Friday, January 4, 2008

Some cool add-ons for Firefox - 1

Hope you have all had a wonderful vacation, and are back in front of your PC refreshed and feeling good – as I am!

Today, I'd like to tell you about a few add-ons to Firefox (I'm not sure whether all these will work with Internet Explorer and other browsers - you'll need to check that yourself) that I use and like a lot. I use Firefox Version 2.00.11 and the latest add-ons mentioned here. If you use the same, these add-ons should work for you too without any problems.

1. Rikaichan

I love this add-on, especially when browsing Japanese pages. What does it do? It is a popup Japanese-English/German/French/Russian dictionary extension for Firefox. I use only the Japanese-English dictionary. You hover the mouse on a Japanese work and the English equivalent pops up. Also has a detailed Kanji view showing meaning, on/kun readings and other information. Note that after you install the main extension (add-on), you need to download and install the dictionary too (Japanese-English dictionary if you wish to look up Japanese) from the same site. Here's what it looks like when I hovered the mouse on top of 造船所:

You can also select any Kanji character and press Alt + Delete to get detailed information on that character, as shown below.

After you install Rikaichan, you can toggle it ON and OFF by clicking Tools/Rikaichan. You may also perform various settings such as changing Hot-keys by opening Tools/Add-ons, selecting Rikaichan and Settings.

2. Needlesearch

I wrote about this extension a few days ago "Quickly searching online references using a browser add-on". I use it to search specific search engines/references. Note that after you install it, you can hide it or show it by Ctrl + F9. This is neat because you get more space when you are not using Needlesearch.

3. IE-Tab

This add-on opens an Internet Explorer-only page in a separate tab within Firefox. Very convenient when you wish to view a website designed only to be viewed with IE – yes, such sites do exist.

Unlike IE-View, which opens IE-only pages in a separate Internet Browser window, IE-Tab opens such a page in a Mozilla/Firefox tab.

4. Cooliris Previews

This add-on lets you preview links and rich-media without clicking or leaving your current page. When you hover the mouse over a link, the Cooliris icon appears. Click on it and you can preview the corresponding page and rich-media without clicking or leaving your current page. An indispensable add-on for me.

5. Split Browser

This add-on splits the browser window. Drag any link to a window and the window displays its content. I find it pretty useful when I wish to compare Japanese and English pages of say the same company and pick up terms. See example below.

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