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Thursday, 29th November 2007

Firefox Add-Ons: Add Just About ANY Engine to Firefox Search Bar Quickly, Easily; Take Screen Caps Directly from Firefox Browser

What can we say, we love Firefox add-ons. This week, two add-ons (one essential favorite) and one add-on we just began using have received updated. Here's the lowdown. Access and use of both add-ons is free. :-)

1) The Essential Add to Search Bar (1.7) by Malte Kraus makes adding just about any search engine (even some library OPAC databases) to the Firefox Search Bar VERY EASY and VERY FAST. It's something that can be mentioned at all classes about web browsers and search since no tech skills (except a few clicks) are needed to use it.

In our view, this is one of the most useful and important Firefox add-ons out there.

A) Download/Install the App
B) Go to the search engine you would like to add
C) Place cursor in search box, right click (CLICK #1) and select "Add to Search Bar" (CLICK #2)
D) Box Appears, with name and icon (both can be changed, up to you) (CLICK #3)
E) Now, the search tool should appear in your Firefox Search Bar.
F) So simple but still powerful and very useful.
See the operation in action by viewing this screencast.

Version 1.6 and 1.7 (just released) have added and improved a number of features including:

* all engines with /similar/ names can be added
* non-ASCII characters in parameters are encoded correctly
* HTTP Status Code 304 is successful as well
* corrected Spanish translation
* when an icon selected by the user is rejected, an error message appears that explains why
* engines with the same name can be added (or, in reality: spaces are added at the end)
* engineInfos.xul has IDs so it can have overlays

Btw, you might also find: Organize Search Engines by the same developer of value. We do!

Finally, a similar tool, to add engines to IE is available from MS. Look for the gold "Create Your Own" box.

2) We've been using Add to Search Bar for some time and we're thrilled to see that it continues to be developed.

Recently, we began using another Firefox add-on that also updated this week. It's named FireShot and integrates directly with Firefox.

It's free to download and free to use.

We think it's more than worthy of your attention.

Here's how the company describes the product:

Unlike other extensions, this plugin provides a set of editing and annotation tools, which let users quickly modify captures and insert text and graphical annotations. Such functionality will be especially useful for web designers, testers and content reviewers.

Screenshots can be saved to disk (PNG, JPEG, BMP), copied to clipboard, e-mailed and sent to external editor for further processing.

Of course, we still have and use SnagIt on our computer for difficult screen caps, image editing, and more.


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