Firefox Add-ons for Productivity

It’s difficult to imagine working on the web without Mozilla’s Firefox and its bounty of fantastic, community-contributed add-ons. Everyone knows about Firebug and a myriad of other add-ons that have cut development and debugging time by huge percentages. But even if you aren’t a coder, there are some fantastic, lesser-known add-ons that will that boost your productivity by leaps and bounds. Here are some of my favorites:

BBCodeXtra: WYSIWYG’s generally suck and entering html markup into text fields is one of those mind-numbing tasks that can wreak havoc if you forget to close a tag. BBCodeXtra adds common HTML / XHTML tags to your right-click, freeing you to focus on your spelling and grammar.

Snap Links Plus: How many hours of your life have you lost right clicking on a list of links and opening them in new tabs? Snap Links Plus allows you to click and drag a box around a section of a page and then loads any selected links into new tabs or windows. Make sure you get version 1.1 here, not the experimental version listed under the add-ons portal, which wreaks havoc on your contextual menus.

Download Them All: Sometimes you just want to download a bunch of attachments and not the entire page. Sometime you need a quick copy of certain sections of a site and not the full monte. And in some cases, (we won’t mention any names, Basecamp), you are prevented from getting a backup of your own assets. Download them all will allow you to customize and download exactly what you need, at the depth you need – and forgo the hour spent digging through customer flames on the support forum.

Menu Editor: Maybe your workflow would be a lot smoother if you had certain add-ons in right-click and others filed under Tools. Unfortunately, your add-ons have made that decision for you. Fear not! Menu Editor allows you to customize your menus so you have what you need, where you want it.

Total Validator: There’s a ton of validator tools out there but this one is a one-stop shop: it validates HTML, accessibility, links and spell-checks. It provides a desktop app that works locally and integrates with the Firefox extension. Note: It currently doesn’t run if your site has an Apache password on it. The developer is currently reworking the advanced version that allows for that.

When you have a moment, check out Mozilla’s QA site, developed by Advomatic, and participate in improving Firefox.