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So you've decided, after reading about the benefits, to download and install Mozilla Firefox. Once you've familiarised yourself with the features of the browser, you might want to have a look at some of the hundreds of add-ons available for Firefox.
First of all, you can change the look and feel of your Firefox browser with a new theme. There are compact themes to give you maximum screen space, which are especially useful if you have a small monitor. There are also large themes which could be useful for the visually impaired, and lots of fun themes featuring different textures, animals and sports.
Then there's the vast wealth of plug-ins available. Here are just a few favourites; you can browse around the Mozilla website to find more.
Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer synchronises your bookmarks wherever you use Firefox. You just need to install the plug-in on every computer on which you use Firefox.
del.icio.us Bookmarks integrates your browser with your del.icio.us account, so that you can search and browse your bookmarks, access them from any computer at any time, and import your existing Firefox bookmarks to your del.icio.us account easily.
Clipmarks allows you to bookmark just the useful bits of a web page (such as a bit of text, a video, or an image), rather than the whole page. You can bookmark these privately or publicly.
StumbleUpon is fun, useful or both – you can "channel-surf" the internet by specifying what sort of pages you're interested in, and then hitting the "Stumble" button. You can say which pages you like and which you don't, and in this way, constantly improve the quality of pages you are shown. StumbleUpon saves all the pages you like to its own social bookmarking site.
Cooliris Previews allows you to preview links without clicking, temporarily bookmark previewed pages, quickly share links, and more.
Adblock Plus allows you to block banners and advertisements while you browse.
Blogging and Chatting Tools
ScribeFire is one of many fully-featured blog editor plug-ins available for Firefox. One nice feature of ScribeFire is the ability to drag and drop text formatted text from pages you are browsing.
BlogRovr is a great plug-in which shows you what your favourite bloggers are saying about whatever you're looking at in an unobtrusive way. If you follow a lot of blogs with strong themes, this is a highly useful tool.
ChatZilla is an easy-to-use IRC client for Firefox.
Download Statusbar shows you the status of your downloads in an unobtrusive bar at the bottom of your Firefox window.
Firefox Companion for eBay can help you keep an eye on your eBay trading without constantly refreshing pages of your browser. Features customisable alerts.
FoxyTunes adds a toolbar that allows you to control almost any media player via your browser, as well as finding lyrics, artwork and videos on demand.
Forecastfox is a simple AccuWeather.com plug-in which offers weather forecast details in an unobtrusive bar.
By Brian Jackson