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Windows XP Unwired

Using Extensions in Firefox

by Wei-Meng Lee, author of Windows XP Unwired
09/21/2004

The 1.0 Preview Release of Mozilla's next-generation browser, Firefox, was rolled out last week, and like earlier versions, it packs many features that improve on Internet Explorer, such as faster load time and support for tabbed browsing.

One key Firefox feature that I like is its extensibility--you can download additional plug-ins, known as extensions, to enhance it. In this article, I will take a look at some of the more useful extensions that you can download for Firefox.

Keep in mind that while not all extensions in the preview release currently work, it's expected that all will in time. For example, the Googlebar extension wasn't working initially, but within a few days it was updated and now works fine.

Where to Find Extensions for Firefox

Locating extensions for Firefox is a simple task. Simply go to the menu Tools -> Extensions, and the Extensions window will appear (see Figure 1). The window lists the extensions currently installed on your browser. You can select an extension and uninstall it or update it. To find additional extensions, click on Get More Extensions.

Figure 1
Figure 1. Viewing the list of extensions installed on your browser

You can also go directly to the Firefox Extensions page. In either case, you should see the following page, shown in Figure 2:

Figure 2
Figure 2. The Extensions page containing the list of extensions available

Installing an extension is easy. Click on the extension you're interested in, and you'll be sent to a page with a description of the extension, as well as an Install Now icon (see Figure 3).

Figure 3
Figure 3. Installing an extension

Click on Install Now, and you will see the Software Installation window (see Figure 4). Click on the Install Now button to proceed with the installation.

Figure 4
Figure 4. Installing an extension

Adbar--Ads from Google

One extension that I find useful is Adbar. The Adbar extension displays Google ads related to pages you view. The extension sends your page request to Google whenever you visit a site. Relevant ads are then displayed in the toolbar, as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5
Figure 5. Displaying Google's ads using the Adbar extension

You can get the Adbar extension here.

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