Favorite Firefox Add-ons

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Browsers tend to be personal decisions for each of us.  Some of you probably have never given it much thought.  Whatever came on your computer is what you have always used.  I actually use Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome consistently.  Which one I use is based on what I am going to be doing in the browser window.  Most of the time I find myself using Firefox during my typical work activities.  Firefox has this amazing ability to utilize “add-ons” to customize what you are able to do from your browser.  Add-ons are installable enhancements you can select from the extensive list located at  https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/ (for US users).   Add-ons allow the user to add or augment application features, use themes to his or her liking, and handle new types of content.  They variety of these tools runs the gamut from generalized to very specialized.  

  1. Dictionary Search-Looks up a user selected word in an on-line dictionary.
  2. Tiny URL Creator-lets you shrink any long URL in your address bar or link on the page to something you can easily email or Twitter with a single click.
  3. Forecast Fox-Get international weather forecasts from AccuWeather.com, and display it in any toolbar or statusbar with this highly customizable extension.
  4. LinkedIn Companion-brings all the functionality of your LinkedIn account to an icon in the toolbar.
  5. Zotero-[zoh-TAIR-oh]  helps you collect, manage, and cite your research sources. It lives right where you do your work — in the web browser itself. (http://www.zotero.org/)

Zotero is my new personal favorite.  It seems to have been primarily designed as a research tool in an academic setting.  I have found that it is an extremely useful tool to use during the preparation and assembly of detailed RFP responses.  It has enhanced my efforts in writing and completing  my upcoming book.

“Zotero is an easy-to-use yet powerful research tool that helps you gather, organize, and analyze sources (citations, full texts, web pages, images, and other objects), and lets you share the results of your research in a variety of ways. Zotero includes the best parts of older reference manager software (like EndNote)—the ability to store author, title, and publication fields and to export that information as formatted references—and the best parts of modern software and web applications (like iTunes and del.icio.us), such as the ability to interact, tag, and search in advanced ways. Zotero integrates tightly with online resources; it can sense when users are viewing a book, article, or other object on the web, and—on many major research and library sites—find and automatically save the full reference information for the item in the correct fields. Since it lives in the web browser, it can effortlessly transmit information to, and receive information from, other web services and applications; since it runs on one’s personal computer, it can also communicate with software running there (such as Microsoft Word). And it can be used offline as well (e.g., on a plane, in an archive without WiFi).”

FEATURES

 Automatic capture of citation information from web pages
 Storage of PDFs, files, images, links, and whole web pages
 Flexible notetaking with autosave
 Fast, as-you-type search through your materials
 Playlist-like library organization, including saved searches (smart collections) and tags
 Platform for new forms of digital research that can be extended with other web tools and services
 Runs right in your web browser
 Formatted citation export (style list to grow rapidly)
 Free and open source
 Integration with Microsoft Word and OpenOffice

SHARE YOUR FAVORITE  Explore the hundreds of add-on’s available and share your favorite Firefox add-ons with us in the comments area below.

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