Nifty Firefox extensions

Mouseless Browsing

Although a netbook is a perfect machine to have with you on the road, its minuscule trackpad can be a real pain. Also, an airplane seat or a coffee table does not have much space for a mouse. In these situations, you need the Mouseless Browsing [7] extension (Figure 4). When you restart Firefox after you've install the extension, you will notice that every link on any web page now has a unique number. Now just type the number next to the link you want to open and press Enter. In this way, you can navigate the web without touching your mouse or trackpad. The Mouseless Browsing extension has a host of options you can tweak to make it behave the way in which you want. For example, you can make the extension show the ID numbers only when you press a specific key combination, tweak the ID number style to minimize clutter, and enable the numeric pad for mouse-free browsing.

Figure 4: Browse the web without touching the mouse with Mouseless Browsing.


Quite a few extensions are out there that you can use to take screenshots of web pages, but Screengrab! [8] lets you do this with a minimum of fuss and has a few useful features to boot. With this extension, you can take a screenshot of a selected portion of the page, the visible part of the page, the entire page, or even an individual frame. When taking a screenshot, you can save it on the disk or copy it to the Clipboard. By default, Screengrab! saves screenshots in the PNG format, but you can switch to JPEG if you like.


The web is brimming with services that let you save and share notes, but sometimes you just need a simple tool to scribble down notes and ideas quickly. In this case, you need QuickNote [9]. As the name suggests, this extension adds a notes feature to your browser.

Although QuickNote installs as a conventional Firefox extension, it requires an extra step if you want it to load notes in the sidebar (Figure 5). After installing, restart your browser and enter chrome://quicknote/content/install.html in the Address bar. Now press the Install QuickNote in the Sidebar button, and you are set. From QuickNote's preferences, you can tweak note colors and enable multiple tabs, allowing you to manage several notes at once. All notes are saved as plain text files, and you can always extract them from the browser by pressing the Save as button.

Figure 5: Scribble notes with QuickNote.

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