Useful Firefox 3 add-on extensions for the ‘common’ user:

Before I write this post, I want to make it clear that this is not like some other top-ten add-on extensions list. Neither is this a must-have list. Actually I personally feel there is no such thing as a must-have list. It just depends upon the need of the user.
However the add-ons on list which I have made here are quite handy and helpful for the common Firefox user and not meant for needs of a web-developer or some other advanced user.

So here we go…

1. Interclue:
This is a link augmentation tool. In simpler terms, it lets you view what is behind a link without having to actually open the link in another tab. Interclue will open a small window where you can see what the link looks like before opening it … it is highly customisable and can be turned off for specific sites or for a specific session too. Small icons appear on moving our mouse over links to warn you about dead links, Malware or Phishing Sites, etc, and for any valid links Interclue provides compact link previews, relevant extra information and useful next action buttons.
From the developer:

“Here are some sites that Interclue works really well on: Most search engines, and local site searches. Google Reader. Bloglines. Gmail. Del.icio.us, Digg, other social bookmarking sites. Bugzilla and Trac ticketing systems. Most news sites. Almost any given blog. If you’re a knowledge worker, don’t forget to try it on your intranet. Interclue generates page summaries inside the browser rather than getting them from a server, so there is no privacy risk involved in using it on your intranet. Interclue is fast, smooth, and easy to use.”

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/4999

2. Webmail notifier:
Webmail Notifier automatically checks your webmail accounts and notifies the number of unread emails and new mails … it fit nicely in one corner of my status-bar and I just need to move my cursor over it to check the number of new/unread mail!!!
It supports Gmail, yahoo, hotmail, daum, naver, empas and nate.
I use it for my yahoo account since it is cumbersome to have the yahoo-mails checked through my e-mail client ‘thunderbird’.
download webmail-notifier:
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/4490

3. Down-Them-All:
The first and only download manager/accelerator built inside Firefox! The mass downloader for Firefox. However, if already use Internet Download Manager (IDM), you won’t need this one embedded to your browser.
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/201

4. Ad-block ‘Plus’:
This will ruin my ad-sense’ earnings but still… :-) … Adblock plus is good for if you get annoyed by ads…actually I myself have this one installed and it works quite well.
Pages load faster and appear cleaner.
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1865

5. ColorfulTabs:
Surely you want this one in your browser. As the name suggests, it colours every Tab in different colour and makes them easy to distinguish while beautifying the overall appeal of the interface… And if u are like “ i-open-20-tabs-at-a-time-and-have-a-hard-time-locating-them” kind of surfer…then don’t miss it because you can even choose to colour the tabs according to your choice !!
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1368

6. ScribeFire:
Ok you can skip this one if you are not into blogging … but u must definitely check this out otherwise …. Its a fully featured blog editor that integrates with your Firefox web browser and lets you easily post your blogs…
Well if I were to have a browser with only one add-on allowed [as stupid as it may sound], I would choose scribefire … because it is the best offline bogging tool I have… I have written this blog on scribefire itself…. even inserted the images while I was offline and then I had to connect to the internet just to post my completed blog.
It provides a “lot” of features … actually all the features you can think of while writing your posts offline … if your internet is not free or too costly then this is the best blogging tool for you… just type out your post while you are offline and then you need to connect to the net just to post your blog complete with all the pictures and videos added.
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1730

7. All in one sidebar:
All-in-One Sidebar (AiOS) is an award-winning sidebar control, inspired by Opera’s. It lets you quickly switch between sidebar panels, view dialog windows such as downloads, extensions, and more in the sidebar, or view source or websites in the sidebar.
Comprehensive Sidebar management and enhancement…has a lot of options and can be set on
auto-hide mode too.
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1027

8. IE tab:
Ofcourse there are few occasions where you want to use internet explorer to open some particular site … with this addon internet explorer can be opened as a tab of ff3 itself without you having to open i.e. in another window … saves time and provides easy browsing by embedding Internet Explorer in tabs of Mozilla/Firefox…
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1419

9. pdf download:
PDF Download helps encounter PDF files on the Web. Whenever you click on a PDF file, PDF Download lets you know before trying to open it, and then offers you choices such as downloading, opening, or converting it straight to HTML.
Developer :

PDF Download helps to stop PDF files crashing your browser, stop PDF files taking forever to open and make PDF files download like other files in Firefox.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/427

10. All-in-One-Gestures:
This extension allows you to execute common commands using mouse gestures, rocker navigation, scroll wheel navigation and page…
It does simplify browsing but needs little time to get used to
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/downloads/file/31871/all-in-one_gestures-0.19.1-fx.xpi

11. NoScript: (Security tool)
It speeds up your browsing by stopping the big scripts loading up, and can improve your anonymity and security. It allows you to selectively disables browser scripting (JavaScript)…Allow active content to run only from sites you trust.
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/722

12. Sage Too:
Newer version of the popular RSS manager …Sage 1 was a basic and lightweight RSS Reader and Atom feed aggregator extension for Mozilla Firefox.
The newer version has a lot more to offer and the detail is presented nicely on the download page. Worth trying out…
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/7263

13. Del.icio.us and stumble upon:

‘Delicious Bookmarks’ is the official Firefox add-on for del.icio.us, the world’s leading social bookmarking service. It integrates your del.icio.us bookmarks and tags with Firefox and keeps them in sync for easy, convenient access.
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/3615

With StumbleUpon you can also connect with friends and share your discoveries, meet people that have similar interests, and check out what other people are discovering. StumbleUpon discovers web sites based on your interests, learns what you like and brings you more.
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/138

14. Flagfox:
Well if you care to know about the location of the server of the website you are visiting, then flagfox displays a country flag in the status bar depicting the location of the current website’s server, and provides quick access to detailed location and webserver information.
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/5791

15. Firefox 3 universal uploader:
As the name says, this firefox extension allows you to upload/download files from any website using a friendly interface. Upload files/photos/videos to Flickr, Picasa, Youtube, Box.net, Facebook, Webshots, OmniDrive, SME Storage and Google Docs in this version.You can add multiple files to the queue at a time. Extension will take care of uploading them for you.
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/4724
New Firefox 3.0 compatible version is posted on http://www.fireuploader.com

16. Hyperwords:
Select any word or words on any web page. A menu pops-up. Choose from any one of the many powerful commands. Customizable menu and behavior.
Select any text on any page for one-click access to References, Searches, Conversions, Translations, Email, Blogging & more.
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1941

17. Video Download Helper:
The easy way to download and convert Web videos from hundreds of YouTube-like sites. This works also for audio and picture galleries.
DownloadHelper is a tool for web content extraction. Its purpose is to capture video and image files from many sites. Just surf the Web as you are used to, when DownloadHelper detects it can do something for you, the icon gets animated and a menu allows you to download files by simply clicking an item. For instance, if you go to a YouTube page, you’ll be able to download the video directly on your file system. It also works with MySpace, Google videos, DailyMotion, Porkolt, iFilm, DreamHost and others.
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/3006

18. Flashblock:
Never be annoyed by a Flash animation again! Blocks Flash so it won’t get in your way, but if you want to see it, just click on it.
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/433

Finally ……
The add-ons certainly do add a great flavour to browsing but one should try to keep only those add-ons in their browser which they really require and not just because someone says they are good. They need to be carefully chosen to give the user maximum ease in browsing. For instance, if you are not comfortable with the sidebar, there is no point keeping it. Too many add-ons slow down your browser and it takes a long time to start. Moreover it can give your browser a messy look.

Other then extension add-ons you also have lots of Firefox themes add-ons to choose from and also plugins which are installed as and when they are required.

Happy browsing!!

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