How I am using Firefox

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I am using Firefox as web-browser on all platforms I am working (Windows XP, Linux, OS X).

This entry describes the things I recommend for Firefox like extensions/add-ons and some tricks.

You can get all those extensions on the FireFox-website (if no other source is mentioned).


Plug-Ins, Add-ons, Extensions

del.icio.us Bookmarks


Best. Bookmark. Solution. Ever.

Please do not try the older ones like the one from del.icio.us itself. I am very keen of this solution for synchronizing my personal bookmarks ("[x] do not share") and my shared bookmarks with all my computer accounts and all my friends. Usability and functionality are very good solved with this. My top favorite FireFox extension. Get the right version here: https://addons.mozilla.org/de/firefox/addon/3615

Delicious is even able to provide access to so called search-bookmarks: e.g. go to google.com and klick the secondary mouse button on the search field. Then you get "Add a keyword for the search in Delicious...". Then you type into the "keyword"-field a keyword. I took "g" for google. Now I am able to search for something in Google just by typing "g something" in the addressbar (without loading the google.com-page in advance!).

More examples for search-bookmarks are described further down at the section where I describe the keyword-feature of Firefox own bookmarks. But I already transferred all keyword-bookmarks only to delicious because with this method, I do not have to create my search-bookmarks on every computer seperately.

What a nifty feature!


Adblock removes advertisments, where they distract my attention from the content of the pages. It uses regular expressions to match the addresses of the ads, so it is really good in not showing things from ad-servers. The ads are not just blanked out - Adblock removes them also from the layout in order to spare you from white boxes.



NoScript can deactivate scripting (Java, Flash, JavaScript, ...) generally, showing a warning if they appear on sites and you can either activate them for a special site temporarily or forever. Very handy to me. Can be important for Windows-user in terms of security.


TabMixPlus gives me more control over the handling with tabs in FireFox. Before FireFox 2.0, it was my method to get session management. Many configuration options. Addon: I am using TabMixPlus-Session-management also with FireFox 2.0 because there are more options for it.



Greasemonkey is an extension to FireFox extensions - you can install Greasemonkey-scripts in order to get more functionality.

I am using Greasemonkey currently for two scripts called "Heise Trollex v0.32" and heise-forum-navigator.

Heise Trollex does not display entries in the heise-discussions that are rated as bad. Those postings are mainly troll postings and they are annoying to me.

heise-forum-navigator is very handy to surf through the user forum of heise using your keyboard instead of mouse. You're simply faster.


Flashblock does a very simple but important thing to me: instead of starting to play a Flash-animation whenever I visit such a page, it shows a decent play-button. So distracting flash animations such as advertisment are not played. And whenever there is an animation which I want to see, I just have to push this play-button. I love it!


BugMeNot (available only from http://roachfiend.com/) is a funny extension that lets you log in to a lot of webpages without having an own account.

Friendly people are doing these annoying account-creating-stuff and sending those john-doe-account-informations to BugMeNot. After that, other people can enter those accounts by using this FireFox extension.

Very handy for stupid webforums, where I just don't want to get myself an account for some quick postings.

Auto Copy

Auto Copy is very simple: it just copies everything you select with the mouse into the clipboard. Handsome on systems like Windows, where it fixes this behaviour like I was used to in X11 (Linux).


VideoDownloader enables you to download those cool videos from sites like YouTube. Nothing more, nothing less ;-)

20070804: zod proposed http://www.keepvid.com as a replacement and as far as I saw, this is better than the plugin.



Stylish is more for experts among you ;-)

With Stylish, you can overlay your own CSS-styles over the ones from websites. For example when you read your favourite news-page which has a dark background color and too narrow textformatting, you can override these things with your own CSS-commands.

I am reading http://www.heise.de/newsticker and with Stylish, I can hide the two vertical bars on the left and on the right side (with advertisment and other things), disable some advertisment on the bottom, choose more decent font-sizes for headlines and narrower boundaries for the main text.

Some example-css for heise.de can be downloaded here: http://www.Karl-Voit.at/temp/stylish-heise.css

On http://www.ORF.at I change the background-color to white, the textwidth to a bigger size and disable some other things.

