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50 Must-Have Firefox Extensions for Writers

Posted on Wednesday August 6, 2008 by Staff Writers

Whether you are writing a paper for your online class or working as a freelancer, you probably spend much of your day surfing the web for information. With so much information available to you online, it’s easy to become disorganized. To help you stay more focused and productive, we’ve compiled a list of 50 must-have Firefox extensions that all writers need to check out.

Quick Reference

This list features dictionaries, search tools and general reference extensions that can save you time and keep you focused on your actual work.

  1. British English Dictionary: Fiction writers or those writing for or referencing British publications will benefit from this easy-to-access dictionary.
  2. United States English Dictionary: Do simple spell checks with this online dictionary through Firefox.
  3. del.icio.us: This add-on makes it easier to search through del.icio.us, perfect for journalists or other writers who need to know what everyone’s talking about.
  4. Merriam Webster: Quickly search the Merriam Webster English dictionary without having to move away from your current page.
  5. FreeTranslate: When digging up primary source material, use this add-on to translate pages into English.
  6. Ask.com Toolbar: If you want to save an entire search and not just one or two pages, this extension will archive saved and favorite locations and individual sites.
  7. Hyperwords 4.0.2: With this tool, you can select a word on any website and instantly perform a search on it, translate it, access conversions and reference material and more.

Staying Connected

When working on collaborative projects and when you’re trying to keep in touch with your classmates, stay connected with these Firefox tools.

  1. Sage1.4.2: This “lightweight RSS and Atom feed aggregator” plays well with Firefox’s bookmarking system and lets you customize newspaper feeds.
  2. LinkedIn Companion for Firefox: Network with your LinkedIn profile more easily when you download this extension, which lets you see the LinkedIn profile (if they have one) for anyone who sends you e-mail and bookmark profiles and profile searches.
  3. Kaboodle: If you use Kaboodle to share websites or just store your own searches, you can access it more easily with this add-on.
  4. WataCrackaz AutoSMS: Track down busy agents and editors with this tool, which lets you send texts to cell phones around the world from Firefox.
  5. Send Page by E-mail: Send a website via this e-mail system to yourself, co-writers, your research assistant or anyone else. This extension lets you send the site or a clip of the site directly from Firefox.
  6. Unofficial MySpace Toolbar: If you prefer to stay connected through MySpace, add this extension so that you don’t have to open a new tab to log in, comment, read messages and more.
  7. Notify: If you frequently visit a website for basic reference information, use this tool to be notified anytime content on that site changes. That way, you’ll always be up-to-date and can avoid writing or sharing old information.
  8. Dai.sy 1.1.0: Chat and share files with your colleagues or editors when they visit the same site as you.
  9. SiteSays: When you’re working with a team, you can use SiteSays to write comments about different websites you’ve looked at.

Saving, Bookmarking and Organizing

Keep track of your entire searches, favorite websites and comments or ideas with these extensions.

  1. Chipmark 3.2.1: Writers who use different browsers and different computers for their research can use Chipmark to organize all bookmarks.
  2. Clipmarks: This tool is great when you only want to save a certain part of a website and not all of the junk surrounding your research or clips.
  3. Trexy TrailBar: Start a search trail in order to remember past searches and recover information you found weeks or even months before.
  4. The Tip’d Bookmarklet: Use this tool to submit a new finance story to Tip’d, the most popular social media site about investing topics.
  5. Add Bookmark Here: This extension allows for an even easier way to add a bookmark.
  6. NeedleSearch 3.5: Bookmark niche search engines that are hard to find or hard to remember with this tool.
  7. Plain Old Favorites: If you used to be an IE user, you can add those favorites to your Firefox bookmarks without having to export them.
  8. Flat Bookmark Editing: Writers who don’t know how to manipulate their bookmark properties can opt for a simple “flat” editing tool like this one to organize them.
  9. Scrapbook 1.3.3.7: This popular organization tool lets you save all or part of a website, organize your saved pages, and search within your collection.
  10. NetMarks Manager 3.2: Capture Firefox bookmarks with this tool to comment on websites, search within your collection and more.

