15 FireFox Add-ons For Photographers
As much as I complain about the various web browsers when I’m doing web design & development work, I’ve got to admit that in terms of functionality they really have come a long way in the last few years. And a lot of the big advances have come in the form of add-ons – small third-party applications that allow you to complete additional tasks from within your web browser.
Here’s a short list of some of my favourites that should be useful for most photographers. They are all Firefox Add-Ons though, so if you currently use a different browser you’ll either look for an equivalent, or make the switch!
This plugin adds a right-click menu item that allows you to search for an image to find out how it is being used, if modified versions of the image exist, or to find higher resolution version. When you submit an image to be searched, TinEye creates a unique and compact digital signature or ‘fingerprint’ for it, then compares this fingerprint to every other image in our index to retrieve matches.
TinEye does not typically find similar images; it finds exact matches including those that have been cropped, edited or resized. For photographers, this allows you to check your own photos and find unauthorized uses. It’s surprisingly accurate and we’ve used it to find a number of images for our photographers.
I found this one after I started on this article, so I haven’t tested it yet, but it appears to take it a bit further and looks for copies of your images using several image search services : Yandex.ru, Tineye.com, Google.com, Baidu.com and Cydral.com
Never lose anything you type into a web form again! Lazarus securely auto-saves all forms as you type, so after a crash, server timeout, or whatever, you can go back to the form, right click, “recover form”, and breathe a sigh of relief. This is a major bonus when you’re making photo submissions, articles & blog posts and more.
Quick lookup in Wiktionary and Wikipedia, without the need to open a new tab. Very handy when you’re writing image captions and want to check spellings etc – just right-click a word while shift / ctrl / alt is pressed.
An extension to silently generate a TinyURL for your current page at the click of a button. Very handy if you’re sending out long & complicated links to Clients – less chance of it breaking in email-transit!
Amazon S3 storage is incredibly cheap and super reliable for backups or transferring image files to buyers and a lot of photographers are using it now. This add-on helps you organize/manage/store your files on Amazon S3 from within your browser without logging in through Amazon every time.
Adds a right click option to take screen shots of an entire web page or just part of a web page to save as an image. This is often the easiest way to troubleshoot websites you use – take a capture and send it to support – and it’s great if you want to add screenshots to your print portfolio or your websites. Lots of possibilities…
A no-clutter image viewer for Firefox that allows you to zoom, rotate and display images/videos against a custom background. I use this regularly in any web design work… to decide the result I want before I open Photoshop – but ImageTweak is a must-have for anyone publishing photos online.
This is probably the add-on I’ve been using the longest, and the one I couldn’t live without. It keeps your bookmarks and open tabs backed up and synchronized across multiple computers and browsers.
If I find a site I want to revisit on one computer, it’s immediately available on any other computer I use. If you work on multiple machines – work, home, mobile, tablet, iphone – this is priceless!
On those rare occasions I try to beat my bookmarks into some sort of order, they get sorted simultaneously on all my computers.
And a couple of times now when I’ve had the dreaded blue screen to computer death, I’ve had full access to all my bookmarks on the new machine within minutes.
Email This! will send your recipient the link, title, & highlighted text of the page you are viewing using GMail, Google Apps GMail, Yahoo, and Stand-Alone Mail Clients like Outlook Express, Thunderbird, & More! I mostly use this as a quick and easy way to send myself reminders, but it’s also handy for sharing photos and lightboxes with your prospects!
AddThis for Firefox is the best add-on to make sharing and bookmarking simple. Have all your favorite web 2.0 social networking, bookmarking, blogging, and e-mail services at your fingertips. Share any page, anytime, with anyone. This is something every photographer should be doing constantly – just remember to ‘share’ other people’s content as well as your own!
This is probably more for people doing web development, but could be useful if you’re doing any kind of design work. It’s a simple color picker and eyedropper, plus it lets you save colors and trying out colors combos with drag and drop.
Save pages to read later with just one click. When you have time, access your reading list from any computer or phone, even without an internet connection! I installed this one a week before a short trip earlier this year, planning to do some reading while waiting at airports etc – and now I use it constantly!
Best part is, when I go back to the saved webpages, I find I read the important pages more carefully and there’s a lot of stuff I previously would have spent time reading that I now just delete! I guess it depends how much time you spend on line, but for me this a majopr boost to productivity!
This is handy if you find yourself publishing the same content on multiple websites or social media accounts and you want to simplify the process. This add-on displays browser tabs as tiles, so you can see multiple open windows at once – and cut and paste from one to the other without going back and forth between tabs.
This last one is particularly useful if you use a variety of Google services regularly. Ifg you only use Gmail it’s probably not worth it, but if you’re constantly logging into Calendar, Analytics, Adsense, YouTube, Blogger etc etc, this is a sanity-saver. Definitely not for everyone but those who can benefit will know!
OK, that’s my photographer’s list. There are others I use for web design and development projects, and still more that I use for all the SEO and website promotion work we do here, so I guess the main takeaway is, ‘go looking and see what you find’ –
There’s countless developers out there all working on their own add-ons, so the list is changing constantly, and many of the new add-ons you’ll find are improvements on exiting add-ons that have already proved popular.
This lot are all free, although some have commercial upgrades available. None of the functionality described here requires any upgrades though!
My final suggestion is to only install one at a time.Install it, activate and test if for a day or so before you add the next. I’ve never had any troubles with any of these but there have been others that didn’t play so nice, so please take it slow. Any trouble just disable the last installed add-on and you should be right.
Have I missed any?
If there’s a Firefox Add-on you find particularly useful, please add a comment below. You won’t be able to add a link, so make sure you mention it’s correct name.