5 of the Best Firefox Add-ons for Web Designers

Web Developer: If you haven’t been using the Web Developer add-on for Firefox, you have been missing out on a truly amazing tool.  This add-on has so many features that it adds an entire menu to your browser.  Normally, add-ons that do this turn out to be a waste of space, but in the case of the Web Developer add-on, this is definitely not true.

Although I could write an entire post about this one add-on, I’ll stick to some of the key highlights for designers, which include the ability to manipulate style sheets (such as disabling them completely), displaying rulers directly in your browser and numerous options for dealing with images in the browser.  For anyone who isn’t using the Web Developer add-on yet, you really owe it to yourself to give it a try.

Greasemonkey: As anyone who uses Firefox knows, the amount of add-ons that are available mean that you can customize this browser to accomplish just about anything you could ever need to do.  However, there is an add-on that takes these capabilities even further.

Once you add the Greasemonkey add-on to your browser, you will have the ability to customize the way pages look through the use of JavaScript.  This may sound insignificant, but when you take into account the fact that there are hundreds of Greasemonkey scripts available, you will probably be surprised at what this one add-on and a handful of scripts can help you accomplish.

Dummy Lipsum: As a designer, you are probably already familiar with Lorem ipsum generators.  On the off chance that you haven’t heard of this term before, a Lorem ipsum generator is a tool that creates dummy text.  The reason that a designer may want to use dummy text is if they are working on a layout and want to see how the layout will look once it is populated with text.  Instead of actually needing to write out a bunch of text, a Lorem ipsum generator will give you all of the text you need to fill up your layout.

Normally, you have to go to a different website to use a Lorem ipsum generator, but with the Dummy Lipsum add-on for Firefox, you can generate text directly from your current browser window.

Extended Statusbar: In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, good designers realize that one of the keys to creating top of the line designs for blogs and websites is to create something that loads quickly and performs efficiently.  For tips on how to achieve these kinds of designs, you can check out some of my previously published posts.

However, the reason I’m bringing this topic up is because once you start designing with these goals in mind, you will want to have a way to test and monitor your designs.  Luckily for you, the Extended Statusbar add-on makes this easy by adding loaded size, percentage, speed and time indicators to your Firefox status bar.

Browser Window Resizer: In the true spirit of Firefox add-ons, Browser Window Resizer performs a simple task, but it is extremely useful.  This add-on allows you to view your designs at different resolutions, including 640×480, 800×600, 1024×768, 1280×1024 and 1600×1200.

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