Firefox provides a relatively simple set of features. You can add to these by downloading 'Extensions'.
Firefox, Security, and Extensions
When you download software, you're choosing to run that software on your computer - so firstly, make sure that it is *your* computer and not, say, your employers' computer.
You need to be confident that the authors of anything you download have good intentions, because if they don't have good intentions, your computer will no longer be yours. The essence of 'Firefox' is to provide you with what you need to browse the web safely, without getting in your way. Therefore:
it blocks software from attempting to install itself without help from you
it makes it difficult for a site to trick you into installing something 'By accident'.
When installing a Firefox extension, make sure that you are dealing with a reputable site, and if in doubt, you'll be more protected from maliciousness if you stick to extensions offered via Firefox's own 'Extensions manager'.
On a more positive note, 'Firefox' will not allow sites to install extensions without your agreement. Uninstalling an extension is simple - use the 'Extensions' menu will list installed ones and has an 'Uninstall'. (Though a malicious extension could protect itself by removing that feature)
Here's examples of extensions, you can find some of them using Firefox's 'Tools/Options' menu. If you find one of these via a web search, keep in mind the security risk involved.
Some web sites rely on specific features built into Internet Explorer, some are simply designed to be incompatible. This 'Firefox' extension allows you to easily open your current web page in IE using a context menu, and is useful if you're working with, say, Sharepoint.
Sage allows you to use RSS feeds in the sidebar - information rich sites may provide RSS feeds as a way to provide a preçis of the information they hold. Download it here.
Allows you to copy the page URL to the clipboard along with a snippet of text from a web page. Useful when storing/forwarding references to pages in an email, and also useful when working with 'Zoot'. Download it here.
Once you've installed Weave and created an account, your bookmarks and settings can follow you around when you use Firefox from various machines. Note that this may involve any web site login details and passwords being encrypted and sent via the Internet to Mozilla's servers. Here's more on Weave, from the authors.
Firefox: its Preference Settings, and some Rocket Science
You can influence 'Firefox' using its 'Options' (or preferences) menu. When you need more preferences, open a page and type about:config (with no spaces) in the address bar. This displays a page of configuration settings: you can edit a setting by double clicking it. You might need to search the web to find the correct options for these but here's an example
Control animated gifs, stop animation or make it loop once
Look for the setting image.animation_mode. It has three values 'none', 'once' and 'normal'. Set your preference and it will be applied to all animations. Frenetic pages will become docile.
Allows you to be automatically logged into web sites such as the applications server, here's more info on NTLM authentication.
All before you, in this world, is smoke and shadows.All before you, in this world, is smoke and shadows. Words found on a door lintel in the garden of a house in the Cretan village of Argiroupolis. The lintel is a fragment from the city state Lappa, which occupied the same site. Fifteen hundred years later, when you use the web, from time to time you might well feel that the author was on to something. And if you work with particle physics, you'll know he was ...