Files

From help with downloading files to managing images and other files, these tools can keep you from getting too sidetracked and bogged down in technicalities.

  1. OpenDownload: This tool is great for writers who don’t want to pay for different programs or search out programs that let them download files. Instead, when you choose to open the file, OpenDownload connects you to the open source program that will let you view it.
  2. PDF Download: View PDFs as HTML documents in Firefox and manage other save or viewing options with this tool.
  3. Image Toolbar: Get immediate access to photo editing commands like saving and copying from a simple toolbar so that you can manage pictures for your blog, news story or just for inspiration.
  4. Download Statusbar: When you download this extension, a small statusbar is installed that lets you manage all of your downloads from one spot.

Privacy

Maintain your privacy and your integrity with these extensions, which keep prying eyes and competitors locked out.

  1. Gmail S/MIME: Encrypt sent and received Gmail messages with this tool.
  2. hideBad 2.0: Perfect for writers working in competitive libraries or too-public coffee shops, this extension “quickly closes tabs that you do not want others to see” and lets you clear Firefox history.
  3. Stealther 1.0.6: If you need to share your computer with another writer or editor, keep your research and comments safe by temporarily disabling browsing history, cookies, downloaded files, recently closed tabs list and more.
  4. TrashMail.net: Set up a separate e-mail address for junk mail that clutters up your regular inbox and leaves you more vulnerable to online scams.

Staying On Deadline

Stay on top of your classes with these notifiers, calendars, automatic alerts and other Firefox tools.

  1. FoxClocks: If your publisher or editor is in a different time zone, make sure you’re still on deadline with this in-sync clock.
  2. ReminderFox 1.7.2: Mange your to-do lists and deadlines with this extension, which has a simple interface.
  3. TimeTracker 1.2.4: Keep tabs on how much time you “waste” or work on Firefox to help you be more productive and on-task.
  4. Google Reader Notifier: If you depend on feeds and stories sent to your Google Reader for inspiration or research, keep track of how much you still need to get finished with this notification add-on.
  5. Gmail Manager 0.5.5: Manage all of your Gmail accounts with this extension, which also notifies you of new messages.
  6. Usage Counter 0.2.1: Usage Counter is another time tracking add-on that lets you know how much time you’ve spent on a certain website, helping you figure out when it’s time to move on and when to take a break.
  7. gotTime 0.2: gotTime allows you to “create countdown alarms for reminders of important events,” from set-in-stone deadlines to meetings to draft reviews.

Building Your Business

The following list includes add-ons that will help you find jobs through Craigslist, stay connected with your clients and manage your own advertising and revenue online.

  1. Emurse.com Resume Quick Send: When you find contact information for someone you’d like to work with, right click and select “Send Resume via Emurse.com” to send a pre-filled e-mail message.
  2. Facebook Toolbar 1.2.1: This extension lets you search Facebook from your browser, no matter what website you’re already on. You can also check messages, pokes, and updated profiles.
  3. CraigZilla: Get to Craigslist even faster so that you can update postings, apply for jobs and more.
  4. Adsense Notifier: After you download this extension, your Adsense earnings will be displayed on your Firefox statusbar.

More Writers’ Tools

Here you’ll find even more of our favorite writers’ tools from Firefox, from add-ons that link you to sources to extensions that make your blogging experience more efficient.

  1. NowPublic: This tool is a must for journalists and other writers wanting first-hand information from real-life events. The system works by allowing users to “highlight anything on the web you think is newsworthy and connect to eye witnesses at the scene of the story.”
  2. Zotero: This Firefox add-on makes it easier for you to research and even cite your sources all from the web browser.
  3. LinkChecker: Verify links for security and as legitimate sources with LinkChecker.
  4. Tag Editor: Whether you blog full time or just for a few extra bucks each month, you can stop wasting time coming up with tag links after each post. This tool does it for you.
  5. TextMarker! 0.3.2: Get super organized with editing and research by using three different highlighter colors to mark up text selections on websites.