8 Firefox Add-Ons to Boost Productivity

    August 27, 2009
    Chris Crum

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.