50 Must-Have Firefox Extensions for e-Learning & Researching
Are you an e-Learner or a researcher? No matter if you are learning or working online or on campus, the following Firefox extensions can make your life easier. From organization to collaboration and from citation tools to complete research toolboxes, Firefox is equipped to handle your studies.
The following list of 50 Firefox extensions for e-Learning and researching are categorized. The categories are in alphabetical order and each list under those categories are listed alphabetically. We do not value one extension over another. Finally, each extension should be the most up-to-date modification that will engage with the latest version of Firefox 3.0.
Cryptic notes and unorganized bookmarks are the bane of many an e-Learner and researcher. Use the following tools to organize your online research.
- Delicious Firefox Add-On: Use this add-on to synchronize all your bookmarks in your Firefox browser and from your bookmarks page on the Delicious website.
- Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer: Never lose a bookmark again. Foxmarks backs up your bookmarks every time you make changes. View and restore your old bookmarks on their Web site.
- Gmail Manager: This is a Firefox extension that allows you to manage multiple Gmail accounts and receive new mail notifications.
- OpenBook 126.96.36.199: This extension allows for customization of the Add Bookmark dialog. The bookmarks tree can be automatically opened and elements can be revealed or hidden. Also, the dialog can be resized.
- Smart Bookmarks Bar 1.4.2: Smart Bookmarks Bar extension comes right here by hiding bookmarks names and only showing icons. Bookmarks display with a mouse-over.
- Speed Dial 0.7.2.11: With Speed Dial, you can easily access your most used websites. Speed Dial enables you to view those bookmarks as thumbnails if you prefer.
- StumbleUpon 3.28: StumbleUpon discovers web sites based on your interests, learns what you like and brings you more.
- Taboo 0.5.9: Have you found yourself deep in research with twenty tabs open? Speed up your searches with Taboo, which lets you save a tab session for later. It takes a snapshot of the web page, including session state information (such as how far you’ve scrolled on the page and information in forms).
Reading for Research and eLearning
Research and eLearning involves reading. Fortunately for some, much of that reading can be accomplished through online tools that allow access to news and articles. Try some of the extensions listed below for convenience.
- aideRSS: Now Google Reader users can reclaim their time with a single mouse click to find the best content, boost their productivity and stay on top of the news. The Google Reader extension is compatible with Firefox 2, 3 and the latest version of Greasemonkey.
- eReader 0.4: Read eBooks in Firefox, scale text size and adjust reading width for comfortable viewing. Any site can be viewed inside the eReader, so news sites can be viewed in this tool as well.
- Morning Coffee 1.32: This tool is superb for keeping up with regularly updated Web sites such as newspapers. Organize by day and open them simultaneously as part of a daily routine.
- NewsFox 188.8.131.52: NewsFox allows you to group your feeds as you wish, read feed content offline, update feeds when you want, 1-click subscribe with the Firefox URL bar icon, and read other feeds while updating.
- Read it Later: This Firefox extension allows you to save pages of interest to read later. It eliminates cluttering of bookmarks with sites that are merely of a one-time interest.
- Screengrab: Don’t have time to take notes? Grab the entire page and save it as an image to peruse later with this Firefox extension.
- Pearl Crescent Page Saver: Try this page-saving tool as well. This tool allows Flash content capture as well as full and partial page capture.
- Wizz RSS News Reader 184.108.40.206: A constantly improving RSS and Atom feed reader. It is fairly powerful, feature rich and is well supported.
You may have a Ph.D., but how many times have you looked up a certain word because its definition always eludes you? Try some of the extensions below for an easy cure for this malady.
- DictionarySearch 3.0.0: Simply highlight the word you want to look up, then right-click and select “Search Dictionary for…” A new tab or browser window will open with the meaning of the word you selected.
- Dictionary Switcher 1.0: This tool automatically toggles your Firefox dictionary based on the site you’re visiting or the language you’re currently using as you type.
- FastDic 0.2.7: Hold the Alt, Ctrl or Shift keys and click any word in Web page. Then word is automatically selected by extension and word’s meaning page is open in new tab, new window or sidebar.
- gTranslate 0.5.1: You can translate any text in a Web page just by selecting and right-clicking over it. The extension uses the Google translation services to translate the text.
- Hyperwords 5.0.2: Select any word on any web page and choose from powerful commands, including references, search, translation (right in the page itself, not in a new window), conversions, email, the ability to alter the page view and much more.
- Moji 0.9.6: An integrated sidebar-dictionary for Japanese and Chinese including kanji dictionary.
Research and Writing
The following tools include the gamut of copy-paste techniques to complete research desktop tools that may make your work much easier.
- CiteGenie: Law students will love this one. To use CiteGenie, simply highlight the text in a court opinion, right-click and select the “Copy with CiteGenie” option. Then you can paste the text into any other program, such as your word processor, and the text will be pasted, along with the pinpoint citation for the selected text from the court opinion. Copy text with correct citations from Westlaw, Lexis, and other websites.
- ClearForest Gnosis 1.0.2+: Gnosis immediately locates key information such as people, organizations, companies, products and geographies hidden within Web text. Currently, Gnosis automatically processes pages from CNN, Google Finance, Wikipedia, Forbes, the International Herald Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, MSNBC, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Washington Post, Yahoo News, BBC News and Wikipedia. If you want Gnosis results on any other page; just click the button.
