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10+ great add-ons that only work with Firefox 4

Along with the ability to be restartless, Firefox 4 add-ons also have an entirely new interface to manipulate! There's a new add-on bar at the bottom of the screen, which replaces Firefox 3's status bar -- and then there's that infernal orange button that Mozilla, in its infinite wisdom, has made completely immovable.

There are other new features, too, like app tabs -- wouldn't it be nice to double click a tab, rather than having to fumble around with the right mouse button? And how about some visual notifications in those app tabs, too? Then there's the add-on that lets you set your tab width as narrow (or as wide!) as you like.

Finally, don't forget the handful of Firefox 4-only add-ons from Mozilla Labs that make the browser perform a lot like Chrome...

[Grab a copy of Firefox 4 and try out the add-ons as you go!]

Barlesque

Barlesque simply takes the (rather ugly) grey add-on bar in Firefox 4 and turns it into an anchored block of buttons. You can place the buttons in the bottom left or right corner, and you can click the little arrow to hide the block entirely.

Movable Firefox Button

We've already covered this tiny gem of an add-on before, but it's worth mentioning again! With this add-on you can move the beastly orange button using View > Toolbars > Customize.... If you move it up onto the menu bar, it will effectively vanish until you press the Alt key; nice!


Vertical Toolbar

If you're a screen real estate purist and can't why we continue to use a horizontal toolbar on widescreen displays, check out Vertical Toolbar.

It basically gives you a standard Firefox menu that can be customized in the usual ways -- but it's vertical. It has a handful of cool settings that can be changed, too.


Easy App Tabs

If you didn't know, Firefox 4 supports app/pinned tabs, just like Chrome and IE9. Now, no one's saying that right-click > Pin as App Tab is particularly laborious... but double clicking is a whole lot easier! Easy App Tabs lets you do just that.

Double clicking a pinned tab unpins it, incidentally.

DragIt

DragIt gives you comprehensive gesture controls for just about every element on a Web page. You can left click an image and drag it (up, down, left, right) to perform various functions (save, open in a tab, etc.), or you can right click a page and use gestures to bookmark it, scroll up, etc.

The best bit, though, is its insane level of configurability -- see the screenshot above, or install it and see for yourself!

Quick Search Bar

This add-on looks great in theory, but in practice your mileage might vary. Basically, it replaces Firefox's normal search bar -- where you can select your search engine from a drop-down -- with an assortment of buttons. To search Google, you hit the Google button and start typing -- to search eBay, hit the eBay button.

The problem is, you can't open a new tab and hit Tab twice to get to the search box! Still, it makes up for that shortcoming with tons and tons of configurability.

Tab Badge

Tab Badge is the perfect accompaniment to Firefox 4's new pinned/app tabs. All it does is provide a big, bold notification of how many unread messages (or updates) a tab has. It's restartless, too!


Mozilla Labs: Lab Kit

In one fell swoop, the Lab Kit turns Firefox's address bar into something that very closely resembles Chrome. Speak Words improves the address bar's ability to 'guess' what you're looking for, and Instant Preview makes pages load as soon as you mouse over an option. Find Suggest, which boosts Firefox's Ctrl+F function, is also included.

Lab Kit also includes the F1 social sharing add-on, which was recently overhauled, and became Firefox 4-only in the process.

Custom Tab Width

If you have shaky hands (morning coffee!), or you're prone to having 30+ tabs open, you will love Custom Tab Width.

After installing, head into Tools > Add-ons, then click Options -- and as the name of the add-on dictates, all you can do alter the minimum and maximum pixel width of tabs. Changing the minimum will let you have more tabs on display, while if you boost the maximum width up to 1000, you can enjoy truly huge tabs. Now we just need an add-on that can increase tab height...

Personal Menu

Last, but by no means least, we have Personal Menu, which has recently made the leap from Firefox 3 to Firefox 4 and summarily embraced the Orange Monstrosity.

With Personal Menu you can tailor exactly what appears when you click the orange Firefox button. You can add and remove options, or re-arrange them to fit your needs. You can also change how Bookmarks and History appear (or hide them completely!)

If you know of any add-ons that have made the leap to Firefox 4-only, or new add-ons that make use of FF4's new features, leave a comment! With the final version of Firefox 4 coming out soon, the number of add-ons will surely explode.

Tags: add-on, add-ons, addon, addons, barlesque, browsers, custom tab width, CustomTabWidth, extension, extensions, features, ff4, firefox, firefox 4, Firefox4, mozilla, mozilla labs, MozillaLabs, orange button, OrangeButton, personal menu, PersonalMenu, quick search bar, QuickSearchBar, tab badge, TabBadge

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