My first version for this css can be found here: http://www.Karl-Voit.at/temp/stylish-orf.css Note: this CSS is not optimized - so just don't be picky on the content quality g


For the paranoids of us: http://mrl.nyu.edu/~dhowe/trackmenot/ "TrackMeNot is a lightweight browser extension that helps protect web searchers from surveillance and data-profiling by search engines. It does so not by means of concealment or encryption (i.e. covering one's tracks), but instead, paradoxically, by the opposite strategy: noise and obfuscation. With TrackMeNot, actual web searches, lost in a cloud of false leads, are essentially hidden in plain view. User-installed TrackMeNot works with the Firefox Browser and popular search engines (AOL, Yahoo!, Google, and MSN) and requires no 3rd-party servers or services."

PDF Download

Instead of showing a PDF file inside Firefox, you get a dialog where you can choose to download, view, ... the PDF-document. Very handy.


With mozex, you can edit text fields with your favourite editor - my current one is gvim. Although emacs is god as well :-) Additionally you can use your favourite newsreader for usenet-links, same for email, IRC, ftp, telnet and so forth. Install the Firefox extension mozex from http://mozex.mozdev.org/installation.html (for Firefox 2.x use http://mozex.mozdev.org/development.html) Adding support for various Wikiwiki-systems is very straightforward. As an example, here is what you have to do for TWiki and gvim for Windows: Get yourself the TWiki Syntax files for gvim from http://www.vim.org/scripts/script.php?script\_id=1113 Copy the files ftplugin/ and syntax/ into your vim-directories, usually C:\Dokumente und Einstellungen\USERNAME\vimfiles\... (or system-wide: C:\Programme\Vim\...) Add following lines in your .vimrc (System-wide: C:\Programme\Vim\\_vimrc):

    let g:Twiki_FoldAtHeadings = 1
    let g:Twiki_SourceHTMLSyntax=1
    let g:Twiki_Functions=1
    let g:Twiki_Mapings=1
    augroup filetypedetect
    au BufNewFile,BufRead *.wiki     setf twiki
    au BufNewFile,BufRead mozex.*.txt     setf twiki
    au BufNewFile,BufRead /tmp/mozex/mozex.textarea*.txt setf twiki
    augroup END	  

Adapt the path /tmp/mozex/... to your needs in .vimrc and in mozex (Firefox - Extras - Add-ons). Now you can use your context menu in a textarea mozex/Edit Textarea to write Blackboard content.

**ALERT! But be careful: gvim can destroy content like EURO-characters if gvim is not configured properly!


Quick personal search method using the address bar

**Note: This tip is only necessary for people not using the delicious-plugin as described above!

Create (native FireFox-) bookmarks like the example with Google:

    Name: Google
    Location: http://www.google.at/search?q=%s
    Keyword: g
    Description: <does not matter>	  

Or even better, try the new interface for keyboard usage:

    Name: Google
    Location: http://www.google.com/search?hl=de&esrch=BetaShortcuts&q=%s
    Keyword: g
    Description: <does not matter>	  

When you now create a new windows or tab, you can just enter "g querystring" to the address field in order to start a Google-query concerning your querystring.

Cool thing ;-)

more examples

    Location: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%s
    Keyword: we	  
    Location: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/%s
    Keyword: wd	  
    Location: http://dict.leo.org/ende?lp=ende&lang=de&searchLoc=0&cmpType=relaxed&sectHdr=on&spellToler=on&search=%s&relink=on
    Keyword: l	  
    Location: http://german.imdb.com/find?s=all&q=%s
    Keyword: md	  
    Location: http://www.webs1.icomedias.com/stadtplan/index.php?suche_url=&suche_nach=strassen&karte=1&dpi=9000&groesse=5%2C4&show_type=&uebersicht.x=0&uebersicht.y=0&karte=1&groesse=5%2C4&strasse=%s&dosearch=1&suche_nach=strassen
    Keyword: graz	  

Note: this blog entry was originally authored using Serendipity and converted to Org-mode format for publicvoit via a dumb script. This may result in bad format or even lost content. Please write a comment if you want to get in touch with me so that I can try to fix things.

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