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Firefox Add-ons: Location and Installation

Finding and Installing Firefox Add-ons

What is a Firefox add-on?

Add-ons allow Firefox users to extend the capabilities of the Firefox web browser. The Mozilla foundation, the organization behind Firefox, manages a central repository of trustworthy, approved add-ons, but does not create them. As with all things coming from the internet, approach Firefox add-ons with a certain amount of caution.

How can I find and download add-ons?

You can access the Add-on manager from within Firefox by going to Tools→Add-ons. The Add-on manager allows you to:

  • search for and install addons
  • update addons
  • uninstall addons

It also provides information about browser plugins (Flash player, Adobe Reader, etc.), and provides quick access to browser personas and themes.

You can also visit Mozilla's add-ons site for a more comprehensive overview of a particular add-on, including user reviews and ratings, the add-on author's name and contact information, and a detailed description.

How do I install add-ons?

Open the add-on manager or visit the site. Search for an add-on, using words that succinctly describe the add-on's function. When you've found something, click the 'Add to Firefox' button, which appears in the add-on manager and on the site.

What has changed in Firefox 4+?

The add-ons search, installation and configuration functions no longer appear in a pop-up dialog, but on a special page that appears directly in the browser. You can reach the add-ons page by:

  • clicking on Tools→Add-ons, just like before
  • typing 'about:addons' into the URL bar

See figs 3–5 below.

Which add-ons are best?

The ones that make your web-browsing more productive, more enjoyable, or both.

That said, the author likes:

  • Easy Youtube Downloader adds a link to Youtube video pages allowing you to download the video in a variety of formats.
  • Firebug helps the web developer debug web pages, Javascript, and a lot more.
  • Adblock Plus lets you focus on a page's content instead of its ads.
  • Down-them-all manages and accelerates downloads.
  • FlashGot, when used in tandem with Down- them-all, makes downloading an entire page's worth of images, pdfs, mp3s, etc., simple.
  • ImageHost Grabber allows you to download pages worth of images hosted on sites like ImageShack, but not from Flickr.
  • When other addons don't work, maybe a Greasemonkey script will do!

Find add-ons through either the browser or Mozilla's add-ons site.

Clicking the 'Add to Firefox...' button downloads and installs the add-on. You'll need to restart Firefox to begin using it.

The browser add-on interface has changed in Firefox 4+.

Add-on discovery in Firefox 4+.

Add-on configuration and uninstallation functions in Firefox 4+.

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