- Copy Plain Text 0.3.3: Copies text without picking up the formatting from a Web page or other document with this tool.
- Copy Link Text (CoLT): CoLT is a means of copying both a link’s text and URL at the same time. This feature is particularly handy for bloggers, web developers, or anyone else who finds themselves writing links to other places on the web – provided the text is appropriate for the link!
- Google Notebook: Clip and collect information as you surf the Web and organize your notes easily. This extension now has a “mini” version.
- list.it: This tool, developed by an MIT team, is the “Latitudinal Information Scrap Trapper that Indexes Things,” a small, simple note-keeping tool for solving a big, complex task, helping you manage the tons of little information bits you need to keep track of each day.
- QuickNote 0.6.0.4: A note-taking extension with tabs, automatic save, and basic integration with the browser/e-mail client.
- Resurrect Pages 2.0.3: What do you do when a page is dead but you still want to see it? Use this extension to perform miracles on Web pages, links and more.
- Ubiquity: Perform any action from definition look ups, to viewing encyclopedia entries, to adding rich content into an email, to translating a page on the fly all without leaving the browser interface, not even navigating browser tabs. Inky is a similar, but not as powerful tool.
- Wired Marker: Wired-Marker is a permanent indelible highlighter that you use on Web pages. The highlighter, which comes in various colors and styles, is a kind of electronic bookmark that serves as a guide when you revisit a Web page. Additionally, the highlighted content is automatically recorded in a bookmark and saved.
- Zotero: 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.
How can you find something if you don’t look for it? The following extensions were designed to increase your search capabilities.
- Advanced Dork: 220.127.116.11: Highlight any text, right click, and choose from over 15 Advanced Google Operators for your search. This function and many more provided by this extension.
- Breadcrumbs 0.1.5: Breadcrumbs records your web pages as you browse and allows you to search them from anywhere. You can easily find webpages that you forgot to bookmark. Breadcrumbs security allows limited access through password protection.
- Google Toolbar for Firefox: Enjoy a search in different languages with the ability to disable suggestions, to clear your search history, to organize searches with labels and bookmarks and much more.
- NeedleSearch: Because of the easy and powerful Auto-add functionality NeedleSearch not only lets you bookmark this big search engines like Google or Yahoo, but also the search engines for which no toolbar exists. Includes a multi-field search, too.
- NextPlease!: NextPlease! is a Firefox extension that allows you to assign keyboard shortcuts to jump to next and previous links on search results pages, like Google, Yahoo, eBay, Amazon, and many other sites.
- Who Is This Person? 1.1.1: Highlight any name on a web page and see matching information from Wink, LinkedIn, Wikipedia, Facebook, Google News, Technorati, Yahoo Person Search, Spock, WikiYou, ZoomInfo, IMDB, MySpace and more.
- WorldCat: If it’s in a library near you, the WorldCat plug-in will help you find it. Download extensions for Facebook, Firefox or your Google Toolbar.
Research leads users into unknown Internet realms. The following Firefox extensions can help save your Firefox environment so you can browse without fear.
- Adblock Plus 1.0.1: Install Adblock Plus now and eliminate every ad and banner on the Internet as you browse.
- Dr. Web Anti-virus Link Checker: You want to visit a Web page but you aren’t sure about that site’s safety. Right-click the link you want to visit. In the opened contextual menu select “Scan with Dr.Web” and wait for the check result.
- Firefox Environment Backup Extension: FEBE allows users to back up and restore an entire or partial Firefox environment, including extensions, themes, bookmarks, cookies and more.
- FireGPG: FireGPG is a Firefox extension under MPL which brings an interface to encrypt, decrypt, sign or verify the signature of text in any web page using GnuPG. Plus, FireGPG adds some features to the Gmail1 interface to let you use GPG’s features directly in your Web mail. Great tool for hiding that collaborative work from competitive researchers.
- SecurePassword Generator 0.5.4: Helps you create truly unique and secure passwords.
e-Learning and research aren’t always solitary activities. The following Firefox extensions may allow you to work competently with others.
- CoComment: Have you ever posted comments or questions on articles and blogs and then forgotten where you’ve left them? By tracking your conversation with coComment, you can see all your comments on one page and get notified.
- Drag & Drop.io 2.0.1: A drop is a chunk of space you can use to store and share documents, pictures, etc. without accounts, registration, or an email addresses. Drops are not searchable nor are they networked; they exist online as private points for exchange between individuals or groups.
- FireFTP: FireFTP is a free, secure, cross-platform FTP client for Mozilla Firefox which provides easy and intuitive access to FTP servers.
- FireShot 0.65: This tool creates screenshots of web pages, but – unlike other extensions – this plugin provides a set of editing and annotation tools. These tools allow users to quickly modify Web captures and insert text annotations and graphical annotations. Such functionality will be especially useful for team research.
- Fleck – Save the best of the Web 1.2.2: Lets you add post-it notes on a webpage and share the results with others. Those “others” don’t need to sign-up with Fleck to view your doodles. Fleck adds an unobtrusive yellow dot alongside the URL bar. Click on it to open Fleck tools.
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