic add-on. That will really come in handy. Great work

  • http://www.earringsforever.com Earrings

    Used to use IE tab before but it just kept on crashing and sometimes i could not see errors on it as oppose to the real IE browser. If they perfect the program I’d definitely use this again.

  • http://www.jimmysun.net Jimmy

    Hi Chris, great list you have there, some of them I never heard of and am going to try 😀

    Anyway, about the Smart Bookmarks Bar, you can achieve the same without using any add-ons, just right click on the bookmark on your bookmark bar, then remove any text from the “Name” field, then it will only show the favicon. One downside though, when you hover it with your mouse, the bookmark’s name won’t be displayed, it will display the URL instead.

  • http://www.acewebdesign.com.au Web Design Adelaide

    I thought I had every plugin imaginable until I read this post. I ended up downloading 3 new ones that look awesome.

    Thank you so much

  • Prab

    Good one. I badly needed the IE tab!!

  • http://hera-ku.blogspot.com Seorang Blogger

    I’m sure, i just Know it,, there some SEO tools from mozilla sir?

  • http://www.ecotao.com Laurence

    After evolving through Netscape to the latest Mozilla Firefox as a loyal user, perhaps 12 years or so! I have uninstalled and dumped Mozilla. It pushes my page file history usage up by around 400 Mb and this has not been fixed, even in the latest version. This would slow my computer. Forcing Mozilla to closed would cause an immediate decrease of 300 to 400 Mb in page file usage. I also reinstalled Windows recently and the same bug occurred with a clean install. I also hated the recent bookmarks showing in the Google toolbar on a new page. Also all that bookmarks stuff opening on a new tab dramatically slowed my work, waiting for it to all download! Finally, I gave up – a serious matter after so many years. Now I am using Seamonkey, but need to find something new . . . Chrome had no menu I could find . . . could not even print or file save!

  • Guest

    Even though Opera has had gestures for a long time, it’s nice to see Firefox catch up fianlly with Fire Gestures.

  • http://madschool.net marsu

    Nice Chris..
    I use Open IT Online too, and IE Tab? i dont need one :)

  • http://www.associatedcontent.com/bridgetidelaney Bridget Ilene Delaney

    I ALWAYS use Colorful Tabs – https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1368 – as it helps to be able to keep track of the tabs.

    Then, Ad Block Plus – https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1865 – is COMPLETELY awesome, so I don’t have to see those Internet ads and don’t accidentally click on them.

    Download status bar – https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/26 – gets rid of that pesky download window and puts the download status into the bottom bar of the web browser

  • Guest

    ScreenGrab! is a great add-on.

  • Tim Golding

    Firebug nuff said

  • http://www.AskJamesHolmes.com James Holmes

    Chris –

    I have tested and retested Explorer, Firefox, and Google Chrome and for speed, reliability, and fewest faults, Firefox is my choice hands down. I am always interested in add ons that will enhance my experience. Thank you for these recommendations, I will check them out.


  • http://www.billeo.com/page/homepage.jsp?sitename=Billeo Lisa

    Nice list you’ve there. My favorite add-on is Billeo ( https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/12715 ). It

  • http://www.cdndesignstudio.com Multimedia Development

    Thanks for sharing. I have liked all the addons of the firefox. Firefox is the best browser I have ever used. I am using its firebug and SEO Quake addons.

  • http://www.heldigselv.dk HelDigSelv

    I have been using Firefox for a bit of time naw, and the simple fact that it can be built to meet my need with plug-ins is so helpful.

    I have been using plug-ins for SEO and for search, as well as bookmarking and other cool stuff.

    Thanks for giving the attention to the winner of the Browser programs.

  • http://myxlife.sosblog.com/myxLife-b1/Got-a-problem-with-your-PC-b1-p4.htm Ara

    Yes, Firefox is very convenient and have cool add-ons to install. You can choose any of the add-ons that you prefer. What I like the most is the Downthemall. I usually use it when downloading a file or a mp3 from any site. Its really fast I don’t need to wait long. Well thank you for bringing up the other add-ons of firefox. It’s cool indeed!

  • http://www.la-na.net/vb almajd

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  • http://www.BatikAndHandicrafts.com BatikAndHandicrafts.com

    I think TooManyTabs would be useful for me ..:)

  • http://www.bikeshopcastlehill.com.au Home Solar Power Systems

    I am using Firefox and it is really wonderful. The add-ons are marvelous. By this article, still I can boost the productivity of my Firefox. Thanks a lot for the information

  • Jason

    Instead of the smart bookmark bar – you can just click ‘properties’ on the bookmark button (on the bar) and then delete the text. Presto! Button only!


  • http://www.youtube.com/user/mohamedelewa25 mohamedelewa

    I like the internet radio toolbar that contains a search web ,facebook, twitter, sport websites,games, Email notification, timer or clock,words,media player, tv, and weather

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/mohamedelewa25 mohamedelewa

    thank you for your great toolbar, I like your toolbar, I want to thank the developer whom introduce this add- ons .another time thank you.