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Thomas Claburn
Thomas Claburn
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Image Gallery: Top 12 Firefox Add-Ons

There are thousands of Firefox add-ons. Did we test them all? Nope! But, these 12 are the ones you need to make the most of your Web browsing.

Looking at and sharing images online doesn't have to be a drag. Cooliris offers a visually elegant way to find, view, and share pictures and videos. It can be launched any time using a mouseover icon, browser toolbar icon, or desktop icon.

Every time you block an ad, an online publication dies. Actually, it's not that bad. If Web sites insist on using obnoxious ads, you can insist on blocking them. More than 800,000 people download Adblock Plus every week. That should tell you something.

Flash cookies, otherwise known as Local Shared Objects, represent one of many privacy threats online. Get rid of them with BetterPrivacy. You can also get rid of them using software like Flush, but why not prevent them from being installed in the first place?

Firefox's native Download Manager is okay, but it's yet another window. Being able to manage file downloads from a status bar in the browser is a much better experience. With features like single-click pause and resume and optional virus checking upon completion, Download Statusbar makes browsing better.

Hyperwords lets you conduct queries and operations on any selected word on a Web page. It's far easier than copying and pasting, or typing, words into Google. And it's not just for search queries; it handles measurement conversions, translations, and sharing.

Mousing about and clicking online can be pretty repetitive at times. iMacros lets you automate those tasks. It can help fill out forms, automate uploading and downloading, siphon data into CSV files, or assist with Web testing.

Mozilla's Personas may not enhance the way your browser functions, but their ability to change the way Firefox looks matters. Firefox is all about user control, so take the reins and redecorate. You only have about 35,000 options to choose from.

There are plenty of social ways to surf the Web, but none are quite as much fun as StumbleUpon. Use the StumbleUpon add-on to find, rate, and share Web pages. StumbleUpon does personalization right by involving people in the process.

Web browsing in Firefox often involves a lot of tabs. To make managing those tabs easier, try Tab Mix Plus. It provides more options than you probably need for controlling tab behavior. But part of the fun of browser customization is overkill.

As its name suggests, Twitter bar allows you to send tweets from your browser's address bar. It also allows you to post the URL of the page you're looking at with a single click. Better still, it can be used to search Twitter.

The Web Developer extension is a collection of tools that are useful to designers and programmers of Web pages. It includes tools for dealing with CSS files, images, forms, cookies and strings. It's something no Web developer should be without.

Xmarks allows you to synchronize your bookmarks with any other Xmarks-equipped browser. It stores copies of your browser bookmarks online so you can access them from any Internet-connected computer with a Web browser, whether Xmarks is installed or not. Xmarks also adds extra information about Web sites to search results pages.

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